Strumpette’s Amanda Chapel Calls It Quits

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Mon, Oct 8 - 12:43 pm EDT | 11 years ago by
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In announcing her departure as lead voice on Strumpette, the artist previously known as Amanda Chapel says she’s tired, and has made a difference in the fight against hypocrisy in public relations.

The anonymous author, whose favorite target was Edelman, made a parting statement: “Practically speaking, I fought the good fight. I’ve variously made my points. Together, we’ve exposed a few frauds and killed countless sacred cows.”

strumpette logo from strumpette.comI’m ambivalent about Chapel’s departure. As a caricature of a rabble-rousing iconoclast, she stood out from the crowd. Her writing is less verbose than Conrad Black’s, less polite than any other PR blogger, and more interesting than many of them.

‘Her’ anonymity rubbed me the wrong way from the day ‘she’ e-mailed me with her first post. ‘She’ says ‘she stands for honesty, but hides behind the mask of a seductive Italian model. ‘She’ talks about upholding the values that public relations people should represent, but launched bitter, personal attacks against various companies and individuals.

I like everything about what ‘she’ was doing, and nothing about the way ‘she’ approached ‘her’ chosen crusade.

There is a lot of hypocrisy out there. Hopefully, those who continue the fight in ‘her’ absence will borrow more from Bill Maher and Jon Stewart than from Gossip Girl.

Many of Chapel’s think pieces and tirades were well aimed, pointed out serious breeches of ethics, and mocked those who took themselves way too seriously, poking holes in the facades of thought leadership and social media corporate pioneering. For that I was grateful to have ‘her’. Anyone who thinks it doesn’t take a hell of a lot of time, energy, intelligence and stress to make a stir in the blogosphere like Chapel has done doesn’t understand the logistics of blogging and participating in social media.

Chapel worked hard, stayed consistent, and made ‘herself’ heard.

But the singling-out of big whigs and small fry alike for attacks was totally inappropriate, coming from behind the safety of a pseudonym. No good explanation was ever given (that I’m aware of) for the anonymity. In the absence of a good reason, I have to assume it was either cowardice or professional self-preservation, or a combination of the two.

Either way, the anonymity undercut the points that were being made. This isn’t Myanmar, Iran or China. Dissidents don’t disappear in the night.

Not only is it possible to use your real name when acting as an ethics watchdog for an industry, it’s far more effective. Look at Ralph Nader, Phil Edmonston and Jay Rosen.

Otherwise, the question remains: If you’re so confident about your statements, why don’t you stand behind them?

Update: some other posts about Strumpette – Andrew Smith, PRNewser, Listics, Tom Foremski, Geoff Livingston.

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  • Mike Driehorst

    But, Eric! AC/BC quit once before, and then came back. So, who’s to say he/she/they are gone for good. He/She/They could only be taking a break, but drumming up the letter for some traffic?

    Regardless, as you note, there’s been good from Strumpette, but it’s tough to get past the approach, the attacks and other pomp and circumstance.

    Granted, I’ve not regularly read the blog in recent months, so some of my comments maybe out-dated. But, you know, perception is reality.
    – Mike

  • Ike

    I’m not so certain this is a stunt – and the continuation of the site would not be proof of a stunt, either.

    My gut tells me we’ve already had several incarnations of Amandae over the last 18 months. The shrill potty-mouth gave way to some sharp satire, which gave way to some very pointed and well-reasoned think pieces. (Yeah, I wrote one. A piece. I believe it was fairly-well reasoned.)

    This simply might be the passing of another torch, or lingerie, or Zorro mask. Or a flaming Z-back teddy. Who knows.

  • Mike Driehorst

    Here’s riddle: If a character blog looses it primary character, what’s left? (Even if the person/people behind the character change, shouldn’t the character remain?)

    Okay, enough waste of time, back to writing about lead management . . . .

  • Eric Eggertson

    Seems to me has been trying to morph into more of a community salon, where erudite PR people hold forth on various topics, and occasionally slag the high and mighty.

    You don’t need a pseudonym for that kind of site.

  • Richard Becker

    Shocker! No, not really. Most people knew who Amanda was anyway … and it was anonymity, not beauty, that killed the beast.

    Too bad though … it took a long time, but despite my disagreement with most of what she said, I was starting to think of her as a need nemesis.

    Great piece Eric.

  • Ike

    Strumpette never lost the primary character. We just weren’t privy to the change of hands when someone else was pulling the strings.

  • Geoff Livingston

    Good riddance.

