Topic: Advertising/PR

Should I Send Out A Completed Marketing Piece?

Posted by Anonymous on 125 Points
We just completed a mailing piece (2500 copies) with a testimonial from one of our good clients. Signed First name and Title.

Here is the dilemma. We just found out this client went off the deep end and was fired. Very bad situation from what I am told.

400 of these mailing pieces are going out to organizations similar to the one this person was fired from. It is one of this situations where people know one another and sometimes info travels fast.

Question is: For the 400 do I trash this piece altogether and send out something else? Or do I just take the name off the testimonial leaving the title?

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  • Posted by adammjw on Accepted
    I totally agree with both Randall & Gary.You simply cannot use the name of the man.You can put the title only but if you are going to use the name of the company I would first make a call to the company and ask if they do not mind it.


  • Posted by mgoodman on Accepted
    Reading about your dilemma sure makes me glad I used initials and general industry descriptions.

    This is precisely the risk companies take when they employ celebrity endorsers. Aren't you glad you didn't use a quote from Michael Jackson?

    My only words of wisdom are that I would bite the bullet and reprint the mailing rather than risk being associated with someone who is tainted ... whether the charges actually stick or not. (Hey, Michael Jackson was acquitted too, but would you let your son stay at Neverland Ranch overnight?)
  • Posted by steven.alker on Accepted

    What a rotten bit of timing – still, it could have been worse – you might have sent it and then had the fellow disgrace himself.

    There’s a curve or a graph here – like the famous Laffer Curve of taxation where the great economist convinced the Regan administration that tax cuts would produce an increase in tax revenue. He argued (on the back of a restaurant napkin) that 0% taxation would produce no tax revenues and 100% taxation would achieve the same results as no one would bother to work – ergo, between the two, there must be an optimal policy which would maximizer the tax revenues within the constraints they had inherited. See:

    In order to understand the next paragraph!

    You’ve “Inherited” 2500 newly tainted testimonials, no doubt produced at considerable time an expense, there’s a very heavy risk with 400 of them and the potential for damage with the rest. At one end of your curve, you could scrap the lot. At the other, you could publish and be damned, and damned you probably will be! In between there are a lot of different options, some of which our colleagues have given some very good advice on.

    I think that you ought to weigh up all the options you can think of and try to work out where the optimal response with maximum marketing impact and minimal damage might lie. Then you will at least have a more positive way of viewing the course of action you ought to take.

    Which one would come out top, I havn’t a clue and I suspect that you won’t know until you try to view it dispassionately.

    Steve Alker
    Unimax Solutions

  • Posted by steven.alker on Member
    You are right - it is sad. Maybe if the nature of the problem is not irreversible or criminal there's something that you could do in the direction of rehabilitation. America seems to have a much more robust and healthy attitude to people who fall from grace and then pick themselves up again than we do in the UK.


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