Thursday, April 27, 2006

Piper Paying, part deux

I recently quoted 'He who pays the piper calls the tune' with an example of the exception that proves the saying, namely a lot of senior folk 'investing' money, which we pay them to improve our lot, a bit too much and too often in areas designed primarily to improve theirs.

Anyway, karmic balance of sorts is sort of re-established when one reads Asda suppliers rail at demands for marketing payments , though it does seem pretty extreme.

It seems the store's suppliers are not too thrilled at being asked to fund its marketing activities. I'm presuming this does not mean co-op ventures involving their products in the store, but a sort of generic tithe just to keep the store competitive overall against its rivals. 

I've blogged on this before, and it seems a lot of other retailers are jumping on the bandwagon. But it all does seem rather quaint. But also surprising, as one can only presume the stance being taken implies that the suppliers need the stores rather than vice versa, though one does have to accept who is paying whom. I guess this holds true if all the stores gang up, becuase if you can't see it you can't buy it. Which would be naughty, wouldn't it?

But I have to say that for my favorite brands I do go where they are available, and these days do tend to shop across a spread of big stores, especially as I am trying to 'buy local' and this gets me to a few more locations each week. And if that means I can only get my Ginger Ale at the Spar, so be it.

The future's bright, the future's... being squandered

We're not big on waste here. Of anything, and that includes money. 

So when I read something like this - Orange ditches £10m Animals work after a month - I have to shudder, plus the ad man in me thinking of the sheer amount of blood, sweat and tears that this would have represented as well.

I'm well aware of the importance of brand consistency 'n all, but I really hope the shareholders are happy at what the seemingly rather disjointed processes that were behind this lead to. And please god it was not just the vanity of some newly hired individual making his or her mark. Mind you, it may explain why each day I do see that another Marketing Director is 'pursuing other options'.

I can only imagine what could be done with £10 million, especially in the area of, say, reusing and recycling phones.

The enemy of my enemy... will stab me in the back as soon as they can

I am one of the few people in the world that doesn't use eBay (more than compensated for by my wife,  so the household is still pretty well covered). Odd, really, as I can only admire them across every level that has inspired its success. These include the consequential, and ever more significant environmental benefits, which I doubt were highest on the agenda from the outset, but are nonetheless very welcome now (except perhaps, by charity shops, who are seeing the really good stuff that brought customers in now drying up by being diverted for pocket money).

It is part laziness, as I can't really be bothered with all the negotiating and payment hassles followed by all that wrapping and sending. And I must confess to living up to my role as's LCD (Lowest Common Denominator) screener by simply giving up in horror whenever I dip in to see what may be available or how I might try to participate. To me, it is simply a bewildering zoo, and when we were debating our own site's shortcomings a while ago, it was so frustrating when I tried to cite eBay's failings vs. our own when all, quite correctly, pointed out that it didn't matter because they were an established, successful brand and people worked with it despite the... challenges. 

So I read with interest that 'eBay [is] rumoured to be starting 'anyone but Google' alliance (note well the word rumoured as I pass on this xth hand piece of ether-based gossip).

I must declare an interest as I really like, and use, Google. I also can see how their site/navigation works, and presume that it looked pretty much like this from the beginning, when they were not a major, successful brand. Ho hum.

The piece does point out that this (if it is true) is/would be a defence against Google's inroads into what eBay does, which I guess makes most things fair enough.

But I just don't like the negativity associated with that headline, whose provenance of course may not rest with eBay.

All I know is that when you make alliances on such a basis, it may be wise to look over your shoulder a lot. Which must be such a fun way to spend your day.