  • Pingback: Is This the Real Reason for Amanda Chapel’s Departure from Strumpette? » The Buzz Bin

  • Mack Collier

    “‘Her’ anonymity rubbed me the wrong way from the day ’she’ e-mailed me with her first post. ‘She’ says ’she stands for honesty, but hides behind the mask of a seductive Italian model. ‘She’ talks about upholding the values that public relations people should represent, but launched bitter, personal attacks against various companies and individuals.”

    Exactly. It goes against everything that is right about blogging, and when you can hide behind a fake identity, you tend to say things that you would never say if you had to sign your real name to a post. I mean how talented do you have to be to pose as a hot chick that flirts with readers, and blasts A-Listers? Anyone could build a following by doing that.

  • Larissa Fair

    “…poking holes in the facades of thought leadership and social media corporate pioneering. For that I was grateful to have ‘her’. Anyone who thinks it doesn’t take a hell of a lot of time, energy, intelligence and stress to make a stir in the blogosphere like Chapel has done doesn’t understand the logistics of blogging and participating in social media.”

    I agree with that and think this is also an interesting point, as many of us may be “rubbed the wrong way” by a lot of her/his/their finger pointing and tirades, overall it opened the doors to discussion and conversation.

  • Paul Fabretti

    I’ve never heard anyone moan so much in my bloody life!

    Thank God she has gone!


  • Kelly

    Hey Eric,
    Don’t knock Gossip Girl! ;)

  • Eric Eggertson

    Larissa: Throwing a hand grenade into a crowded theatre can also open the door to discussion and conversation. The problem with constantly attacking to make a point is that the attacks become more memorable than what the person was trying to communicate.

  • vaspers the grate aka steven e. streight

    The Amanda Chapel Team Troll Hoax was a vile pollution of vulgar hate speech by Brian Connolly and his loser pals.

    5 white guys hiding behind an Asian (North Korean) woman’s avatar. Real brave. The new PR? LOL

    I bashed the living daylights out of the Amanda Chapel team trollers on Twitter. If you think they were professionals with good ideas, look at:

    They were merely sycophant supporters of idiot Andrew Keen and his amateurish attack on Cluetrain, called The Cult of the Amateur.

    Champions of Korporate Amerikkka command and control, opera, hierarchy, and greedy exploitation by Enronish CEOS.

    When I explained that they were heralding Oligarchy (rule by hierarchical few) and not Democracy, they freaked.

    The Amanda Chapel cowardly anonymous trolls hate Of the People, By the People, For the People. They call democracy “mob rule” and yearn for North Korean style tyranny.

    They are F bombers and unemployed wankers.

    Check out The Matrix Online Guide to Trolls for full explanation of internet troll types and strategies.

    I sure do miss their juvenile attacks on me, Scoble, Edelmand, and Rubel.

    Ah, the good old days of ferocious blogocombat.

  • Mark Rose

    I don’t get these comments. Did you read the blog? Top big agency people, top academics, head of PR trade groups, PR trade publisher, and many sharp thinkers wrote for Strumpette. They stretched into new territory. Why are you so fixated on some bitchy character you can’t understand. Sometimes the instigator is more valuable than the analyst – especially with this lethargic bullshit PR revisionism. Maybe we’re just too stupid for Strumpette. Maybe Strumpette didn’t know where it was goin but at least it was goin.

  • Geoff Livingston

    @mark A fitting response for one of Strumpette’s minions. And as to your “industry leaders ,” they’ve lead us into the ground to the point that the PR industry is a sham. And Strumpette only made the PR industry seem that much more ridiculous. It’s too bad you can’t see that.

    As for your personality attacks, Mark, there’s old country saying here in Virginia that even this Philly guy can appreciate, “Spot it, you got it.”

  • Eric Eggertson

    Mark: That’s a bit like wondering why people spend so much time and energy critiquing the public speaking and public policy of George W. Bush’s administration.

    It’s because he’s the spokesman for the U.S. government, just like Amanda Chapel is the fictional mouthpiece for Strumpettedotcom. As such, the character was very active on all sorts of blogs, hurling a fair amount of deserved and undeserved abuse at a variety of targets. All the while, the writers at Strumpette must have been giggling like schoolboys telling fart jokes as the invective was being distributed around.

    I can’t imagine why that would cause anyone to not take the writing at Strumpette seriously.

  • Mark Rose

    Eric: You must be really jealous. Your comments are also insulting to Marcia Silverman, CEO, Ogilvy, Jack O’Dwyer, Toni Muzi Falconi, Donald K. Wright, Frank Shaw, David Gallagher, Eric Starkman, on and on… who took the time and expended the effort to engage the industry on Strumpette. When’s the last time you had that kind of firepower contribute to your blog? You can be dismissive and snide because you’re threatened by that, and you don’t have the cajones to push outside your comfort zone, but it really works against you.

