July 21st, 2003


End Of The Line For Penthouse?

Penthouse Magazine, long a staple of adolescent fantasies and a favorite topic of discussion for Howard Stern, could soon be disappearing from the publishing world. What’s more, by next week Penthouse founder Bob Guccione could lose his fabled Penthouse Mansion, a century-old residence that is one of the largest private homes in Manhattan.

Article Here

Marketing Is Your Enemy

Marketing departments are not interested in telling you the truth. They are interested in making sure as many people as possible buy the product, thus making money. This is why they lie to you, every day. Usually, though, it's not an outright lie, because that can backfire on them...but they will happily either just not tell you something, or couch things in such speech that you don't realize the truth.

Along these lines, let's look at something. DockersTM now has these pants out they call 'Go Khakis', and the advertising claim (get this) is that it uses nanotechnology for stain resistance. Yeah, suuuure. Now, in truth, it uses a coating of Teflon, and that's all groovy, more power to them, they probably stop stains pretty well. But nanotechnology? I think not. However, most people have not the slightest clue what nanotechnology means, only that it's something futuristic and cool-sounding, and probably will make them more hip in the long run.

Knackers, says I.

I have to give mad props to Popular Science for stepping up to the plate on this one...they called up a phone rep over at DockersTM, and asked them what nanotech there actually was in these pants...check out a bit of the convo.

I do actually feel sorry for the phone rep here, since they are attempting to do their job to the best of their ability. That's the way it is with phone reps: these yahoos in marketing and upper management and sales and everywhere else make outrageous claims and do bad business practices to make more money for the company by suckering people in, and then the phone reps have to take the calls and complaints. The phone reps have to take the deluge of angry calls, and have to try and explain things that make no sense (and that upper management frequently hasn't made sure they have the information to explain with), and has to attempt to fix problems that they don't know exist with little or knowledge of what the fuck the rest of the company is doing. It's a shitty job, full of stupid people on both sides of their equation, and it's hell on your psyche...ask anyone who's been a phone rep, like, for instance, me.

Be nice to the functionary you talk to in customer service...they appreciate it and you get better service. Besides, they have access to your account and personal info, and probably your credit card number. Bad people to be on the wrong side of.
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