Only six or so weeks after writing about The Red Bullog being a new and exciting addition to the online world of Formula One, site owner Dan has had to close the blog. Yesterday evening, Dan posted his final farewell to the site, explaining the reasons behind the closure. It turns out that Red Bull weren’t overly impressed with the use of the Red Bull logos and feared the site may cause confusion to fans who could presume it to be an official site of Red Bull rather than a passionate fan’s creation.
Whilst I don’t know the full details behind Red Bull’s issue with The Red Bullog, they decided to write to Dan and give him an option to either sign an agreement with Red Bull or close the site. The agreement would have restricted Dan’s ability to use images and other such material, and because his content would have been under scrutiny, one cannot blame Dan for the decision he has made.
It is with regret that this will be the last ever post on The Red Bullog. Having pondered over the contents of this letter for the past few hours, it has severely knocked any enthusiasm I had. What began just six months ago as a labour of love, quickly developed into a time consuming obsession to provide Red Bull Racing fans with something worth reading and I hope I that I have been successful in my quest to do so. Dan Cross, The Red Bullog.
I find it a great shame that Red Bull have taken this decision. While they are probably well within their right to do what they have done, I feel the spirit in which this happened deplorable. Red Bull have had, in the past, an attitude towards their ventures that is refreshing and upbeat. With Dan and The Red Bullog, Red Bull had a fan who wrote well and praised the team on numerous occasions. Dan’s unofficial site was full of useful information and clearly the creation of someone who was passionate about the team’s continued presence in Formula One. Red Bull should be embracing people like this, not pushing them away.
Dan has promised not to disappear, but losing a site that was so attentively cherished by its author and visitors is not a pleasant way to start a season of blogging. I just hope that one day, Red Bull realise that errors in judgment like what has happened here will only push people away from them and away from their products.
Red Bull are behaving like men in grey suits rather than living up to their image. Only a complete moron could mistake the Red Bullog for an official site. Dank is giving Red Bull a stack of good publicity for no return and instead of thanking him they threaten him.
They are worried about unofficial sites negatively affecting their reputation yet the only thing that has ever appeared on that site that has done so is their own letter and Dank’s understandable response to it.
Thanks for all the attention you gave to The Red Bullog when it was up-and-running, Ollie. Really meant a lot to me that it got some recognition and spurred me to continue writing through some of the gloomy times.
I’ve now completely pulled the plug on it as I received a massive spike in visitor numbers and some of the discussion regarding it was beginning to get out of hand and I didn’t want it to jeopardise my position any further.
Also thanks Steven for your level-headed comments. I feel I made the right decision, even if I do feel a bit ‘empty’ at the moment!
I’ve been in sales and marketing for 10 years now, I even started out with the help of the FIA, and I have never seen a company close down an advertising channel that was doing their marketing for free…
Red Bull really ticked me off with their actions against The Red Bullog. I even tried to find a way to tell them of my disgust but their websites seem to be guided towards purchasing more of their products and I couldn’t find an email, just a postal address to send a complaint to. I guess they are not open to feedback at all!
Do you know where we can email our complaints to? I’m sure they’d see reason when they understand just how many F1 supporters they turned against their own team with their ‘grey-suitedness’.
Dank – hang in there, there are a lot of people supporting you out here.
Bugger, I was just about to head over there & start reading the site too, after Ollies plug the other week.
Does seem an odd reaction from RB to it though. I would expect that from McLaren or Ferrari rather than Red Bull.
I found the contact us box on redbull.com and felt compelled to leave them a rant.
I can understand where the Red Bull’s concern is coming from. But … I can’t understand the steps they have taken. They could have simply asked for the Red Bull logo to be removed from the header or better – have that logo linked to their official website – either Red Bull or Red Bull Racing … Then perhaps send Dan a copy of they logo manual to help him to make sure that the logo if ever used is used properly … that is what I would do if someone was promoting my brand free of charge on the internet. On top of that I would include big thank you and invitation to some event hosted by my brand …
I think that Dank could be frustrated about that, but what I understand is that his impressive job worked against him, unfortunelly.
The site is so good and well written and designed, that the guys from the team fear for some confusion with the official site. Or, who knows, they are planning to do an own blog to the team, as Renault has successfully doing in the last seasons…
There´s nothing to do with logo or something else, I think!
Now, I´m not sure that they are so cool anymore…
So average from redbull, I really enjoyed that blog.
Strange hardly covers RB actions.
Red Bull’s logo is plastered over everything from extreme sports, air racing and all forms of auto racing, are The Suits at RB going to track down each and every blog/news article that posts RB logos and issue cease and desist orders?
I have my doubts, which raises the question, why did they chose the route they did with a well written blog by an ardent fan of the team?
Guess I better go thru my archives and purge all the RB logos and related images.
Nah, screw’em. Bring it on RB, I have Fair Use and the Electronic Frontier Foundation on my side.
It’s a bit like Ecclestone proclaiming he has the rights to the letter ‘F’ and the number ‘1’ being placed next to each other in that order. What a load of, well, bull. 😀
Of course, Red Bull do own their logo, as does Ecclestone his. I just meant that this whole saga is ridiculous – Dank was working in Red Bull’s favour, not against.
Great comments by all, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on this.