May 27

The ‘N’ Letter

Steve Cody wasn’t allowed through San Francisco Airport security this morning. Why? Because hisBoarding_pass
boarding pass read ‘Steve’ and his driver’s license reads ‘Steven.’ This raised all sorts of possible terrorist warnings to the crack TSA agent, who promptly sent me back to the ticket agent.

I dutifully trooped back, waited on line and explained what had just happened. The ticket agent sighed and said, “Where do they find these idiots?” She then logged onto her computer and began changing the reservation. But, lo and behold, the airline’s computer system wouldn’t allow her to do so because I was on the ‘open’ second leg of a round trip. Oh.

Now, she’s pissed. She has to grab her supervisor and explain the situation. I hear him exclaim, “You must be joking!”

Long story short, he handwrites some sort of hieroglyphics on the boarding pass and has the ticket agent personally escort me back to the surly, oh-so-vigilant TSA agent. He looks her over, looks me over, listens to her explanation and says, “I don’t like it one bit, but I’ll let him through. As for you (pointing to me),” he sniffs, “Next time you book a flight, do so with your full and correct legal name. Got it?” Got it. Yes sir. Thank you, sir. And thank you for defending our freedom and security, sir.

Gimme a break.

May 13

A market research company that doesn’t do market research

I love irony. The thicker, the better. How rich, then, is this voice mail?
Phone_call_2

“Hey Melissa, this is xxxxxxx xxxx calling from xxxxxxxxxxx. Um, I had been speaking with Dandy, and uh, I had been speaking with Steve Cody before he left Peppercom, um, regarding market research with you guys. So when you have a moment if you could give me a call at xxx-xxx-xxxx. If you want to check us out online before you call we’re at xxxxxxxxxxx.com. Thanks, Melissa.”

This poor guy not only believes that ‘…Steve Cody no longer works for Peppercom, but he’s also trying to pitch his market research company’s services to our very own Melissa Vigue. Ouch!

No need to expound on the damage a market researcher who doesn’t do market research can wreak on a market research company’s image and reputation (and, try saying that line three times fast).

May 12

We love dirty laundry

Americans love gossip. The juicier, the better.  We love to see, hear and read about dirty laundry, be itTdr1
Lindsey Lohan’s, Tom Cruise’s or Steve Wick’s. Yes, the Steve Wick.

For the uniformed, Steve Wick was marketing chief at Memphis-based golf products seller True Temper and, according to industry gossip sheet par excellence, The Delaney Report, he’s "…out after only six months." Poor Steve.

The Delaney Report (TDR) is the People Magazine/Hollywood Tonight of the advertising, marketing and media worlds. It’s a great source of news, information, trends and, well, gossip (salacious or otherwise).

TDR’s back page carries a section called "Agency Rumblings." It’s not only a must read for industry patrician and plebian alike, but a career maker or breaker as well. I distinctly remember the damage a long-ago Delaney Report "rumbling" caused my now-defunct employer Earle Palmer Brown. The TDR piece about EPB’s alleged hostile work environment caused clients to call, prospects to pause and resumes to flood the street. It was a horror show.

TDR doesn’t play favorites either. They’ll bash the Interpublic Group and Time Inc alike via unnamed, inside sources. ("What IPG needs to show is two-to-three years of competitive growth, not two-to-three months," said one IPG executive. And, "Everybody expects the bloodletting to continue. There is a lot of grumbling about it," a TI source said.).

Yes, Virginia, Americans love gossip. Except, maybe, poor Steve Wick. Hey, maybe TDR needs a competitor? What about The Wick Report? Wick Illustrated? Wick World?