Posts Tagged ‘BBC’
by Gwyn Headley
Paying by bank transfer is much easier than paying by cheque, which is why so many companies now include their bank details — account number and sort code — on their invoices.
That’s reasonable when the recipient is a private individual or another company. It’s not so good when they are published on the fifth biggest website in the country.
To illustrate an article “Bank cheques to be cleared within a day” on their website last Wednesday the BBC used a photograph of a handwritten HSBC cheque, clearly showing a company’s account number and sort code details.
The trouble was they were ours — fotoLibra.com’s.
This was a cheque we’d paid to one of our contributors in 2012, and to add aggravation to outrage she photographed it and uploaded it to Getty Images, who then sold it to the BBC, complete with our clearly visible bank details.
James Cliffe, HSBC’s Head of Business Banking, is no call centre drudge and he took the issue sufficiently seriously to call me direct. HSBC had seen the article shortly after it appeared and immediately called the BBC to complain. The photograph was replaced within the hour.
An account number and sort code is all an unscrupulous individual needs to set up a standing order or direct debit, as Jeremy Clarkson found to his cost when he published his bank details in the belief they only worked one way. He found he was suddenly paying out a £500 direct debit to the charity Diabetes UK.
Clarkson revealed his account numbers after rubbishing the furore over the theft of 25 million people’s personal details. He wanted to prove the story was a fuss about nothing. “The bank cannot find out who did this because of the Data Protection Act and they cannot stop it from happening again,” sighed Clarkson. “I was wrong and I have been punished for my mistake.”
We hold the BBC and Getty Images equally responsible. We expect they know (Getty, that is) they’ve done wrong because there’s no trace of that image on their website today.
We still don’t know what damage we may suffer.
But if HSBC’s big guns are concerned, then we are concerned.
On this morning’s BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme there was an interesting piece about holiday photographs. The interviewees first commented on the vast number of photographs that are taken nowadays, then went on to advise listeners to take fewer photographs and instead to enjoy the moment for what it was. Well actually they urged us to take less photographs, so we corrected their grammar for them.
The piece was directed at amateur photographers, not the pros and semi-pros that make up the fotoLibra membership, but there were still Lessons To Be Learned for us all. For a start, they urged listeners to do what we’ve been asking you to do for years — try and photograph things that are ephemeral and change, such as streetscapes. Photograph your bread. Photograph the baker’s shop. It may not be there next year.
It was worth listening to, and for the next seven days (ending Monday 5th August) you can hear it by clicking here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b037gxx1 Click where it says ‘Listen now 180 mins’ and scroll through to 2:23:56.
Some years ago in Assisi we saw two gay men photographing a stuffed toy bear in front of the cathedral. Intrigued, we asked what was going on. “This is Hector,” they told us. “He’s been photographed in front of the Eiffel Tower, Niagara Falls, Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, Tower Bridge — he’s been all over the world.” And they had a photographic record of his travels. I have a sinking feeling that they went on to publish a very successful book about Hector’s travels.
We never know what’s going to sell. That’s why we don’t impose our tastes on what members upload to fotoLibra. But we will ask this:
- • Don’t photograph sunsets, photograph things seen in sunsets
- • Don’t photograph the Taj Mahal, photograph the hawkers and vendors in the street leading up to it
- • Don’t upload 20 photographs of the same object at fractionally different angles — ‘sisters & similars’, as they’re known in the trade. Upload only the best
- • Please take more photographs of people — not just portraits, but people doing things
by Gwyn Headley
That’s the headline that greeted me when I opened the BBC Home Page just now.
I clicked on the link and I found this.
Mixed emotions, I guess. This is the drum we’ve been beating since we started fotoLibra in 2004, and the media — even the photo press — has steadfastly refused to listen to us.
In desperation we appointed a slick London PR agency, and last week they got us this great feature on the BBC Leeds website.
But the people who place the stories where it matters — on the BBC’s Home Page, for crissake — know nothing about us, despite our daily bombardment of letters, emails, flowers and phone calls.
They’ll write all day about American web sites, but they can’t believe that there’s a British company which would be doing as well as Flickr or Facebook or Picasa or any of the others if we could only receive the same level of international coverage. National exposure would be good. We’re even pathetically grateful for snippets of local coverage.
Facebook has had a movie made about it, already, So, fotoLibra: The Movie. I can see it all now. Obviously Brad Pitt would have to play me, Keira Knightley Yvonne, Daniel Auteuil would play Damien, Llinos’s part would be Uma Thurman, Graham is Colin Firth, and Jacqui? What about Quentin Tarantino?
Why was I looking at the BBC Home Page when I should have been working? Well, I hate to admit it, but we’ve had a little problem with the fotoLibra site, and although it can be seen and used, members and buyers can’t log in at the moment. There’s some sort of corrupted data table; we’re working to restore it and we expect the website will be up and running again by the time you read this.
Apologies if you’ve been affected by any of the issues raised in this blog.