High status BS

Branding is so often mired in the Land of High Status. Why, oh why, are agencies so grandiose in the way they describe their clients and themselves?

The other day, I picked up the promotional brochure of Incepta Marketing Intelligence, entitled “Demystifying Solutions”. Here are few fairly representative highlights. The italics and the blahs and rhubarbs are mine; the ludicrously smug self-congratulation is entirely their own.

Imagine an agency whose passion for knowledge extends far beyond the boundaries of research; a broader perspective informing every aspect of our work.

A vibrant mix of science and art; qualitative and quantitative imagination… where busy imaginations are always working for your advantage… an agency that compounds creativity and practicality, delivers imaginative solutions…

No need to imagine. This what we do every day. And it works.

Named Marketing Agency of the Year blah blah via flagship agencies blah blah proven reputation rhubarb rhubarb truly actionable outcomes blah blah enviable track record rhubarb industry awards blah blah thought leaders rhubarb rhubarb clear deep thinking and a sharp sense of commercial reality blah incisive analysis rhubarb rhubarb blue chip clients blah blah

Words (almost) fail me. If you met a real person who introduced himself in such a laughably narcissistic fashion, I’m quite sure you’d fall over laughing. I can’t imagine such an organisation seeing anything much beyond its own reflection in the mirror of its vanity.


2 thoughts on “High status BS

  1. andy dexter

    Salutations, O leading provider of web-based insight and breakthough marketing content. Your cutting edge observations once again leave the competition mired in their obsolete and wasteful metrics of “feel good.”

    But, as a breakthrough value-added consultant and partner to Fortune 100 companies, it’s incumbent on me to point out the complete absence of any reference to ROI, a Balanced Scorecard or Six Sigma in your above referenced musings.

    I might point out also that “the customer is always right!”

    In this case, the customer of the mid level marketing manager overseeing the quoted boilerplate is his/her own senior-level company boss, perhaps with customer-bosses of her own to please.

    Someone should fire that mid-level person forthwith. She has failed her company and her company customers by forcing them to make decisions wasteful of their own money and precious credibilty. As marketing principals in postitions of power they should not allow themselves to be manipulated by whippersnappers into approving things that run counter to their years of wisdom, core beliefs and counter to the valuable counsel they doubtless render to their clientele daily. And don’t blame the senior levels. They are victims of a cruel fad. Another shameful example of giving unearned decision-making power to lesser members of the organization–and look what they do with it! Proof positive that flattened organizations are just pancakes in a world that needs taller pie and more, stricter, credentialing of Chefs. Where’s the accountability? And where are the bullet points?!

    Ptosh. They should use the salary saved by the long overdue firing to hire a consultant to come in and tell them what marketing is really about: Billings.


    Hello from Incepta Marketing Intelligence. We did have a bit of a chuckle at your comments.


    A quick word count on your Guiding Principles page shows 35 mentions of “I”, “me”, “my”, “myself” etc… In fact, this solipsism amounts to one in every twelve words written. That’s a lot of the big “I am” to cram into a short piece of text.

    Anyway – we still like some of the other things you write. Particularly the bit where you admit to having blind spots…

    Keep it up!


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