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Apprentice candidates de-optimised for TV?

Henry Elliss
Henry Elliss
Managing Director
5 June 2009

Over the past few weeks I, like a lot of people, have been watching the BBC’s Apprentice with great interest. As a bit of a social media buff (I wouldn’t dare call myself a guru!) I’ve always been very keen on seeing what sort of discussions are going on online around the various candidates. But what Apprentice fans won’t be seeing (at least at the moment) is any of this year’s candidates’ online CVs, social networking profiles or personal websites – they’ve all been removed!

It’s long been known that the BBC puts a tight binder in place to restrict potential apprentices from spoiling the results before they’re shown – all but the final boardroom meeting are filmed months in advance. But now it seems that the BBC are being even tighter on potential leaks, and getting candidates (or possible asking the social networks directly?) to remove their profiles from sites like Facebook and LinkedIn

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I suspect that one the major motivators behind the move is to make it harder for hacks and journalists to dig up dirt on the candidates during the course of the show – though that old journalist staple, “a friend of the star” is still finding their way through! But it’s very interesting to see what lengths they have gone to in order to remove any traces of the candidates online. In the interests of this blog post, I put every single one of this year’s candidates in to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and didn’t get a single positive result. That’s some pretty impressive social-media cleansing.

I remember back in 2007 I was able to find Naomi, Simon and Tre on Facebook before the series has ended, so it seems that rules have been tightened since then. But what lengths have the BBC actually gone to, and will all these profiles and sites start reappearing after the series is over? I guess that as usual, only time will tell. But for now, roll on Sunday and the big finale!

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