THE “UNVARNISHED” TRUTH ABOUT GENERAL MOTORS

March 25, 2014

Back in 1980, I bought what I thought was my dream car. It was an all-wheel, sporty – ok, sporty at the time – front-wheel-drive vehicle called the Chevrolet Citation, which General Motors heavily promoted as “The first Chevy of the 80s” and Motor Trend magazine named its “Car of the Year.” My generation was… Read more

GrubHub: A Welcome Third Party Intervention

February 19, 2014

The ‘stiff upper lip’ is a trait frequently dredged up in discussions regarding my nationality. We natives of the British Isles are, for a variety of reasons, famed for our resilient, tacit acceptance of the substandard or difficult, as perfectly underscored by the slogan of famous WWII era posters: ‘Keep Calm and Carry On.’ This… Read more

DÉJÀ VU: THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE DAILY SHOW, THE GRETCHEN MORGENSON EDITION

January 14, 2014

One of my simple pleasures is watching the first 20 minutes or so of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” Comedy genius aside, the folks responsible for putting together the opening “news” segment appreciate better than anyone how farcical political discourse via mainstream media has become. The show’s writers regularly serve up heaping portions of… Read more

BANK OF AMERICA’S BOGUS OFFICE OF THE CEO

January 9, 2014

American Banker, a banking industry trade publication, each year gives a “Banker of the Year” award to the CEO who has achieved considerable financial success and accomplishment.  Customer satisfaction doesn’t really factor much into the equation, which is fitting. After all, the industry is not particularly known for its customer service-orientation, despite what retail bankers’… Read more

DELTA’S 80,000 FLIGHT-READY BRAND AMBASSADORS

January 2, 2014

So when exactly did Delta Air Lines begin channeling its inner JetBlue and decide it no longer wanted to be a loathsome legacy air carrier? It’s a question I’ve been mulling lately, having frequently flown with Delta back and forth across the country, and experiencing a rather impressive level of customer service along the way… Read more

American Express: The Tarnish on a Once-Vaunted Brand

December 19, 2013

Once upon a time, qualifying for an American Express card meant something. There was a certain prestige to “membership” — you were never a mere cardholder — due to the stringent creditworthiness requirements.  When my first AmEx card arrived some 30 years ago, I considered it my official admission into full adulthood. American Express once… Read more

The Fake Review: Bad For Consumers, Bad for PR

August 31, 2010

The maturation of the Internet should have been the golden era of the public relations industry. Prior to the widespread use of the Internet, PR firms had to inordinately rely on the mainstream media to communicate client messages to broad-based audiences. Relying on reporters was a dangerous and often difficult process; journalists controlled the bat and ball and they all too often were reckless and arrogant in how they wielded their power.