Feeds

Supermodel Lily Cole: 'I got a little bit upset by that Register article'

Impossible.com millionaire tells Times mag about taxpayer-backed wishing-well's drubbing

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Millionaire supermodel Lily Cole has told a national newspaper how upset she was by The Register's coverage of her taxpayer-funded wishing well, Impossible.com.

Youtube video of Cole talking about impossible.com

Using Freedom of Information laws, we attempted to discover how the wealthy socialite and globetrotter was awarded £200,000 from the public purse for a website that barely anyone uses, and which replicates free sites like Craigslist. The site is Impossible.com, and it was awarded matched funding by Brit quango Nesta from a Cabinet Office pot o' gold intended to help charities, under the pretext of stimulating the "sharing economy" (sic).

Impossible.com used some of your money to employ Freud Public Relations, splash out on a New York City launch starring Chelsea Clinton and Sean Lennon, and tour the US to promote it.

Picture of a pink unicorn kitty thing

Upset by Reg coverage? Just look at this Unikitty
and think positive thoughts ... think positive thoughts

"I got a little bit upset by that Register article," says Cole, who was interviewed to plug a footwear line on Saturday. The 26-year-old went on to complain about "factual inaccuracies".

For the record, Cole has never complained to us about a single factual inaccuracy, and we make it easy by providing a “send corrections” link on every story. Apart from questioning our estimate of her net wealth – we'd heard £7m, Cole says it's a "fraction" of that – she doesn't elaborate on what these supposed inaccuracies might be.

English-born Cole then sighs: "They definitely didn’t give me an easy time getting the grant."

That's not how we understand things. The FoI requests revealed Cole had been awarded the second £150,000 of her award despite failing to fulfil the criteria. Nesta told us Impossible.com had been released the money for "achieving scale" – despite not actually having launched. That's quite an achievement. When asked if it could define "scale", Nesta failed to respond.

The Times quotes us [paywall] describing Impossible.com as a "desolate and melancholy place". Cole was defiant:

We have invested less than 0.0001 per cent of our budget in thinking about Facebook Likes. Success can only be measured in time. I wouldn’t have spent my own money if there wasn’t real value to come from gift culture.

Since our first story back in March, Impossible.com has benefitted from a chat with Vogue magazine in which she claimed someone gave away his house through the online wishing well. So with all the cash and publicity, how's it doing now?

You can actually see for yourself, here. Impossible receives fewer than a dozen "wishes" or posts a day; and most "wishes" go ignored. (The "most shared wish" on the site has received just four shares.) It's also gathered 3,500 Twitter followers.

Maybe it just needs a little more time. Or a little more of your money? ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.