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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Which of these out-of-touch liars and incompetents would you prefer to rip you off? Plus a Eureka moment: would this interest you?

My writing was greatly influenced by 17th and 18th century writers. I don't think English has ever been better written.

In a column I wrote for Marketing in December 1997 I quoted Dryden, "When I survey life, 'tis all a cheat; yet fooled by hope, we favour the deceit".

He was writing in the time of Charles II, when things were much worse than now unless you were running things. But Britain is still run by "them" and they still are a bunch of rogues who live in a different world.

This was hilariously illustrated in Richard Littlejohn's column the other day. If you don't like Littlejohn because you don't like the Daily Mail's politics, you are missing a very funny writer.

In this column he imagined leaders of all parties being quizzed by Jeremy Paxman. None have ever had proper jobs; they all - no matter that the party - went to the same universities, almost all took the same degrees and they are all on the fiddle. O.K., this is not Italy or Nigeria, but they are a depressing crew, liars every one. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/columnist-322/Richard-Littlejohn.html

A clever touch in the column was the sly suggestion that Paxman, like most big media figures, is pretty detached, too.

The other day his column was headed "HOW MUCH to watch Eric Pickles eat his weight in sausages?" with a picture of Porky Pickles' face. This led into: "If I was bunging the Conservatives a quarter of a million quid, I'd expect a great deal more than an intimate bowl of pasta with Sam and Dave".

That's a pretty good way of saying what we all know. These buggers are up for sale - or would be if you could trust them to keep their word.

Now we have the fiasco of the idiot minister Francis Maude who suggests it would be a good idea to have a jerry can of petrol in the garage, creating an entirely predictable panic and a not entirely unpredictable tragic accident.

Your starter for 10: guess who his daddy might have been. Well done! He was a Tory cabinet minister. Now guess who Francis worked for when he worked - if you can call it that. You got it: investment banks.

If you want to know what kind of fiddles he got up to, look him up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Maude. Note the creepy reason why he does no voluntary work: he thinks his political contribution is enough (More than enough for him, it seems: Kindly note his ingenious housing arrangements).

Now ask yourself how good he is at any kind of work. An entire country in panic. A mother seriously injured. Yet he hasn't even been fired when he should probably be prosecuted.

Winston Churchill said democracy was the worst possible form of government except for all the others. One sometimes wonders, one really does.

New e-books being gestated

I don't know about you but my life is bedevilled by so much to do and so little time - plus the fact that I fear my colleagues sometimes suspect - not unreasonably - that I am a bit crazy.

Carol, who works with me, has been looking for a couple of very long memos I knew I had tucked away somewhere, as I want to turn them into e-books.

One is How to be a creative director.

The other is How to do a winning presentation.

The creative director one has yet to be found, but Carol found the presentation one on Friday.

If any of you find either subject interesting, let me know. I think I am quite qualified.

I'm not sure "gestated" is the right word. Resuscitated?

For those of you who were interested, I shall be running seminars at the end of May in Bristol again.

One on Integrated Marketing, and one on Copy, as these were what got most votes when I asked a while ago.

As usual I shall send out a torrent of short videos to give you an idea of the content of each in advance.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

The unsung marketing genius: another breed of Madman

Would you like to know how one man managed to make marketing money work about ten times harder than it should?

Well, there is a new book out called "Changing the world is the only fit work for a grown man," by Steve Harrison.

I have been kicking myself that I didn't know more about this man - and so should you if you don't read this book.

I cannot recall anything as well researched or written about any subject or person in the advertising business. Not a duff sentence. And what pictures! Even his old 1960s offices look damnably cool today.

But the reason I should have known about the man is that he was doing stuff 50 years ago - perfectly - which foreshadows so much of what people are doing today - imperfectly in most cases.

But doing so with the most extraordinary wit, panache, commitment - and above all results.

I knew of him and some of his advertising. But I didn't realise what a trailblazer he was. What a fool! I could have learned so much.

