SCOPE: How Not To Do Things

by Will Brand on April 11, 2012 · 8 comments From the Desk of AFC

The SCOPE Art Fair has some work to do on their PR.

This morning we got an email from someone interested in creating a “truthful, informed presence for the SCOPE fair online”. We couldn’t agree more.

Dear Paddy Johnson,

Good morning! My name is James Edwin Hall and am working at SCOPE Art Show directing their social media efforts. One of my goals is create a truthful, informed, presence for SCOPE Art Show online. As an art show that has continued to grow over the years, we have passed through various phases of production. We would like our brand and online presence to be representative of the show’s current level of success and continuing client satisfaction rates.

Unfortunately, there is outdated information on the internet which we would like to remove. Foremost is an article written on June 24, 2010, by Liza Eliano of which is a top hit upon the search of Scope Basel. I was wondering if there was any possibility that you could do me the cordial favor of removing the article from your site?

I thank you in advance for your help and time with this matter.


James Edwin Hall
Media & Marketing

Just to clarify: for really reals? Does SCOPE have any idea how any of this works?

For the record, we wrote that SCOPE exhibitors were complaining because they were. We even quoted the complaints. That really happened, and it can’t get rebranded away.

It was only one small part, however, of a broader message we’ve been trying to convey: SCOPE, for the last few years, has been a terrible waste of time for anyone with any taste whatsoever. People have told us that over and over, in person and in comments, explicitly and implicitly, on the record and off. We have even, as critics, used our secret critical eye powers to determine first-hand that the art at SCOPE is nearly always either embarrassing for the artist or embarrassing for the viewer.

Frankly, when SCOPE has done good things, we’ve generally made a note of it. When it improved its layout and curatorial programs, we led with that. When its founder displayed a keen eye, we wrote about that. Two years ago, we even called SCOPE a “destination fair” when we meant to say “place where you can purchase a sandwich”.

We go every year, in Miami and New York. We’re trying, we really are.

So, some free advice to SCOPE, from folks who are paying pretty close attention: you’ll get better press when you do a better job.


Tim April 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm


Liza Eliano April 11, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Whaaat?! SCOPE you crazy!

GiovanniGF April 11, 2012 at 3:52 pm


Paul Slocum April 12, 2012 at 6:38 am

haha wow, I can see why they’re contacting you — if you Google “Scope Basel” you see this:  They’re fucked!! haha

Paul Slocum April 12, 2012 at 6:42 am

and at this point they’re probably invoking the Streisand effect…

sally April 12, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Are they tearing pages out of back issues of magazines too?

Sapphire Sister April 16, 2012 at 8:47 am

Social media manipulation fail. 

Paul Blart April 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm

He used his middle name to remind you he is from the powerful Edwin family that could crush your skull should you fail to comply. Tremblingly obey and show no negligence!

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