  • Eric Eggertson

    Mark: Actually, I don’t feel jealous, but I appreciate your concern for my emotional state.

    As for the quality of writing on Strumpette, I never said I didn’t think there were many well written, provocative pieces posted there. Which makes it all the more strange that anyone felt the need to use a mascot to launch personal attacks at people in the PR industry.

    All I ever said about Strumpette was that the conceit of an anonymous character shifts from satire to cowardice when the attacks get nasty and personal, and the people who write for Strumpette were at least passively supporting that sort of behavior.

    If I call someone out and insult them, I at least do it with my real name.

    Call me snide. Suggest I am without testicles (is there something wrong with someone who doesn’t have cajones?). But I sign my name when I say something.

    That’s more than I can say for whoever writes under the name of Amanda Chapel.

  • Mark Rose

    Geoff: Thanks. We have a saying in Brooklyn: Do you realize how f*#&king stupid you sound? Mark

  • Geoff Livingston

    @Mark We have a saying in DC. New York’s for name-dropping has beens. Especially for PR pros who can’t cut in the greatest bastion of PR in the world… Washington.

  • Eric Eggertson

    Why do I feel like I’m back in elementary school?

  • Geoff Livingston

    OK, E. You are right. It’s your house. I apologize for my comments to Mark. Just p’s me off to see him talk like this here. But the merits of his comments (or lack there of) speak for themselves. Cheers, and be well.

  • Mark Rose

    Because we’re in the cafeteria and someone just started a food fight. I’m going outside to play in the schoolyard. Enough. Washington DC? Please. Does Amtrak go there? Okay, Eric, maybe you have testicles. Can Geoff attest to that?

  • Eric Eggertson

    Mark, is that some sort of cute homo joke? I’m asking seriously, because I can’t tell if you seriously think that calling me gay would be an insult.

  • Ike

    Eric, because this conversation is taking on those qualities. What a fitting tribute to Amanda Chapel, that we have well-considered kudos and gutter-talk on the same page. She shouldn’t be remembered any other way.

  • Annie

    Love the comments thread. This could be the most anyone has talked about Strumpette since the blog launched. I think I read it one day and then I replaced it with LOLcats. Let me know if Strumpette is in my base, killin’ my doodz. That, I would be interested in:)

  • Susan Getgood

    Personally I think the *most* fitting tribute would be to just stop talking about it.

    Don’t we all have more interesting things to do?

  • Mark Rose

    Hi Ike! Can’t sleep. All this pent up Strumpette and nowhere to put it. Eric: Wouldn’t think that being gay is an insult, by any means, would not insinuate same. Seriously. And it’s fine with me if you don’t have testicles.

  • Eric Eggertson

    Mark: I’m cool with that. According to Wikipedia, cajones is Spanish for “drawer” or “wooden box drums”.

    Let it never be said that I am without wooden box drums.

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  • Mark Rose

    Hey, at least you didn’t turn off comments on this post because it went somewhere you didn’t expect, or somewhere you wanted to go. What message do Robert French’s students get by his hysteria, turning off comments on InfOpinions? His post about Strumpette is nasty and personally driven, with an image of a crack whore and fat guy and he doesn’t expect a reaction? Why doesn’t he tell the real story of the origins of her personal attacks on Amanda?

  • vaspers the grate aka steven e. streight

    The “Amanda Chapel” Hoax was a hose by ungifted twerps who only know how to sling slurs and insults with foul junior high school logic and language.

    Amanda ie 5 unemployed slobs, was mainly concerned with attacking the blogosphere, Cluetrain User Empowerment, and the worldwide democracy revolution.

    To hate blogs, bloggers, and participatory media is not any boost to humanity.

    Cowardly anonymous trolls are no benefit to anyone, just sleazy and tasteless.

    Goodbye Brian Connelly and ilk. Hope you find a real job soon. Try Mary Kay.

  • vaspers the grate aka steven e. streight

    Robert French is cool and he did a great job exposing the sadism and silliness of the Amanda Hoax.

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  • Webconomist

    The Ac Construct is back and as wild as ever…has been for a while!

  • Dave

    “The Ac Construct is back and as wild as ever…has been for a while!”

    No – it’s just Brian Connolly being bored again and seeing what kind of crap will stick to the wall “this” time. The only legacy he will every be known for is the garbage he can stream into people’s inboxes and voicemail – there is no legitimacy whatsoever in anything he writes or claims.

    @BC – feel free to sue me. There is TONS of documented proof, and I can’t wait to see the diatribe you’ll funnel into my email. LOL

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