‘Confidential’ trick will not work

We would like to draw readers’ attention to the first of an occasional series highlighting irritating, nonsensical or even downright sneaky business practices encountered in the daily office routine as a lesson to all those responsible.

The first such “Business Blackspot” involves a firm of chartered accountants, PRB Martin Pollins, which last week sent out a tedious press release selling the advantages of its Internet sites.

Nothing unusual in that you might think, except the enclosed covering letter addressed to Marketing Week editor Stuart Smith was headed “private and confidential”. Such outrageous misuse of this social convention meant the press release bypassed the magazine’s reporting staff, who would probably have binned it, and achieved its desired aim of going straight through to the editor. The Diary would like to point out that he binned it anyway, and urge anyone who is tempted to copy this flagrant abuse to desist.

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