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.

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