Archive | April 2010

No. I ‘m her boss…

The scamp that led to the famous Trump and Sugar catchphrase?

FEB 2011 UPDATE: Pleased to announce she of the dozy recruitment consultants was offered a full time role. Which means I should get less calls from dozy recruiters. Which is good, obviously…

Right. Given the irreparable damage that could be done to both businesses in question, I shan’t be naming names, tempted as I am…

A core member of my team is a contractor. She’s bright, sharp, very diligent and highly organised.

Quite the commodity.

I’d love to take her on full-time if and will do my best to as budgets loosen across the financial year. We have an excellent working relationship and I fully appreciate if a full-time role comes along in the interim, I may lose her. In fact, I’ve done everything within my power during her time with us to develop her as I would any member of my permanent staff .

Internal / external training courses, coaching, development, you name it. She’s a member of my team and the back of house payroll / HR / contractual differences makes no difference to the way she’s treated on my watch. As you’d expect, we have an honest, open forthright relationship based on mutual respect and understanding. Somebody pass me a tambourine…

Anyhoo. She asked if she could use me as a reference on her CV. Of course, I was only too happy to oblige. Nearing the end of her contract (and the extension uncertain), she began looking. And I get a call. Then another, then another. All with voicemails asking for Sophie. I even answered one and told the pushy salsey gentleman in question, he had the wrong number. But it didn’t stop there.

Three more calls and I eventually I lose patience and track down the owner of the business. A small, but reasonably well thought of marketing recruitment consultant. By this point, I am a little cross, but her actions only add fuel to the fire.

She lied to me.

Claimed it was a cross-wire coincidence, and she hadn’t worked with my staff member in months. Rather than coming clean, admitting the rather embarrassing, reputation harming incident, she decided the best course of action was to lie and cover it up. But worst of all, she didn’t return any of my calls. She did it via text!

Three weeks later, the same situation rears is ugly wrong numbered head. Two calls this time from a medium to large-sized marketing recruitment agency. Deciding to nip it in the bud, I speak to the recruitment agency in question who absolutely did the right thing.

The honourable gentleman I spoke to explained that the junior data entry clerk had made an error. He did not double-check it, therefore it was his fault. He apologised profusely and asked if there was anything he could do to make up for the error. He accepted responsibility for his actions (applause), just as any good manager / leader should.

In the world of business, we are faced with decisions every day. Some of them small, some big but all with consequences however we act. There are times where withholding information can often help us gain a competitive advantage, but I would advise you think very carefully before lying outright.

They usually come back to bite you on the posterior. And the loss of respect and damage it can do to your reputation can far outweight what may seem like a teeny tiny white lie. As for life in the marketing world, never before has the sentiment behind the slightly outdated words of one of our industries great geniuses ever seemed more true:

‘Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine’. David Ogilvy

Iain G. Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And would advise you be very careful when selecting a recruitment consultant…

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From cradle to grave…

No, not our NHS. I’m referring to the mammoth 90 second spot, that I believe’ll be airing during the Coronation Street ad-break on Friday night. The media agency / ITV must’ve creamed their knicker$…

The ‘big unveil’ of new TVC’s feels like something of a relic these days. I’m not calling time on TV advertising, of course it still has its place and will for many years to come. Nor am I going to give you my thoughts on TV / online convergence. I haven’t had enough coffee and it’ll be nothing you haven’t already heard…

But I am left feeling somewhat cold by this latest Adam & Eve offering for John Lewis.

I get the cradle to grave thing, we’re there for you at every key life stage. I also get the ‘never knowingly undersold’ proposition. But this spot just lacks emotional warmth (or I have ice running through my veins). I didn’t warm to the couple / their family / their journey through ‘life’. I find the music bordering on morbid.

A stark contrast to the stunning ad they ran at Xmas that has combined a stand-out (and very emotionally rich), track; with a perfect slice of emotional Christmas kiddy oriented joy. Whilst I’m sure this’ll do well with the target audience, I can’t help but feeling the music was something of a compromise.

On a more upbeat note, if you want to see how cradle to grave SHOULD be done, then check out this BBH / X-box oldie. A true corker…

Iain G. Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And is hopefully that Waitrose will become his local supermarket if I buy the flat I’ve got my eye on…

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Nostalgia…

Every now and again, it seems like every marketer across our great nation jumps on the nostalgia brandwagon. Tapping into the potentially lucrative (and often latent), fuzzy nostalgic warmth consumers have towards a brand isn’t as easy as it looks. It’s why so many get it badly wrong…

Whilst part of me would love to see a re-make / update of this famous campaign off of the 80’s; part of me thinks that suburban housewife with the skirt that flashes oh so high, should be left well alone as a mark of wife-swapping, 80’s loving, carpet cleaning (not munching), respect…

Iain G. Morrison is a senior marketer in the British tourism industry. And is off to do the shake & vac and put the freshness back…

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THAT’S how Su sees it…

Glee is genius – trash TV everyone can watch.

I commissioned a pitch for a youth campaign recently. One enterprising agency ran some focus groups and during the process, glee came up. I was truly astonished how many teenage boys grudgingly admitted to watching it (but only after the girls waxed lyrical of course, that’d be ‘gay’ otherwise), and how much love there was in the room for our American ‘teenage’ singing and dancing chums.

In my humble, it’s only ever at it’s best when one of two levers are being pulled furiously:

  • Demented ‘teens’ singing their little lungs out
  • The evil twisted genius of Su Sylvester on her missions of destruction

So, from one old hag to another, this is one for the gleeks.

Having just launced on Fox in the US, the new episode sees evil Su do a very faithful homage to Madonna’s Vogue. Thanks to Perez Hilton (as I couldn’t ruddy find it on Youtube), and roll on April 19th when glee returns to our UK tellybox on E4.

Iain G. Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry and is predicting multiple gleegasms will sweep the nation again post April 19th…

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When sorry seems to be the hardest word…

Sometimes, relationships break down.

Some can be saved by arbitration, some are just forever beyond repair. In your personal life, that usually means the splitting of assets, the sharing of friends, finding somewhere else to live, breaking up with your loved one (and the shared future you thought you’d have),  and if you are really unfortunate, a big fat legal bill.

But what happens in the land of business? Who steps in when the agency / client relationship breaks down and the smooth talking suit can no longer paper over the cracks when the work is late and incomplete? When the clients poor behaviour / shoddy briefs can no longer be stomached by anyone in the process?

Well, both parties have similar choices to those that unhappy couple face. Dig in and work through the tough times; reconcile and come good. Or if it’s beyond all hope, go through that painful separation.

Once the love is gone, the assets divided what then? Well, when I was first told of this launch on April fools day, I did wonder if it was a joke. Having dried the tears from my cheeks tonight (after checking I’ve not yet been named), I realise that for many, the third option is plain and simple.

Venting spleen…

Ladies and gentlemen (now play nice), I give you http://www.theagencyisacunt.com and http://www.theclientisacunt.com

Iain G. Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And would remind you all to be sensible when posting opinions on any open forum. Careless whispers n’all that…

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Gingers are like, soooo this season.

Poor Matt Smith.

Following David Tennant into the Tardis must be pretty daunting. But if this trailer is anything to go by, his popularity will be cemented by a hugely increased production budget, enemies new and old, a very attractive ginger Scottish assistant (Amelia Pond, very fairytale), a new Tardis and lest we forget. This seasons must have.

Union Flag military Daleks. Coming to a catwalk / Britain’s next top model near you…

Iain G. Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And thinks the public will warm to Matt Smith. Maybe…

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