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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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? ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?