His name was Howard Luck Gossage. They called him The Socrates of San Francisco: they don't go for understatement on the West Coast.

But he really was something else.

He was integrating marketing in the most imaginative ways possible. He was using what I can only call social media. He harnessed PR to the most amazing effect. He was even using advertising in a way that we now think of as "interactive".

He turned down the Volkswagen account that did so much to make Doyle Dane Bernbach famous.

His dedication to doing the best or nothing was downright alarming.

To one of his clients, winemaker Paul Masson, he said "I don't like your advertising." Masson said, "But you're doing it."

"That's why I want to resign the account." And he did.

He was decades ahead of his time.

And he was bigger than advertising. His circle included writers like Tom Wolfe and John Steinbeck (who he had working for Rover Cars). He championed Marshall McLuhan, famous for the remark, "the media is the message". His ads helped save The Grand Canyon.

Hot creative agencies today - like Goodby, Silverstein and Crispin, Porter + Bogusky - got their inspiration from his thinking. I wish I had studied him more, and now I have.

Whatever ability I have in this business I have gained through study. This is a book to study. And clearly Steve, who built and sold a highly successful agency, studied Gossage and applied his principles in a lot of his own work to remarkable effect.

David Ogilvy once told me that the secret of success in this business was charm. Gossage had it by the oodle.

To be honest, not everyone will appreciate just how good this man was. But then a lot of people think McDonalds is good food.

You can see some of his ads here: http://www.lacreativeclub.com/gossage.html.

But get the book. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Changing-World-Only-Work-Grown/dp/0957151500.

Do it now, the minute you finish reading this.

Never too late for me. And never too soon for you.

And please don't wonder for a minute: I am not an affiliate.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

What makes it all worthwhile? The people. People like Matt Kahn

Twenty odd years ago an American writer came to me looking for a job.

He was called Matt Kahn.

He showed me his work, and I thought he was pretty good. One piece impressed me so much that I use it as an example of good copy to this day.

He had the look of a boozer, though. (Having been brought up in a pub, I tend to spot these things.)

I asked him about it. Can't recall the exact words, but he denied it. So I hired him. He was indeed a pretty good writer - and just as keen on the drink as I thought.

But then again, I have been known to raise the odd glass myself.

Matt died far too young - in his late forties, I think - but not forgotten.

My friend Steve Harrison wrote to me today about him.

"When I visited Derek Robson in San Fran (Derek's someone else who worked with us) the person we reminisced about most was Matt Kahn. I told him my favourite story.

Matt left us to work as Creative Director at some place like Brann.

He was there about 12 months when the MD came to him and said, "Sorry Matt but the numbers aren't looking good. We need to make up 40 grand or so, which means you need to let two or three junior to middle people go. Can you give me their names before the end of the week?"

Matt pondered this one long and hard. But didn't venture his list of names. At 5.30 the MD stopped by the bar where Matt was finishing off the session he'd probably started at around 1.00pm.

"So, Matt, have you got those names for me?" says the MD.

"Oooh man, I dunno, Is this reeaaally necessary" ventures Matt pulling that tight-eyed grimace of his.

"'Fraid so" says the head suit.

"How much was it again?"

"Forty grand, Matt. Minimum"

"Ok, says Matt, I've got it. I've got your 45 thousand"

"Great" says the MD. "Give them to me first thing Monday, will you?"

"No need. You can have 'em now. They're 'Matt' and 'Kahn'."

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

"I don't care what you say as long as you spell my name right" - The glories of marketing dyslexia, and what I think about social media

I've never mentioned this, but the radiant Chloe who keeps me in line suffers from slight dyslexia.

Happily this doesn't stop her doing a great job and bossing me around with great enthusiasm, undiminished by my brainless incompetence.

So I was glad today to see that I'm not the only fool on the block.

About three weeks ago I went to do a video interview with E-marketing News. I haven't seen it all yet, but they've just put up something I said about social media among other things.

