Last week I headed to Shanghai for our Women at the Top Summit and found myself sitting next to Imelda Marcos at the gala dinner. She is one punchy and energetic 82-year-old. I managed to get a signed copy of her book ‘The Marcos Truth’, which has photos of her with every head of state you can imagine before she headed off to another engagement.
I then had a punishing 14-hour flight to NYC to host an FT Media Forum breakfast with some of the leading lights of the US advertising world and our wonderful media editor Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson. On my way to the airport I heard more than one Michael Bublé song – which got me wondering, is there such thing as marketing overkill?
Don’t get me wrong, I think Michael Bublé is a good and well-known singer (you can invite me to your private concert if you like, Michael). But I’m baffled as to why his marketing folk are flogging him to death on the radio. Marketing should be subtle and subliminal and not rammed down one’s throat.
Which brings me to my other current pet hate: promotional recorded messages telling me that if I want to stop being harassed by them, I have to ring a particular number.
This tacky tactic has no place in the modern marketing industry and I can’t believe the hit rate makes it even slightly worthwhile. Given the plethora of channels to engage audiences available today, it shows poverty of imagination too. Can we please make an agreement as an industry to cease and desist from this 20th century ploy?