LONDON: Cambridge Analytica’s shut down following months of controversy provoked skeptical reactions on social media from comms and marketing pros.
Most said they believed the data firm would merely relaunch under a different brand.
Other Twitter users resurfaced earlier reports that many of the data analytics company’s key players, such as former CEO Alexander Nix and financiers Rebekah and Jennifer Mercer, have already formed a new company called Emerdata.
However, Gizmodo reports the chair of the firm’s parent company, SCL Group, said a rebranding would be "futile," citing internal documentation.
The data firm is accused of improperly obtaining and misusing Facebook data of 87 million Americans, information it used for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election.
But the company continued to defend its practices and said in a statement: "Over the past several months, Cambridge Analytica has been the subject of numerous unfounded accusations and, despite the company’s efforts to correct the record, has been vilified for activities that are not only legal, but also widely accepted as a standard component of online advertising in both the political and commercial arenas."
Cambridge Analytica retained Clarence Mitchell, a former director at public affairs shop JBP. He was also a former BBC royal correspondent and spokesperson for the family of missing child Madeleine McCann. Its previous PR support, North 6th Agency, cut ties with the company shortly after the Facebook revelations.
The Twitter verdict
Deirdre Latour, GE’s former comms chief
This is just a reputation play because companies don’t want to be associated with the firm. This is a wizard of oz move and they are clearly just setting up shop behind a new green curtain. https://t.co/b1ag6m2k2M— Deirdre Latour (@DeirdreLatour) May 2, 2018
Mordicai Knode, marketing manager at Tor.com Publishing, a MacMillan Company
The ethical bankruptcy of the "hey, we tricked them with the fine print fair & square" argument shows that we need to pass laws protecting citizens. Corrupt businesses will eagerly do The Wrong Thing & hope they don't get caught. The legality of it only matters to the post-hoc.— mordicai (@mordicai) May 2, 2018
Christopher Zullo, owner of PinPoint WebSolutions
Let me explain Cambridge Analytica data problem from professional standpoint. Facebook allows advertisers to target from a wide variety of demographic data they own. Cambridge analytica captured that data with deceitful apps to market beyond facebook platform to get trump elected— ?? Christopher Zullo (@ChrisJZullo) May 2, 2018
David Carroll, associate professor of media design at Parsons School of Design at The New School
Of course, I end up delivering breaking news to #AdAgeSurvivalSummit attendees during our panel of #CambridgeAnalytica announcement of insolvency. No one in this room would hire them and that’s their problem.— David Carroll ?? (@profcarroll) May 2, 2018
The Mercers, the directors of #CambridgeAnalytica and SCL along with an Erik Prince associate set up new companies recently with active filings. Doubtful these people are actually throwing in the towel. https://t.co/YTCu8kY0v8— David Carroll ?? (@profcarroll) May 2, 2018
Eric Schmeltzer, former press secretary for Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign
Look forward to Cambridge Analytica reorganizing under bankruptcy and relaunching under "Bambridge Banalytica: We're Totally Not Cambridge Analytica."— Eric Schmeltzer (@JustSchmeltzer) May 2, 2018