Sealing dating with marriage

Whoever it was that thought that J Walter Thompson’s “Brand Dating” venture might be one of the UK’s first specialists in brokering brand alliances – “JWT sets up branding partnership company” MW March 4) is rather behind the times.

While it may be ungentlemanly to knock such fledgling competition, and while arranging to give chocolate bars away to builders is indeed newsworthy, I am nevertheless moved to question the level of long-term value delivered by such tactical deal-broking compared with adopting a more strategic perspective.

Affinity Solutions has, for over three years, been advising clients on affinity marketing strategy, facilitating the development of long-term partnerships and improving the effectiveness of existing alliances. In doing so, we consider not only brand-related issues, but also a broad range of other factors which are of critical importance in forging mutually beneficial alliances.

I often stress to clients that we are more akin to a marriage bureau for organisations rather than a dating, or heaven forbid, escort agency, where short-termism and even exploitation can sometimes be the order of the day.

What this says about “Brand Dating”, I am not sure. It does seem, however, that the choice for those requiring support remains much the same as before: retain a tactical implementation-focused advisor with significant vested interests, or select us as an objective partnership strategist and facilitator. Still a bit more PR wouldn’t hurt…

Jonathan Moakes

Associate director

Affinity Solutions

Haywards Heath


Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here