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Bill Hicks used to do a short piece in his shows which ran roughly along the lines of "Anybody here work in marketing? Yes? Well, kill yourself now. (Nervous laughter from audience. Bill pauses, looks serious). No, I mean, it. Kill yourself. It will be your one positive contribution to humanity".

It sometimes feels as if all the myths, all the problems relating to promises about products and services that can't be delivered, all the unfair expectations suffered by ordinary joes and joellas, causing them to pile up debts that they can't afford, can be laid at the door of marketing. Arthur Miller spotted this long ago, in Death of a Salesman and the wife's addiction to the new consumer culture. Hicks, as one might expect, was less tangential about the point, but it was essentially the same. Marketing is the scum of the earth, the soul-sucking hole of hell.

So it was nice to read a confirming story this morning, and one in which the bad guys lost and (I hope) were sacked as a result. Sony has been ordered to refund the ticket price (presumably to anyone who asks for it, because it's hard to imagine people keeping ticket stubs from three years back) for anyone who suffered the misfortune of paying to see "A Knight's Tale" and "The Animal". A Knight's Tale apparently contained Hollywood's "hottest new star" in Heath Ledger (yes, well....) while The Animal was "another winner". Or so said David Manning of The Ridgefield Press in various publicity pushes. Which would have been all well and good, except that David Manning was made up by the Sony marketing department.

I mean, what drugs were the department on? Did they think that no-one would notice? Or did they think that people would notice, but that no-one would care (marketing people, unlike the courts, have a twisted view to the degree that truth is important)?

Anyway, the whole deal will cost the company about a million bucks. Good.

August 2017

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