Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/23/ramsay_bt_small_business/

Gordon Ramsay mashes up small businesses for BT

'F*ck off 2.0'

By Christopher Williams

Posted in Small Biz, 23rd April 2007 13:54 GMT

BT has fingered marathon-running potty mouth Gordon "b*llocks, a*se, sh*t" Ramsay as the ideal Michelin-starred gourmet to extol the virtues of social networking to Britain's small business owners.

The tediously sweary gastronome will front a TV advertising campaign in which he'll endure a series of gut-busting computer-related scrapes, all aimed at convincing small businesses to stick to what they do best, and pay BT to do their IT.

In one promo, Ramsay struggles to set up his computer, while his kitchen catches fire in the background.

The groundbreaking marketing move comes ahead of the launch later this week of BT's business to business social networking platform Tradespace. It's live now in trial form. BT's hoping to charge some users £15 per month for extra services, like Skype-style click-to-call.

As with any social networking venture, Tradespace's success is entirely dependent on the users it manages to attract. BT says the plan is for small businesses to have a go-to "showcase" for their own products and services, and the products and services they need.

IBM and Cisco have latterly made moves in business social networking, but are aiming their guns at bigger corporates with white label platforms. And they don't have a craggy chef on board. ®