Money for Hate

Something, or rather someone, has reared their, frankly, blandly mediocre head above the parapet of castle hate.

Samantha Brick, I’m sure you’ll know by now, wrote an article in the DailyMail about how tough her life is as a beautiful woman. The DailyMail, in an inspired moment, realised the potential of this hatebait article and hit the publish button.

Note, I call this hatebait and not linkbait. It will no doubt also attract a massive number of links, but that isn’t the main objective. With linkbait, as the name suggests, the objective is to attract links. With haitbait, well, the objective is just as clear.

Why Publish Hatebait?

Well, to say the article has caught the public attention would be an understatement, there is hardly a positive comment being made about the hapless Ms Brick.

This is primal, people get sucked into having an opinion, not on the marketing lessons, but on whether she actually is pretty or not. What’s also interesting is how seemingly intelligent, famous people lost objectivity and got stuck in.

The outpouring of hatred on Twitter knows no bounds, from the creative and witty to the profane and degrading, practically every tweet about her is scathing:

on a scale of 1 to samantha brick, how delusional(beautiful) are you ??

— Annor(ATD) (@MpereChudnofsky) April 4, 2012

Samantha Brick has a face like a bag of smashed crabs.I’ve shit prettier things.

— Craig Wilson (@hoogie1) April 4, 2012

RT @GreggleScottles: “Samantha Brick – The most famous dog on the internet since Fenton.”

— Famous Pets (@famouspets) April 4, 2012

i would rather shit in my hands and clap than look like Samantha Brick.

— Hannah Butterfield (@hanbutterfield) April 4, 2012

Chuck Norris once tried to ask Samantha Brick out on a date, and stammered. #SamanthaBrickFacts

— Kathryn Lively (@MsKathrynLively) April 4, 2012

The DoE thought Samantha Brick was “the blonde one in Status Quo”. Awkward.

— Elizabeth Windsor (@Queen_UK) April 4, 2012

If Angelina Joile is at one end of the beauty scale Samantha Brick towards the other. Just behind Tevez & Shrek.

— Ian S (@iannlou) April 4, 2012

So, why publish something that will have this effect? Well, it brings people to your website, lots and lots and lots of people.

And what do people on your website make?

Money, Lots and Lots of Money

How much money did this generate for the Mail?

Samantha Brick made the Daily Mail £30Kyesterday (1.5M page views x £20 CPM rate card)= power of social media

— Richard Bloch (@RichardBloch) April 4, 2012

Multiplied by the number of ads = over 100k in revenue for Daily Mail #niceearner #brick

— Richard Bloch (@RichardBloch) April 4, 2012

More Money Questions…

How much money would you need to be given to make everyone hate you for a day on Twitter?

How much more money would you then need to be given to write a further article which perpetuates that hate for a further day?

How much money did Ms Block receive for setting herself up, I wonder?

Hatebait is Rare, Right?

The extreme of this one is, thankfully, relatively rare, yes. It is a near daily phenomenon though.

It’s crude and obvious, blunt and blatant. It is obtuse viral.

It is to linkbait what sledgehammers are to Allen keys.

So, How is Hatebait Different to Linkbait?

Well, the purpose of linkbait is to get links to a specific URL, that’s it.

Haitbait inspires the mob mentality, and may, or may not result in links to a specific URL.

Cleverly crafted and executed linkbait will, most often, not attract such attention. It will always give its target good reason to link to it, that’s its purpose. It will often “fly under the radar”, avoid controversy and, most importantly of all, work. It will attract links.

In writing this I spoke with Lyndon Antcliff, King of the Linkbaiters, who gave great insight into, and had this to say about the Samantha Brick hatebait:

Picking though the bones of this, we can learn a lot of how to re-create a linbkaiting beast.

Carlsberg decided not to make linkbaiters when they realised that there’s already a Lyndon*. But, he does run Linkbait Coaching


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  1. Stuff like this makes me a bit sad. I try to avoid it, but I’ll admit to having seen a few fake account tweets RT’ed in my stream and plenty of mockery… I think I may have briefly been one of the impressions on the original article, though I didn’t stick around

    I guess we are all guilty of jumping on bandwagons at times though, I know I have… later to regret it.

  2. I thought it must have been an April fool they accidentally auto-published two days late. But you’re spot on, poor old Brick was just a big bit of meat on a stick.

    Ever so lightly reminiscent of another post that appeared on the HuffPost some months ago.

    (Ashamed of myself for doing my bit of hating now)

  3. Where did the £20 CPM rate card come from? That sounds rather high for celebrity gossip which generally suffers from low user engagement. Although, since it is the biggest site EVER they could charge that… can’t imagine anyone getting value out of that though.

    1.5m views probably 75% came from overseas which they wouldn’t monetise (while they have a US office, they probably wouldn’t get the same returns), so far less money than £30k.

    Even so… I’ve only come across it today. She obviously wanted to do it – it quickly descended into farce – so what?

    1. The CPM rate card’s purely based on that tweet, I know sites that get a lot less, and also sites that get a lot more. They may or may not monetise overseas traffic, though, given who it is and how ubiquitous they are, I’d be surprised if they didn’t.

      I can’t tell you how tempted I am to respond to your last 3 sentences…

      1. they only have a US sales office… I’m haven’t heard much to say it’s doing particularly well.

        Yeah those are Freudian of the highest order.

  4. If I’ve learnt anything from the time suck that is Reddit it’s that the internet loves a band wagon especially if its a circle jerk of hate.



    It’s so tiresome watching people getting wound up when they’re being blatantly trolled.

  5. Nice earner if they did make that. I wonder if in future people doing paid-for interviews will ask for a cut of the CPM fees instead of a flate rate?

    More to the point though, who the hell is it that’s clicking the adverts? I’ve been online for 20 years now and in that time have clicked on less than 100 adverts. So who the hell’s providing the revenue?

    1. Cheers Craig,

      I’m very similar to you, in that I practically never click on ads. Some ads are paid for simply on impressions mind, not only on clicks, also the scale and, dare I say it, demographic of Mail reader will play a role.

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