Writer Claims World’s Largest HR Firm Cloned His Blog For A Contest

The real Turner Barr on the left, and Adecco's "blogger" on the right.

The real Turner Barr on the left, and Adecco’s “blogger” on the right.

Imagine you come up with a pretty good idea for a travel blog — one in which you document your movements around the world while trying out different, interesting jobs — and wake up one day to find that a multi-billion-dollar international staffing firm appears to have copied numerous aspects of your creation, including the name, without even so much as a nod in your direction.

According to Turner Barr, creator of Around The World In 80 Jobs, this is exactly what happened to him when he found out that Switzerland-based Adecco had not only lifted the name of his blog for a contest it was running, but was also using a paid actor pretending to be a travel blogger as the face of the contest, in which eight winners would go globe-hopping while each attempting 10 different jobs.

[NOTE: Turner’s site is temporarily down from the flood of traffic. Here is a cached version of his story.]

“I’ve poured my blood, sweat, tears, energy and money into for almost 2 years,” wrote Turner in a blog post about the situation. “I was both astonished and demoralized to find that my entire brand, image and web personality was swiped for use in a marketing campaign by some massive multi-billion dollar a year company, without ever being asked for permission or acknowledged.”

And it’s not just Turner that sees the similarities between his blog and the Adecco contest. He says people wanting to take part in the Adecco campaign were contacting him because they thought his blog was linked to the contest.

After a friend spotted the Adecco contest on the company’s Facebook page, Turner reached out to the company to find out what was going on. He tells Skift.com that there were subsequent discussions about having him be a part of the promotion but, “The conditions, to me, were unreasonable and would forfeit my main objective… to take control back of my brand, and spread the word so it doesn’t happen to others.”

We reached out to Adecco about the contest and got the following response:

We understand there is concern with the use of the term “Around the World in 80 Jobs,” and we take this seriously. We have worked to resolve this and to create a mutually beneficial solution. And we will continue to do so. In the meantime, our goal remains to inspire young people to find a way to work.