Monday, October 27, 2008

We don’t know how lucky we are…

Having recently arrived back from London, I now have an amazing appreciation for the lovely publishers and suppliers us media people have in New Zealand.

Whilst working over in London I was a part of a marketing team responsible for organising the display advertising. The company already had a range of directories working very hard for them, and a large amount of search, the Marketing Manger had decided it was time to explore the possibility of display on some niche sites.

I’ve never dealt with so many completely useless, rude and unprofessional people. There were the directory sales reps, who would call up to renew our listing who didn’t know what products the company sold, let alone the number of click throughs they actually managed to deliver over the 12 months prior. At £295/year, their stunning 7 clicks throughs at a phenomenal £42 CPC I would hope they didn’t know.

Following them were the reps who did know that they had delivered a hideous number of click throughs but maintained that their users were 80% more likely to pick up a phone and call than send an email. What this rep failed to realise was that we had been trying to contact them for approx 3 months when someone in the marketing team had noticed they had the wrong phone number listed for the company. Competence plus.

Then there was the rep for a railway magazine website who was trying to sell some display space to me, both on the site and their weekly newsletter. When talking about specific pages on the site, he told me that I was looking at the wrong site and that his site did not have a specific news page, I had to navigate him to it. The first newsletter we were meant to be in, they forgot us (and no, my creative was not late) and while the newsletter was scheduled to be sent between 10am and 2pm on a Friday we received it 5pm Saturday. It gets worse. No compensation was offered, and denied when suggested. When I asked if we would therefore be in the next newsletter, I was told that yes, although they would be losing revenue for the space we were talking. Again the newsletter was not sent until Saturday, and the following week, the newsletter had their own advertising, which leads me to believe there was no loss. I have never been more embarrassed in my life when it comes to not delivering. Following the complete incompetence of the staff, the site did not perform at all, I had to write lawyer approved letters about withdrawing advertising, canceling contracts and not paying any further invoices.

I have almost always felt like a valued client with all of the publishers I work with in NZ, large or small publisher. In London, I actually found it hard to spend my budget, people wouldn’t answer phones, or return calls. How these people stay in business is beyond me.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bless advertising

I love how blatant some people can be about their opinions these days.

Whilst doing some research for a client I stumbled upon this. How funny is the skyscraper on the right-hand side? To be fair, I was SO afraid that there would be a nasty surprise at the end of the click through that I decided to be neutral and not have an opinion (for once) and not vote. What amazes me about this is that this site which draws a good deal of Middle Eastern traffic, I would think that this ad could polarize a few people.

At any rate, it made me look twice, and want to click (even if I didn't) and isn't that the point of online? Capture attention, provoke curiosity and give a user a good enough reason to move away and click on your advertising. Pity we I can't really use this kind of in-your-face message for my clients.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

National's TV campaign

I cannot believe that more of a fuss has not been made about National's televison campaign which is running at the moment. I have now seen 2 ads where John Key is sitting in the front passenger seat of a car and is turning around to talk into the camera in the back seat. HE DOESN'T HAVE A SEAT BELT ON and the car is clearly in motion.

I have 2 issues with this. 1. this is the man that wants to run this country and he doesn't abide by the laws (if he doesn't, why should anyone else?) and 2. what awful advertising agency (let alone the director of the ad) allow something like that go to air? What were they thinking? Not surprisingly I cannot find the video anywhere, but it just amazes me that someone let that onto the television. What's more, how did it get past TVCAB? Surely this ad encourages unsafe driving practices.

Talking about this with a friend the other day, he turned around and said, "if anyone made a big deal about it, it would work in John Key's favour" which somewhat blew me away to be fair. His reasoning was that the public would turn around and go back to the anti - 'nanny state' mentality and back Key.

Do NZers really hate Helen so much that they would support a non-law abiding Prime Minister. I was under the impression that those in Parliament already get away with too much, are we going to add this to the list as well?