Thursday, January 24, 2002

I must admit to something.

Beyond the online version of CTM and the teaser material from GM, I have read neither. But Chris Locke, Dave Weinberger, and Doc Searles sold me on them a long time ago and I will eventually acquire my copies. In South Africa, spending $20 on a book is becoming increasingly indefensible (I'm becoming quite comfortable crying penury as the ZA Rand slides ever deeper into recession – it can’t be good for me). Nonetheless, as their initial popularity fades in the North, we will gain reasonably priced access to them and I will eventually settle down to wading through their content.

In the meantime, though, I can only judge GM's content by its cover, by what is said of it, and by the behavior of its author.

These sources are enough to convince me that, just as this list is not designed to be the hotbed of a counter revolution reclaiming our right to choose the way businesses speak to us, the book itself will do little to change the way business does business. The stereotypical businessperson, whether in a marketing or any other policy making position, does not readily adopt what he or she construes to be the latest, flavor-of-the-month approach to marketing. In the main, businesspeople are inflexible. They take a hell of a long time to put common sense to practice. New ideas, concepts, and templates for their implementation, must be hammered into their heads with the utmost sensitivity (not exactly a word that springs to mind where RB’s concerned).

I'm interested, beyond the reviews, in finding out what impact GM has had to now. To this end, I'd be keen to know if RB has figures on the number of copies pre-sold into business schools, universities, and other higher-learning institutions. Is he able or prepared to divulge such information. I'd be most surprised to find out that it has not been adopted or is not on the reading lists of tertiary institutions across North America and Europe. It is in these places that tomorrow's marketers are being bred and, at the moment, they are still being force fed the same old crap taught their fathers.

Until their diet changes, little else will. We will continue to be affronted by 90-second TV adverts punting the good work environmentalists are doing in far-flung corners of paradise while in the employ of the oil companies burying the same places in toxic sludge. The thought displeases me.

Mike Golby

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