The name of the guilty party is Peter Middleton, and what's amazing is that this is the second time he has interviewed me.

The whole experience must have been too much for him - so he renamed me Drayton Byrd.

He said the interview as a whole was very good and he's probably corrected the mistake by now, but you can see the clip about 6 mins 10 secs into this: http://emarketingnews.tv/?Ref=email&dm_i=87U,R12G,19IRF3,26LAP,1

By the way, do you think I could charge higher fees if my name was Byrd?

Friday, 23 March 2012

Big surprise at the Caples Awards

They gave me a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Very kind of them as I once wrote they were the silliest award of all.

That's because they don't take results into account - the thing John Caples was obsessed with all his life.

My partner Marta had a conversation with a man who did a very good charity campaign. "How much money did it raise?"

"Oh, we weren't interested in raising money," he replied.


Anyhow, here's a little self-indulgence: a picture of my elder son and my youngest daughter with me.

Next week, some comments from David Ogilvy.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

A saint who moves among us. How doth she love herself? Let me count the ways… You might like to light a joint before reading the last bit

What follows is part of a heartfelt message from Rachel Elnaugh, who won fame as founder of Red Letter Day, an internet business that went broke.

She has reinvented herself as a mentor etc., teaching other people what she knows. Self-doubt and modesty are clearly not on her agenda judging by what follows. And judging by what follows that, nor is coherence.

"I am asking you to call on every single person who I have helped over the years to help me out in return."

"All those people whose events I travelled miles to speak at for no fee, the entrepreneurs in moments of dark despair who emailed me, and to whom I sent words of encouragement and support, the people to whom I gave complimentary tickets to come to my events and workshop.  Even invitations to be a guest at the BBQs at my home.  The millions worldwide who have been entertained by Dragons' Den, the tens of thousands in the audiences who gained inspiration and advice from my talks and seminars, the thousands who read my book and found great solace at a difficult time in their life, the hundreds who came to me for free mentoring at The British Library Business Centre.  The testimonials, the endorsements, the promotion and the interviews I gave to help people get publicity for their causes over the years."

I was slightly concerned when she said her latest venture would be far bigger than Red Letter Day, which went broke for a tidy old packet. Anyhow it seems Rachel is involved in something called The Big Om. Here is what that is, in a 138 word paragraph. You can pause for breath whenever you feel like it.

THE BIG OM started as a vision over 30 years ago on a mountainside in New Mexico, a vision of thousands of people celebrating human evolution, chanting the sacred sound of the universe - the OM - together and causing such a powerful vibration, the whole world feels it as an undeniable blast of healing, all backed up in a spectacular display of light and sound by state of the art electronic dance music, the world's finest DJ's, free-runners, tai chi masters, street dancers, gurus and me, Barefoot Doctor, doing the unique shamanic crowd-working, sound-healing experience I've developed over the decades and honed in Ibiza over the past few years, all set in an Ibiza super-club environment, starting at Wembley, London on 12.12.12, as for me, that's the navel of the world and traveling out globally from there.


Friday, 16 March 2012

Bill Cosby says something that needed saying

"They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English.

I can't even talk the way these people talk: 

Why you ain't,
Where you is,
What he drive,
Where he stay,
Where he work,
Who you be...

And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. 

And then I heard the father talk. 

Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads.

You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.

In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living. 

People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an Education, and now we've got these knuckleheads walking around. 

The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. 

These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids. 

$500 sneakers for what? 

And they won't spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics. 

I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. 

Where were you when he was 2?

Where were you when he was 12? 

Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn't know that he had a pistol? 

And where is the father? Or who is his father? 

People putting their clothes on backward: Isn't that a sign of something gone wrong? 

People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn't that a sign of something?  

Isn't it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body? 

What part of Africa did this come from?? 

We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don't know a thing about Africa...

I say this all of the time. It would be like white people saying they are European-American. That is totally stupid. 

