The importance of customer service (2)

The man dozed.

For the first time in over a year, he could lie in late in bed. Time to rest from the hassles of home. Phew. Two weeks alone on the Greek Island he loved and

Bang! Bang! ‘Cleaning!’

Bang! Bang! ‘Cleaning!’

The man hauled himself out the bed and his day dreams. He grabbed his favourite kikoy from the bottom of the bed, wrapped it around the middle of his body and opened the door of his perfectly comfortable hotel room. Continue reading

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How an advertising agency could help defeat Islamic State

On 4 October, Lord Dannatt, who was introduced as a former ‘Chief of The General Staff and Head of the Army for several years and knows the Middle East well’, was interviewed on BBC Radio 4.

He said:

‘We are all united in the fact that the so called Islamic State, and these ISIL fighters, are an abomination and they have got to be confronted and they have got to be faced down….

This has to be looked at at several levels. Yes, of course there a military level…..

But there are other levels at which we have got to go at this. Continue reading

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A more creative approach to welfare reform could have saved lives

So, while the UK was talking about Scotland, someone has died:

David Clapson’s awful death was the result of grotesque government policies (9 September)

‘The DWP brags about ending the ‘something for nothing’ culture, but benefit sanctions punish the unemployed, disabled and poor in ways that are utterly inhumane.’

Family calls for benefit inquiry after David Clapson death

‘Diabetic David Clapson, 59, from Stevenage, died from lack of insulin, 18 days after his Jobseeker’s Allowance was suspended in July. He was found dead in his flat on 20 July, with £3.44 in his bank account.’

I have posted on this topic before: Continue reading

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Why the Scots would be mad to vote for independence (not that I care).

So, next week the Scots will decide if they want to be independent.

Let me start by declaring a lack of interest in this issue. A complete lack of interest. I think may be one-eighth Scottish but I really don’t care if I have Scottish blood coursing through my veins. It hasn’t affected my life either way.

I have been to Scotland a handful of times. I have watched a couple of rugby internationals in Edinburgh and stayed with some friends in the Borders which was good fun. I may have been to Glasgow once to be on local radio but I really can’t remember. Nor can I be bothered to find out. It really doesn’t matter either way.

I wonder how many Scots have heard of ‘ASEAN’? Continue reading

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When all you can do is play the ball that is bowled to you

To many of us, especially those of us who lived through those days, the TV series Mad Men has been essential viewing. We have come to know the character Don Draper, played by John Hamm, like a friend. And now, this week, Hamm’s new film Million Dollar Arm has come to London. And it’s about cricket! Wahaay! Have the Americans seen the light?

Now, if you don’t play cricket, I am sorry. Please bear with me. Who knows, the lesson in this post might change your life, just as a cricket ball can end it. Continue reading

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Long Lost Families and Masters of Sex

The most interesting thing in the world is people. And, talking about interesting, which we were, and people, which we are, there is a peculiar juxtaposition in two TV series currently on air.

For me, and anyone with personal experience of adoption, a must-watch TV programme is Long Lost Family where people separated by adoption at birth are reunited with the parents they have never met – usually their mother.

It is shocking to learn about the attitudes to pregnancy that prevailed in the lifetimes of two generations of people still living today. For, until the 1960s/70s, pregnancy represented a harsh and unforgiving world where babies of only a few weeks old were torn, literally ripped away, from the arms of their screaming, desperate mothers who, typically, were still teenagers. Continue reading

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It may be right. It may be good. But is it interesting?

David Ogilvy said this about advertising:

‘You can’t bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them into buying it.’

Here is the same mantra with the key word underlined by me:

‘You can’t bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them into buying it.’

As my advertising career began with Ogilvy, I have been interested in ‘interesting’ for a very long time.

In today’s world, is advertising interesting? Continue reading

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Debt collection: the shameful face of modern Britain

In free market economies, providers of products and services need customers.

In marketing, without customers, none of us are anything. Or, if that is too tortuous a double negative, without customers we are nothing.

Customers are the name of the game. They need to be identified, understood, targeted, persuaded, looked after, nurtured, retained. Continue reading

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Why you would be a mug to be a poet in the 21st Century

I have met people who are very, very rich.

I have met people who are famous.

I have met great sportsmen.

I have met academics.

I have met aristocrats.

I have met celebrities.

I have met film stars.

I have met singers.

I have met bands.

Even royalty.

But the people I admire most are writers. Continue reading

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Employment Support Allowance (ESA) disgrace

Writing these blog posts, it is impossible to predict who will read them or where they might lead.

Thus it is a pleasant surprise to me that my most retweeted and liked post has been Disability Living Allowance (DLA) Disgrace – especially as I would be the first to admit that I am no expert in the murky confusion of the social security market.

I say a ‘pleasant surprise’ because the interest generated by this post would seem to support my overarching thesis – specifically that the understanding of human behaviour and creativity of our world-beating advertising agencies could be better employed to improve society as a whole.

Please park this thought while I tell you that it is a golden rule of marketing that any money spent on promoting a product or service must, if nothing else, generate more income than the cost of creating and transmitting it. Continue reading

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