Campaign Diary: I’m only a punter but

Is it me or is the knicker king knackered? Is it guilty of marketing hubris?

Is it me or is the knicker king knackered? Is it guilty of

marketing hubris?

Has Marks lost its sparks?

Marks & Spencer began with a simple market stall in Leeds. A legend


Value, quality and genius.

But has its direction got lost in the carpet pile in the Baker Street

headquarters? For years M&S has rejected big adspends.

No advertising agency planning, no credit cards, no loyalty programmes,

no clever promotions, no big ideas, not much hope.

Bill Gates has said that at Microsoft they believe they are always only

two years away from failure. If Bill Gates feels like this, how should

the rest of us feel?

Did the M&S downward gloom start a dozen years or more ago when its

stores (don’t they remind you of the old East Germany?) failed to move

quickly enough to out of town sites?

The retailer has never had any media voice in the marketplace.

Unfortunately, instead of rewarding agencies over the years, M&S is

probably now being ripped off by management consultants. Vultures who

charge outrageous fees.

’Go for a merger and become a global brand,’ says the corporate


Sorry folks, you’ll be the junior partner under someone who knows what

it takes to be a contemporary retailer.

’Get going on the web,’ says the techno clown.

Sorry chaps, the shareholders need dividends not home deliveries.

Wouldn’t M&S’s share price be touching seven quid or more if over the

past ten years, it had ’a share of voice’ budget, a good agency partner,

compelling creative work? Great advertising works, ignore it at your


So raise your glasses in the pub tonight.

The toast is to the brand who thought it was too good to communicate its


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