I was born here, and so were my parents and grand parents and, very likely my great grandparents. I don't have any connection to Africa, no more than white Americans have to Germany, Scotland, England, Ireland, or the Netherlands. The same applies to 99 percent of all the black Americans as regards to Africa. So stop!

With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap ... And all of them are in jail. 

Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person's problem. 

We have got to take the neighbourhood back. 

People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different 'husbands' - or men or whatever you call them now. 

We have millionaire football players who cannot read.

We have million-dollar basketball players who can't write two paragraphs.

We, as black folks have to do a better job. 

Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us. 

We have to start holding each other to a higher standard.

We cannot blame the white people any longer."

Dr. William Henry 'Bill' Cosby, Jr., Ed. D.

This was sent to me by Ian Ramsden from Sri Lanka.

Only a black person can point out these truths - and it tends to be a black comedian.

However, a lot of white people here in Britain are imitating this crap. I see them every day in Bristol.

Last year after the riots, historian David Starkey said:

"What's happened is that a substantial section of the Chavs* that you wrote about have become black. The whites have become black. A particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic, gangster culture has become the fashion."

Of course, all the politically correct idiots jumped all over him and said he was racist.

The truth hurts.

* Wondering what a chav is? See below.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

In memory of a splendid man

Today Steve Thomas wrote to me saying "What about George Smith?"

A very good question, for George who died just a few days ago was an ornament to a profession - or trade - with far too few. I said that in an obituary I wrote for a trade magazine.

To explain why, let me also quote from a review of an excellent book called Up Smith Creek - http://www.whitelionpress.com/UpSmithCreek.html.

It gives you a flavour of a man who was so different to, and so much better than the jargon-spouting nonentities who infest business and especially the marketing business.

What can you say about a man who writes an article about T-shirts, claiming to have played at Glastonbury with a band called Girls wear Brassieres, later renamed the Four Skins, featuring Ken Livingstone on keyboards?

Very few people write well. Even fewer are able to write well about our business. George Smith is a scintillating exception, because he writes about a great deal more than our business.

Not only does this book offer something to think about with a smile or two on every page, but if you know anyone interested in direct marketing - or any kind of marketing - it makes the perfect, thoughtful Christmas gift.

There are at least five excellent reasons why.

First, it is written with such a wit and lightness of touch that not a page is boring. The man has a style all his own; and I cannot tell you how hard it is to be different, let alone better

Second, it is extraordinarily perceptive and funny about our business. The writer's explanation as to why clients should be forced to present themselves to possible agencies in a suitably grovelling fashion is only one of many pleasures it gave me.

Third, George Smith, besides a sardonic but genial wit has an extraordinarily good understanding of what this business is, or should be, about - and he feels strongly about what is right and wrong.

Fourth (and I know this having tried myself) being able to write consistently, week after week, year after year, about a pretty narrow subject in an entertaining and involving way is extraordinarily hard.

And fifth, to be able to write about matters long past so well as to make them both relevant and engrossing today is almost impossible. I take my hat off to the man.

This all sounds so flattering that it makes me sound like George Smith's literary agent. Curiously enough, though, despite working in the same business for four decades, I hardly know George. I have missed a lot.

It is his flights of fancy that are especially pleasing. One piece that gave me a good laugh starts with the idea that there should be a checkout in his agency's reception to which clients would bring their completed creative work in a trolley, where the cost would be racked up on a big till by a junior member of staff.

"A mailing, two revised adverts, three media schedules and a concept... Brenda, aren't we doing a special offer on concepts this month?"

See what I mean? There is hardly a page in this book - I would almost say not a paragraph - without its pleasures. And, as with all good writers, you can almost hear the man talking. I can only adapt some of what I wrote when first asked by the publisher to comment:

"George Smith has rare wit; he writes extremely well. He makes the rest of us feel our living has not been made in vain. What he has written made sense when he wrote it, makes sense now and will make sense 50 years from now."

