The Diary is aware that not all manufacturers are enamoured of those who distribute their products: the Territorial Army is still trying to clear up the Wiltshire countryside after last year’s packaged-goods makers versus supermarkets paintballing competition.
Most companies, however, would balk at trying to kill those who are, after all, merely the next step in the supply chain; as ever, it’s taken the Americans to show us the way forward. At a recent cardiology conference, Biovail Corporation, which sells anti-hypertension products, set up a video-game connected to a blood-pressure monitor on its stall. As the unsuspecting cardiologists drove a little car round a track, its speed varied with their blood pressure, creating a vicious circle of stress.
Apparently, having the game on the stand increased sales leads almost tenfold – presumably as red-faced doctors wrote prescriptions to themselves.