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Who Was The IT Illiterate Behind Click Frenzy?

By David Richards | Wednesday | 21/11/2012

Grant Arnott, the front man for ClickFrenzy and when he has time, The Media Pad and Power Retail, loves telling anyone who will listen how good he is at "human transformation" and "all things digital".

Now in one fell swoop his reputation is in tatters after his latest "big idea," a 24 hour shopping site, fell in a heap with customers left clicking their mouses in desperation as they were unable to access his ClickFrenzy web site.

Arnott, a resident of Melbourne whose companies are believed to have netted close to $2.5M from his ClickFrenzy venture, describes himself as a visionary and enthusiastic businessman who tells retailers that he has the skill set to create marketing programs that leave a "lasting impression on target audience".

Grant Arnott the man behind ClickFrenzy

Last night he left a lasting impression with millions of consumers.

News Ltd even went as far as "sacking" ClickFrenzy.

Under a picture of Donald Trump, famous for his Apprentice TV show, News Ltd ran a screaming headline "You're Fired, We Sack ClikFrenzy".

News Ltd went on to say "'We've officially sacked Click Frenzy. The online shopping bonanza was an unqualified failure.

"Click Frenzy, now better known as #clickfail, couldn't do the job. So we've stepped in."

It was supposed to be "the sale that stopped the nation" but instead it was the sale that crashed the internet.

National sales event Click Frenzy opened for business at 7pm AEDT last night and its host website crashed moments after it began.

News Ltd also reported that Danny Bishop, creative director at IMG Sports Technology Group, did the sums and believes organiser Grant Arnott and his team may have taken in between $1 million and $2.5 million from participating retailers before the sale started.

Online advocate Geordie Guy said the Click Frenzy "mess" seemed to occur because marketers were focused on "excitement generation and personal information gathering" rather than the technical side of servicing the demand.

"It's not really clear if the planning was actually that bad, or if the actual website and sales were a secondary priority to an advertising and information slurping exercise," he said.

Arnott, who was not taking calls today after openly spruiking media engagement prior to the event that was suppose to mirror the famous US Cyber Monday event, claims that he has spent more than a decade generating targeted, effective communications across multiple platforms in various markets.

Companies linked to the doomed ClickFrenzy include Power Retail and Media, both are companies fronted by Grant Arnott.

In one comment on his web site he claims "our objective is to improve the business of our customers via the intelligent use of media".

Now the media has turned on Arnott and his doomed venture.

Asher Moses writing for Fairfax Media wrote "the Click Frenzy bonanza was a marketing exercise run by technical amateurs who appeared more concerned with slurping up Australians' personal information than offering hot deals, experts say."

Every aspect of this endeavour could have been anticipated. A simple bit of maths by someone who understands traffic and retail customer behaviour could have told you that you'd need to do something special

The Click Frenzy website went down as soon as the 7pm sale began and within minutes the websites of Myer, Dick Smith, Harvey Norman and many others had also been knocked offline or slowed to a crawl.

The #clickfail hashtag quickly trended on Twitter.

Between 6pm and midnight last night "about two thirds of the participating sites had issues, which is not good", Melbourne IT CTO Glenn Gore said to the SMH.

Gore said some sites took "minutes to load a page" and Myer was the worst performing, followed by other big brands like Dick Smith, Jeans West, Katies, Quicksilver, Kogan and Universal Music. He said big international retailers had response times in the milliseconds indicating the local brands just weren't investing enough in technical capacity.

In response to claims by event organisers that they were prepared for 1 million users, Gore said "the evidence says they weren't".

Arnott describes himself as an Australian business publishing veteran who started his business life in an apartment on St Kilda Road. Tiring of the politics and difficult commute from bedroom to home office, he claims that he moved on to set up Media Pad which he claims delivers innovative thinking, quality content and value.

I wonder if the retailers whose web sites crashed last night still think that Arnott is an online messiah with vision.


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