It really is true. Get the book.

Shortly after this appeared George died after bearing a dreadful illness with courage and humour. He was a genuine, old-fashioned English gentleman of the right sort.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

What I hate about me … how people screw up, advice from Napoleon - and Pareto's lost principle

I sent this out to the list yesterday, and a lot of people liked it, so I'm sticking it up here.

Do you hate watching or listening yourself talk?

I do. I rarely watch my stuff in full - and when I do often find myself wincing.

I hate my accent. And I have hated my nose since I was about 7 years old. I am alarmed to see that my grandson Rowan may have inherited it. I blame my father.

Anyhow, Al forced me to watch my latest no-singing, no-dancing video, which starts by talking about the ghastly mistakes research can cause.

When I did I realised that the biggest mistakes I have seen have nothing to do with research. They are to do with nothing, as in "doing nothing".

About a year ago we produced some ads for a firm that is the largest in the world in their field. Their existing stuff just wasn't cutting the mustard.

It was hard work.

A couple of people in the firm (there are always a gallant few) realised what was needed and fought hard to get it through.

But their corporate drones (there always plenty) complained that it didn't fit in with their "brand values". It was like pulling teeth to get anything vaguely effective through.

  • It took them a whole year to measure their results, which were amazingly good, they said.
  • Now we're on the second stage of the project - which any small business would have completed within a few weeks.
Well they've wasted 11 months when they could have been barrelling ahead. You can't call back time. And time really is money.

But what's extraordinary is that once again they've gone and taken stuff we know will work and weakened it.

Three morals from this:
  1. Why hire a dog and bark yourself? We know how to get replies. They don't.
  2. If someone proves they know what they're doing, let them do it. Don't make the same dumb mistake twice.
  3. Don't waste time. Get on with it.
Napoleon said that the important thing to do is decide - because by the time you find you made the wrong decision you'll have done other things that make it irrelevant.

Somebody once said that a corporation does not have a soul. I think few of them have anything resembling a brain.

I imagine you've heard of Pareto's 80:20 principle, which should govern your marketing. It states that 20% of the people have 80% of the money.

His lost principle - which he forgot to write down - is this:

In large organisations, 40 people can say "no", only one can say "yes" - and he's in a meeting.

The video I mentioned provoked lots of responses. I asked people if they had any questions.

One said "You gave me so many things to do that I haven't time."

Another said "57 minutes is too long for working peeps."

That was interesting, though perhaps it ignores the existence of the pause button. I think an hour spent now can save you months of wasted time later.

People often ask me how I get so much done. Actually I'm very lazy. I spend nearly all my time thinking, far less doing. Then when I do it takes less time.

George Bernard Shaw said: "Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week."

Friday, 9 March 2012

Indecision runs riot – and a week of yakkety-yak

Thank you to everyone who answered my questions about what might interest you in the way of seminars.

The result created a certain sense of schizophrenia. There was very little difference in number between those who wanted a seminar on integrated marketing and those who wanted one on copy.

Quite a few people said they wanted me to do something in the U.S. as well. I have a lurking suspicion they were mostly those who just hope I'll leave this country in peace.

Anyhow, the solution is simple. I shall do seminars on copy and integrated - probably here in Bristol, because I find it convenient, at the end of May.

I am talking to someone in Denver about doing something there. I know nothing about Denver except I always thought John Elway was a great quarterback.

I spent most of the last week talking, and much as I adore the sound of my own voice it was excessive, especially as I had copy to write for two clients.

The most interesting day was a talk to some bright young people from marketing agencies. Not one of them had heard of Claude Hopkins or John Caples.

After that I had a splendid lunch at the Ivy Club with one of the cleverest and surely the funniest man in this business - Rory Sutherland. If you've never seen Rory, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=audakxABYUc.

Rory will be speaking again at EADIM this year, and so will I.

All the presentations will be new. I have decided to have as my title "I wouldn't do that if I were you". This will be dedicated to a rundown of twenty or so of the more spectacularly stupid things people do in marketing.

