Home   Communication   PR   Community Relations   Two Items :: the SNCR Review and Conference, and is Boston the new Capital of Marketing Fiascos?

Two Items :: the SNCR Review and Conference, and is Boston the new Capital of Marketing Fiascos?

I must not tell a lie. I am stealing this post from John Cass – verbatim. Well, part of it at least (see the end of this post). I apologize, John.

Since I have blatantly ripped off his announcement of the SNCR newsletter – and the pending conference, you really should attend, why not visit his blog, please.

There is much more at PR Communications. I discovered a wealth of insights when visiting his blog. John shares the news that Boston is apparently home to the dumbest marketing efforts on planet earth.

I’m betting these marketing events are being planned by out-of-towners, by the way. They are likely some idiots hired by Dr. Pepper to do events around the country. But, isn’t it strange that Boston has been the unwilling, unwitting host of these two recent marketing fiascos – Dr. Pepper’s treasure hunt and Turner’s Cartoon Network?

Go read it and I will wait.

Back now? Good. I’ll only offer these observations. Having been involved in planning a few thousand events, I can safely recite a few principles to remember when creating said events.

  • Think first. Do you really want to bury gold coins in a national cemetary, particularly when it is home to people like Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Paul Revere? The imagery of having your product associated with digging up sacred ground isn’t a plus.
  • If you plan an event in a city, you are responsible for – in advance of the event – acquiring all required permissions, permits and setting up security for that event. You should notify the authorities if you think it might cause a problem.

Now, Dr. Pepper’s marketing team is responsible for having “Boston City Council President Maureen E. Feeney (announce she) will be holding hearings on the issue of guerilla marketing.” Way to go, folks. Many more of these and “guerilla and standard marketing” will become synonymous with “stupid marketing.” I’m sure all the sane marketers in Boston would love to have a little alone time with you. Perhaps descendants of Bernie, Georgie, and Edward “Punchy” McLaughlin, from Charleston, could pay you a visit.

John Cass, who is in Boston, is actually the one marketer exhibiting wisdom and intelligence by seeking to do damage control for the discipline of marketing.

As a board member with the Boston American Marketing Association I’d like to invite City Council President Maureen E. Feeney to the Boston Marketing Club next week, an event held by the Boston Chapter of the American Marketing Association. As the community discussion topic is guerilla marketing, I think it would be healthy for the council to get local Boston marketer’s views on the issue and perhaps some ideas about how such issues might be handled in the future.

No word as to the rumor that a Dr. Pepper official will be sacrificed – drawn and quartered – as the program after lunch.

So, kudos to John Cass. Your fellow Boston AMA marketers should name you President. Oh, wait. They already have. OK, they should give you an award, too. 🙂

Honestly, I’m such a cynic, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dr. Pepper and Turner marketing firms actually planned these media events to cause a stir. I know. Too over the top. But, that shows how little I trust most of these guerilla marketing efforts.

Now, John’s excellent recap of SNCR news. Great stuff. Please go read all the links.

The February issue of the New Communications Review was published today. It features Katie Paine’s social media wish list for 2007, Susen Getgood’s thoughts on the Boston bomb scare cause by the viral marketing campaign, and Phil Gomes discusses the recent conversation around the social media press release.

Lastly a reminder the society for new communications annual conference New Communications Forum 2007 is only two weeks away. Join more than 400 marketers, communications professional and media people in Las Vegas for the NewComm Forum. Visit the conference website to register and use promo code 612SHN to save $200.


  1. Robert,

    No worries, I was wondering why I was getting all those comments on my blog from people with Auburn University email addresses. 😉

    It is strange that Boston has recently been hit with all of these marketing fiascos, and you rightly pointed out that the companies developing the ideas were from out of town. I was wondering if companies are regularly placing their promotional materials for their guerilla marketing campaigns without property owner’s permission in Boston and around the country. Unlike to recent events in Boston, typically there is no response from the local authorities. It would be interesting to canvas guerilla marketing agencies and brand marketers and ask them if they do typically ask permission before placing their promotional materials on public and private property?

  2. Thanks, John. Yeah, you’ll likely see students coming by along the way. They are now deep into the visiting of other sites.

    As I wrote to you, that was a great idea to invite the council to your meeting. I’ll look forward to see if they actually come in. Having them there would have a great effect upon any possible backlash / regulations re: future marketing and PR activities in Boston. If they actually pass such laws in the city, it could have a ripple effect.

    I hope Boston marketers don’t experience problems due to outsiders muddying up the waters.

    Take care.

  3. One of the President’s staff members came to the event. We had an interesting discussion, he came to gather information for their public conversation on the subject. I believe the city council would like to provide some guidelines for marketing people on how to conduct such campaigns in the future.

  4. Thanks, John. That sounds better than legislation. Good news. A resolution with guidelines might well be a good thing. But, I fear the outsiders will still be oblivious to best practices.

    Here’s hoping Boston gets a long deserved breather from outside marketing events – that go wrong, that is.

    Take care.