Magazine article Marketing

Clarity Becomes First Casualty in the Phone Wars

Magazine article Marketing

Clarity Becomes First Casualty in the Phone Wars

Article excerpt

Have you been following, as I have, the thrilling adventures of 'Big Ed' Carter, an American brought over by BT to introduce their Friends and Family programme? For the life of me I can't think why; the idea started in America with another firm he worked for. Why didn't someone from BT go over, study it and just knock it off? It's not that complicated. Too lazy, I suppose.

Carter is 6 foot 3 inches tall. Suppose he were like a certain type of American - as vast in girth as height. He would be a very barrage balloon of blubber - overweight, overpaid and over here, to adapt the old line. Maybe he's lean, lithe and magnificent. but one thing is for sure: he has quite a name for thuggish behaviour - his physical violence caused BT's agency, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, to ban him from their premises. We should salute them; it takes courage to do that to somebody influential at the country's biggest advertiser, whereas it takes very little to thump people if you're built like a Sherman tank.

They have now reaffirmed the ban, because another of their clients, Simon Esberger of Cellnet, has hired Carter to start a Friends and Family type programme and help them "escape the industry's looming price war".

This may be a good idea, even if it's a shame he can't get somebody house-trained to do it, but the logic escapes me.

Joking apart, friends, what would you call a scheme whereby you pay less when you ring several specified numbers? …

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