It took me about 10 minutes to make a list, but it will take me much longer to make it interesting enough to keep you awake.

EADIM is on October 3/4/5/6 - just a cocktail party on the first night, though.

I thought I'd sold all the seats, but there are still seven. I don't expect them to hang around long as I have a little deal coming up.

The day after the talk I was doing a video interview, where one of the questions was "What do you think direct marketers should be learning about now." I said, "What they should always have been learning, but most haven't."

I think that's quite enough marketing for this week, don't you?

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Here’s a cunning new/old business approach. Maybe copied from old fashioned greengrocers?

In olden days when I was young and dragons roamed the land they used to have shops called greengrocers.

They sold fruit and vegetables. There are still one or two lingering on. If you ever spot one, they are usually a whole lot cheaper than your friendly rapacious supermarket.

One trick greengrocers used to play (allegedly) was to misspell things on their windows, in the hope that someone would come in to correct them and end up buying something. Actually, I think they were just bad at spelling.

Nowadays I fear this would never work as almost everybody is bad at spelling.

A friend in the travel business just got an email he found sufficiently amusing to pass on.

It read:

My name is **** and I am the Head of SEO for DeepRed55, part of the Mitie Group.

We have worked on holiday sites such as *** and **** over the last couple of years for another agency gaining top five rankings for escorted tours, lake garda holidays, Famliy holidays and many others. We would relish the opportunity to work **** holidays with on your online campaign.

We could help you drive your online presence using our knowledge of the industry as where the team behind these major competitors. I would like to organise a meeting with someone to talk through the opportunities available and see how we could progress.

I think this is just a cunning wheeze to get free English lessons. What's your theory?

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Why aren’t you rich yet? A minor mystery. And can you advise me?

Did you know that new research reveals that the best exam results are in countries where they pay teachers most?

This may explain a few things.

In the U.K. and U.S. where public schools teachers are badly paid a depressing number of kids who leave school can't read and write properly. Conversely, in private schools where they are better paid, they come out literate and numerate.

But here's a strange paradox.

The teachers in the "I'll Make You Rich" educational field make fortunes. Yet as far as I can see very few of the students do well. Why is this?

That thought started because Rogerio Madureiro from Brazil asked me which of four different online sales methods worked best.

I answered by saying that the method is not the critical factor. The appeal of what you sell tends to be most important.

But he obviously follows a few of the money-making experts, so I also said:

There are many people telling you how to get rich.

If you take their courses, the question is, is it working? Are you getting rich? If not, why not?

This question can produce all kinds of answers but many start with "No, I am not getting rich".

And they tend to include any one or all of these four:

1. Because there is no foolproof system. These people are crooks.

2. Because if there is a system it's not as easy as they say.

3. Because I don't actually do what they tell me.

4. Because I take several courses and don't focus.

Some people call this field Info-Marketing when Misinfo-Marketing often seems more accurate.

But people feel so strongly about being their own bosses and not being told what do that they simply ignore the hard work necessary.

My partner Al does follow one expert. Al is smart, and a very good salesmen, copywriter and thinker. It still takes him weeks, even months to get one serious project going.

I hope what you read next doesn't make me sound like a miserable old sod with a bad case of sour grapes, but it has been on my mind for a while.

People are constantly quoting two copywriters to me. Both do very well. One is American, the other English. The English one has copied the American one and imported it here, very successfully.

The American is an excellent writer; the other - though he claims to be - is not: he pays others to write his copy, including one of my associates a few times.

But what irks me? Not that these people make lots of money. Money will not buy you love, looks, taste, wit or happiness.

It is that for the life of me I can't see what they know how to sell except themselves. I don't know what clients they've worked for. Who have they worked their magic for? One of the two has never sold anything but himself.

Would you learn to drive from someone who can't drive? It's all a mystery - and here's another.

Can you help, please?

