The Golden Rule
By Denny Hatch
"Nothing is more powerful than good will except ill will."
Item: On our way to dinner at Avenue B, a trendy, pricey new saloon on Philadelphia's Broad Street, Peggy and I stopped at the Wilma Theater to see if we could get tickets for "Dirty Blonde," a play about the legendary Mae West, that had gotten very good reviews.
Curtain time at the Wilma was 7:30 p.m., so the lobby was empty. We walked up to the box office, which was fully lighted and staffed by two women, one of whom was doing her nails. I asked if we could get two tickets for "Dirty Blonde" for some evening during the coming week (before it closed). The woman doing her nails looked up and said, "The box office is closed."
"The box office is closed. You can come back tomorrow or call in."
"But the lights are on, and you are here. Can't we buy two tickets."
"The box office is closed."
We never did see "Dirty Blonde."
Item: I recently acquired a European client with a product for young children that he wanted to launch via space advertising in American magazines. I bought up all the relevant magazines I could find, and at our meeting we settled on Disney Adventures. After the client went back to Europe, carrying with him my load of magazines, I realized I had neglected to jot down the address of the publication and a phone number, so I could call for a media kit. No matter, I thought. I will find it on the Internet. WRONG!
The telemarketing industry has a term for the equivalent of what happened to me when I went looking for a Disney Adventures media rep or, at the very least, a phone number. It's called voice mail jail. After 45 minutes of being jerked all over the Disney Web site, I gave up. (I invite you to visit http://disney.go.com/DisneyAdventures/, and try your luck at finding someone to write, call, fax or e-mail who will send you a media kit.) We rethought space ads and went with direct mail.