As I reported on Saturday, the swell of disquiet over Selfridges' apparently unauthorised use of Chris Sievey's Frank Sidebottom likeness built into a perfect storm that breached the media dam by Monday morning.
The story has all the right ingredients: a big company riding roughshod over the little man; an online community of offended and willing fans ready to mobilise; a celebrity (Jon Ronson was on the phone to Selfridges to complain); a viral transmission of the story via Twitter and other networks - the lot. This blog alone had over 5,000 hits in just over 36 hours as my previous post was shared across the interwebs.
In turn, larger websites like digitalspy.com picked up the vibe, and their feed found its way out. Local news sites started to get interested and finally, the BBC picked it up, interviewing the principals on the Sidey side for both local radio and their regional TV news programme. In the meantime, the store's Wikimedia page had the story added and the Independent's online edition was swamped with comments.
While the webz were humming, Chris' partner Gemma Woods had been contacted by Selfridges' Head of Window Display and Merchandising chaperoned by a representative from Messrs Sue, Grabbit & Runne, and a day of talks appears to have concluded with the store offering a sincere apology, a promise to credit Chris on the windows and in-store, and an offer of a £10,000 donation to his estate in lieu of use of the images. That sounds like Fairness For Frank, and a job well done for his family, friends and fans. And to think that a story that only came to light on Thursday when Selfridges launched their Xmas 2010 window could be turned around in a long weekend is a testament to the positive power of social networks.