You may never want to hear or see me again, but if you do, you can help me with a little quandary.

Last year I did two public seminars here besides EADIM. One in branding and one on copy.

This year I would like to do two more. I had planned one in Spain, which drew lots of interest - but no real takers.

I am now thinking of three subjects.

A. Integrated marketing, with an emphasis on direct and digital. If you don't know how to use the various marketing weapons you really are not much more than an amateur. I am doing a private course on this for the Marketing Agencies Association this week. Would this interest you?
B. Copy - again, but with some new material (yes, I write copy every day). I know this interests many of you. It is what I know best. But how many of you does it really interest?
C. EADIM Lite. One day on Direct and Interactive. This is an extended version of the talk I give at EADIM, but just me for masochists only.

If any or more than one of these seriously interests you, can you email me - Drayton@DraytonBird.com - and say which and in which order of priority.

People often ask when I will do something in the US. The answer is, as soon as I can get at least 50 people to turn up and pay :-).

All the best - and thanks for helping.


P.S. In case you're wondering, the picture is of Will Hay, a famous comedian when I was young. And I actually went to a school where the teachers wore those mortarboards every day.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Blah, blah, blinding glimpses of the obvious, phoney drivel that defeats its purpose, a laugh from Al … and illiteracy (and crooks) run riot

Yesterday I sent out an email suggesting among other things that in the U.K, people always find reasons NOT to do things.

This reminds me that years ago maybe I should have emigrated to the U.S., Canada or Australia where they tend to give things a try more easily. I didn't because I wanted to stay near my kids.

Anyhow, Al told me a great definition of the British attitude: "the acceleration of a lawnmower with the brakes of a Rolls Royce".

What, though, can you gauge about people's attitude from the copy they write? Assuming it is written by people and not corpses.

Here's a classic for you:

Vivacity was founded to construct solutions for brands that delivered against the consumer demand for authenticity, and to provide platforms that could bridge the disaggregation in media consumption through sponsorship, partnership and by delivering brand messages into environments where consumers are passionately engaged, whether sport, fashion, film, food or music.

How far up your own arse do you have to climb to write that?

How about this?

As you're aware, communication is the lifeblood of any business.  The ability to speak with your customers, your prospects and - more importantly - to ensure they can always reach you is of paramount importance.

Well, fancy that!

Here's another:

As you are no doubt aware telecoms is a minefield and that standards of service and advice in London are often really poor. And, with new and unique tools out there, we believe that businesses like Drayton Bird Associates could be missing out.

Along with our key partners, we have compiled a must-have guide to the blah, blah blah.

And these people want me to read a whole guide written like that?

Even good intentions can be thwarted by lack of thought. I used an online legal service yesterday. Very good too. They charged me £33 for what my lawyer charged £180 for - and it took 5 minutes not half a day's travel to get it.

Then they ruined it by sending me an email: I really enjoyed working with you. Now every Expert who works with you in the future will know what a wonderful customer you are.

Hey, get real, Autoresponder. I sent you a question. You replied. Total time, 8 minutes. This is not a love affair we're having.

Then come the scum...

Evening, so I was bored at work again browsing on CNN's city career testimonials on last thursday and then read for hours about a brand new internet based opportunity that lets welfare recipients bring home up to $2700/week+ of course they didnt trust it for a while but for some reason we just had to see it with my own eyes & im so happy I did since I made $100.98 my very second day actually trying. It is completely easy I've already gotten paid straight into my bank account! it is the most amazing thing thats hapened to me in my life.

Illiteracy rules, right?

There really are a lot of rogues on the internet. Yesterday two people were kind enough to tell me that my stuff is being knocked off. From where? China, apparently. When we asked Mediafire who make this possible to stop it they made it hard. Asked for everything except the last time I sneezed.

P.S. How does the Word grammar check manage to get almost everything so utterly wrong? I write: Assuming it is written by people and not corpses. They suggest: People and not corpses write assuming it.