Droga5 Would Prefer That Wikipedia Not Mention Its Sydney Office

By Patrick Coffee Comment

Here’s an interesting one from the friendly Australians at Mumbrella.

You probably remember that Droga5 closed its Sydney office last September in what David Droga called “a very difficult decision” and “a bitter pill to swallow.” Mumbrella later wrote a tl;dr post-mortem on the office that didn’t include anything particularly surprising.

The latest development takes it a step further, though: seems that a few interested parties have been going back and forth over the past few months deleting and restoring all references to the now-defunct office and its leaders from the agency’s Wikipedia page.

The sleuths at Mumbrella went through the Wikipedia records to determine that someone whose IP address is located at Droga5 New York erased the following line soon after news of the closing went public: “After two years of operating from a single global office, Droga5 opened a Sydney location in 2008, led by Chief Executive Sudeep Gohil and Creative Chairman David Nobay.” An unknown party based in New Jersey then replaced the line later that same day.

This kept going. Someone in Australia later added this section, citing Mumbrella:

“On September 8, 2015 Droga5 announced it would be shutting its Sydney office in what David Droga described as a ‘bitter pill to swallow’, in closing his its underperforming Sydney office, just two months after the shock departure of executive creative director Steve Coll.”

The pub reports that a user going by WaverlyW then deleted all mentions of the Sydney office from the page after removing them from the agency’s own site. Wikipedia staff told WaverlyW that his/her edits “[appear] to be dealing with a topic with which you may have a conflict of interest,” presumably because he/she is almost certainly a Droga5 employee.

As of this moment, a note at the bottom of the entry reads “This page was last modified on 12 May 2016, at 05:26.” Apparently someone read the Mumbrella story yesterday and restored the above sentence about the Sydney office.

To be clear, this is not some scandal or anything–it’s standard agency stuff. For context, take the time when PR firm Sunshine Sachs (hi guys!) kept removing mentions of client Naomi Campbell’s possibly embarrassing solo album from her Wikipedia page.

Some Mumbrella readers seem to think that the mini-investigation of the edits was a bunch of “nothing to see here” gossip. But we happen to find it kind of fascinating, and editor Alex Hayes agreed, writing: “the fact remains someone within the agency is actively altering a public resource so it no longer reflects the facts accurately.”

Well, sort of. The Wikipedia page currently contains the information about the Sydney office but also includes a header reading, “This article contains content that is written like an advertisement.”

That’s kind of funny, isn’t it?

Also, you already knew this … but never use Wikipedia as an authoritative source for anything.