Who needs an agency when a plumber will do?

Following yesterday’s blog about retail signs I spotted this plumber on the road in front of me – and it made me smile:

Our business is going down the drain
Our business is going down the drain

It reminded me that some of the best examples of tag lines for companies can be found on the back of trades-vehicles or on small shopfront windows. We had a local beautician named “Peel & Squeal”. The plumbing headline: “We’re number 1 in the number 2 business” comes to mind. And of course there are all the versions of Thai restaurant names: Bow Thai, Thai Tanic etc.

I’ll bet that none of these companies hired an advertising agency or strategic planner to come up with their slogans. They just applied a little thought to their business and in most cases used customer language to describe their service, or at least language that makes the customer smile.

As I was about to write this blog I received a link to an article written by a Creative Director in the UK. It reinforced again how little knowledge so many who work in the advertising industry have about marketing and communications. Why would you hire them to look after your advertising – the local plumber could probably do just as good a job?

Here’s part of the article – the headline was “The end of digital marketing is nigh” and it was about how all digital marketing will soon be called ‘marketing’. No, seriously, the article is about that topic:

“… and you don’t need to label marketing as digital, traditional, mobile, ambient or direct. You’re talking to the customer and it’s working. The channel is irrelevant.”

This statement demonstrates a clear lack or what marketing is, or isn’t. There are only two ways of marketing (see post on this date 12 months ago) Mass Marketing and Direct Marketing. All other descriptors describe a channel eg email marketing, digital marketing, etc.

Direct Marketing is not a channel – it is the dominant way of marketing today being driven by digital channels. When highly paid Creative Directors don’t understand marketing, we may all soon be relying on our plumbers for marketing advice.

Come to think of it, they are in the business of cleaning up sh*t so they could be perfect for the job.

Here’s the article if you’re interested:


  1. Mal — I don’t know if it is replicated on your machine, but the blog posts I’ve been getting from you look like the one below. There’s no link to the UK story, nor your intro line, “If you want to read …”

    I finally clicked on the link to your WordPress IRL at the bottom of this one. That took me to your fully-formatted blog, which had the UK link.

    Something about the sharing system is editing your stuff without your knowledge.

Comments are closed.

© Malcolm Auld Direct Pty Ltd 2022 | Commercial In Confidence

Privacy Policy

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop