The Apprentice is returning tonight at 9pm on BBC One, this year not only have we lost Margaret (who we still miss) but also now Nick, who has been replaced by the remarkably scary Claude Littner. Claude is a business executive who has a long standing business relationship with Sugar, and is well known for his appearances on the Apprentice, with his steely eyed stare, and no nonsense nature- you may remember from last year he yelled at Solomon to get out of the room because of his ‘disgraceful’ business plan, which led to an entertaining moment where Solomon got flustered and couldn’t find the door to leave the room.

Ready for business: Karren Brady, Lord Sugar and Claude Littner

Photo from the BBC Website

The Apprentice winner of 2014, Mark Wright, was criticised heavily last year for his oversight with his domain name. If you’re familiar with the show, you will be aware the candidates go through a series of tasks, where each week viewers watch one or two contestants get fired by Sir Alan Sugar. At the end of this process, during the semi- final, those who have survived the firing process present their business plan to a few well known business partners or acquaintances of Sugars, and get heavily criticised in the process before Sugar decides who goes forward into the final to present their business to a whole host of industry experts.  Last year, it was shown that Wright did not have the domain name registered for his SEO business that he named ‘Climb Online,’ the domains of and .com were already registered to actual climbing companies. It was probably a better idea for Wright to have picked out his company name pre- filming and iron out the details of reserving the domain and social media handles- since he was proposing a marketing and digital agency business plan, you would have thought he would have had the foresight to do this! Since the show he is using the web address and argued he could not have known the domain was taken as candidates aren’t allowed to use the interenet during the process to research their business plans- in response to this, we say, if you’re competing to win quarter of a million pounds and the partnership of Alan Sugar, I think we’d do our research beforehand! It is also worth noting that hyphenated domain names are much harder to make work than those without them, and they generally sell for one tenth the cost of those without hyphens.

As a digital agency, we spend our time working with clients to produce websites which are well designed, responsive, on message for their brand, with content and social media which will promote their brand, products and services. We work tirelessly to code and build these websites, testing them and ensuring they will do well online with their SEO and backlinks- anyone ordering a website will never believe how much work goes into it! It can sometimes then, be hard to watch the Apprentice where three people stuck in London traffic grasp at straws to pluck a brand identity out of the air, and then all go and yell at a web designer to produce the website they thought up as they’re going along. They think not of their audience, they don’t consider any competitors they know of in the market, and they clearly don’t consider any content or branding as they run around London like headless chickens attempting to market their product. The show shows web designers as people who you can sit next to, telling them what colour background you want, and within a night they will have produced you fully functioning site. Start up businesses don’t have the opportunities these contestants face, pitching their products to industry giants, and being able to create a sample product, website, branding and everything else in one night- the show needs to be a tad more realistic as well as keeping the entertainment factor, For us, the format of this part of the show does need to be adjusting- however other parts of the show, such as the bizarre behaviour of the competitors- like the infamous marketing one estate agent did with ‘Pantsman’ to advertise cereal- are always something we look forward to, if you want a laugh; have a watch below.

We are excited to see tonight’s episode to see what will happen in the boardroom- we’re very glad we’re not the ones facing Claude- and wish the candidate Ruth Whiteley who lives in our native Harrogate, the best of luck! (Although reading quotes from the candidates- we’re sure Brett Butler-Smythe who says, “I pride myself on not having any negative or bad traits: they’re all good, they’re all positive” is a lovely modest young man.)