My brand team’s attendance at the office was somewhere between patchy and pathetic

Our ‘man on the inside’ provides a view from the top of the marketing tree

The world appears to have been stopped in its tracks by “the big freeze”. Following hot on the heels of other “crises” such as “the credit crunch” and the “war on terror”, it would seem that going into the new decade, the media is already spotting plenty to alarm us marketers.

Not that the headlines are necessarily wrong. And I rather admire newspapers’ and magazines’ brash headlines and wish that our advertising agencies could be as punchy. For an industry that is supposed to specialise in succinct and engaging communication, we don’t half make a meal of it sometimes.

I wanted to be a headline writer when I was younger and perhaps this column is a belated step on that original journalistic career ladder. That said, the powers that be at Marketing Week appear to be happy for me to sit under an anonymous sketch each week. I won’t take it personally and thank them sincerely for offering me this stint of work experience.

Anyway, back to the weather. When I agreed to write this column, I rather hoped I would find more inspiring topics to discuss, but these are extraordinary times and I shall devote the remainder of this missive to meteorological matters. This is, after all, a column written by a Brit in a British-based publication and we are supposed to be world class when it comes to discussing the weather.

My brand team’s attendance at the office was somewhere between patchy and pathetic over the last week. So what is the cost of this stay-at-home brand management? I am delighted to report that there are significant savings. The snow has led to the cancellation of a string of agency meetings and when the team can’t play, there are no bills to pay. Better still, we make notable overhead savings on coffee, couriers and colour printer cartridges. Forecast – more snow please.

Sadly, the big freeze has not been as joyful for my fellow directors in customer service and operations at the company. Unlike me, they have real responsibility and when their teams are unable to show for work, the business and its output grinds to an expensive halt. I may have to encourage the marketing team to take the whole of January off as “profit protection”.

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