A weasel, as all good copywriters know, is a word or expression that gives you a misleading impression of something, usually good, without actually lying.
Common ones are "virtually" and "up to".
Anyhow. yesterday the one I love brought me a jar of Auntie Val's Orange and Blueberry marmalade. Being a sad old person I read the ingredients, which stressed that the contents are entirely natural. They include natural blueberry flavouring. This phrase had me confused. Is that blueberries or isn't it? If it isn't how is it natural? Was a weasel at work?
People selling get-rich quick stuff on the Internet don't bother with weasels - they just lie. All politicians should wear weasel suits every day. So should the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which has just classified pizza as a vegetable. They have done so because the people who supply the gunk that goes into pizza spend millions, maybe billions, on lobbying - or bribery as we used to call it.
When historians come to explain the reasons for the ultimate decline of the West I think eating will come high on the list, just after education.
In the second world war I remember lots of posters headed Dig for Victory, encouraging people to grow their own vegetables. It is impossible to grow pizza, but here in Britain we are busy digging for defeat - with our teeth. And we're doing pretty well. British women are now the fattest in Europe. Can we catch up with the U.S.?
One question is this: are McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Burger King and so on really our secret weapon? Even in China, home of the world's best cuisine, some have taken off. Will these clever young people out-eat us and become as good for nothing as we are? I greatly fear not, because they are as keen on education as we are not.
On the matter of education, here's a deal for you. I have not been pestering you about EADIM lately, mostly because I've already sold either 22 or 23 seats out of 40 (there is some dispute about this among the troops).
I must thank the gallant folks who've already started ponying up without knowing who will speak next year for their faith in me. As ever, everything is subject to change. However I can say that one speaker will be Howie Jacobson, co-author of Adwords for Dummies who seems to be very good at getting people to come up with great ideas to promote their businesses. I am also talking to Professor Srikumar Rao, author of Happiness at Work - and a stunningly inspiring speaker.
You are going to need all the ideas and inspiration you can get in the next 12 months, I promise you, so I have also persuaded an old associate, Ian Mulingani, to come and talk about some very interesting stuff.
These include how to survive (and eventually do even better than before) when almost your entire customer base vanishes in a matter of weeks. And how to turn your customers into your salesforce. It's a lot cheaper than advertising - and he has the numbers to prove it. Ian and his colleagues work with some of the world's biggest brands on some astonishingly complex things - everywhere from here to Mongolia. Really.
Anyhow, everyone is about to stop everything for Christmas, so here's the deal on EADIM. It's not as good as the last one, but you can save £600 off the full cost of £2,000 plus VAT - with 10 monthly payments.
You can see what last year's event was like at www.eadim.com. If you're interested or have any questions, email me, Drayton@draytonbird.com. The deal ends when the year ends. No exceptions.
Anyhow, on the matter of education dedicated readers may have noticed with relief that I have not been promoting my EADIM event for a few weeks. The reasons are simple: I have sold 24 out of 40 places, and thought it would only be polite to give a you a clue about who might be speaking.
Well, these things are, as they say, subject to change, but so far everyone who has been invited to speak in the last four years has been kind enough to turn up. I expect next October that our faculty will include Howie Jacobson, co-author of Adwords for Dummies, and also one ofmy own long-time associates, Ian Mulingani.
I shall say more about Howie later, but if you are interested in how to survive a catastrophic recession and come out grinning like a a hyena you can learn a lot from Ian, whose clients include several of the world's most famous brands. One of his many secrets is a way of turning your customers into your salesforce. It's a lot cheaper than advertising, believe me.