I have never said this so early in a year before but … the worst marketing of the year competition has been decided. BP’s ongoing attempts to clean up its reputation as it fails to clean up the Gulf are so horrendous it is impossible for anyone else to catch up.
It is only fair to point out that BP has used a ringer, someone whose skills are so extraordinary that having him on the team is almost like cheating. I speak, of course, of soon-to-be-unemployed CEO Tony Hayward. Hayward is so astoundingly dangerous in front of a microphone that he makes Joe Biden and former GM CEO Rick Waggoner seem like the second coming of Ronald Reagan.
First there was the spectacularly stupid whine about wanting his life back. In one little phrase Hayward made it clear that he views this entire incident as an imposition on him and can’t quite remember that actual lives have been lost.
But wait, that’s not all! Today he replied to his critics thusly: "They’ve thrown some words at me, but I’m a Brit. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” OK everyone, put down the tar and feathers and go get some sticks and stones. If Mr. Hayward continues on in this manner his PR staff will likely be first in line to deliver the wood-and-rock therapy.
But, let’s be honest, these are just individual gaffes from individual idiots. This is really an enterprise-wide award which takes enterprise-wide effort to take it up another level and execute some truly world-class stupidity. To wit a brief list:
So I was at the ANA’s annual conference last week which is why no posts in a while. This year’s was held in Orlando which made Mrs. Collateral Damage and CD jr. very happy as they piggy backed on to go visit the local Mouse emporium. Sure, I got to interview the CEO and CMO of Procter & Gamble and the CMO of Charles Schwab and the marketing boss for Clorox but more importantly I SHOOK HANDS WITH MIKE ROWE. Mr. R, host of the incredibly great and gross TV show “Dirty Jobs” on Discovery, emcee’d the Marketer of The Year Awards for Brandweek. His timing was dead on and he was funny as ever, except when he had to do a couple of scripted bits, but that wasn’t his fault. It was more than a wee bit odd to have this chronicler of the down-and-very-dirty and real speaking infront of a group of people who who would really like it if their work was mistaken for authentic … but hey that’s what irony is all about isn’t it?
For those of you who care, here is a picture of me at registration for the ANA. All journalists had a barcode tattooed on to them. For what it’s worth the UPC for journalists does start with a 666.