29 November 2011 • I find myself once again moved to speak out against another piece of 24 carat nonsense – this time in the shape of the PIRC report into the ethics of advertising: "Think of me as evil?" . I speak as someone who is in many ways supportive of the underlying aim of the authors: to stem the tide of unsustainable consumerism that threatens to irreparably harm the planet.
06 April 2011 • At a US conference on the future of communications a week ago I heard those oft-repeated words that increasingly lead me to froth at the mouth, but generally get heads nodding in autonomic acquiescence: "the internet changes everything".
24 January 2011 • Every now and then I come across 'learned' marketing papers that are so wide-of-the-mark that I feel compelled to speak out. There's plenty of half-baked material around that is not worth the effort of comment, but true 24-carat nonsense is more rare. Before this starts to sound like a self-opinionated attack I should define what I mean by 'nonsense': that which contradicts consistent case study evidence of success.
17 December 2010 • As I whiled away the hours at Brussels Midi station waiting in hope and in confusion for a Eurostar train to get me back to London, it became clear that the law of unintended consequences was at work. It has, of course, derailed many a well-intentioned policy.
14 September 2010 • I remember attending one of Professor Andrew Ehrenberg’s seminars many years ago: I was mesmerised by his somewhat curmudgeonly delivery, the professorial German accent and the frequent references to his favoured hypothetical brands Bingo and Bango. It was like being back at University. Clearly some thought otherwise – a number walked out when they realised that he was attacking things they believed in, like loyalty marketing. I even heard the word ‘rubbish’ used during the coffee break: the ignorance and arrogance of his doubters have always been tough to overcome. The pattern has continued ever since, with the wise few supporting (and funding) his research, but widespread rejection of his message amongst others. My observation that day was that there was a more insidious facet to this rejection: Ehrenberg was not the kind of polished presenter that marketing audiences like. There was no entertaining video or slick PowerPoint charts, no seductive storytelling: just devastating logic, rigorous analysis and years of hard graft. How un-sexy. It is a sad reflection on the credulousness of our world that, given the choice of the following…
14 June 2010 • The Chinese philosopher Lao Tse is supposed to have written that 'a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step'. These days we might talk about 'quick wins' or 'low hanging fruit'. There is nothing wrong with this of course, so long as it doesn't cause you to lose sight of the ultimate destination.
19 April 2010 • I was recently reminded at a speaking engagement in Slovenia that success is a dangerous thing in many ways.
17 March 2010 • First a big thank you for the encouraging comments to previous posts– much appreciated.
11 February 2010 • From the response to my last post it would appear that not all of the market research community is convinced of the need to improve pre-testing techniques – evidently perfection already exists.
25 January 2010 • I'm planning - with your help - to use the Warc database to explore current hot topics. Each post will draw on new material appearing in the archive that I think may be interesting and relevant. But your comments will be my guide.
About Left Field
Left Field is written by Peter Field. Peter Field has been a marketing consultant for the past 10 years. Before that, he ran the account planning departments at Bates and Grey. He set up the IPA dataBANK in 1996 and was a judge of the IPA Effectiveness Awards in 1998. He is an honorary Fellow of the IPA.