Monday, 8 February 2010

I shouldn’t really tell you this but…

The power of rumour is extraordinary and the next marketing tool…”I shouldn’t really tell you this but Innocent dramatically improves your libido …the medical profession is terrified this will get out”….true or false? Neither. A rumour.

I heard recently about a big, global multinational under pressure that was successfully rearranging its lines of credit and held senior executive briefings. During the middle of one of these, a manager being briefed received an untrue text from a competitor saying the negotiations had broken down and that his company was toast. He and his colleagues, when he shared this with them, chose to believe this as opposed to the story being told by their boss (whom, incidentally, they liked, respected and thought was truthful.)

Rumour has never had greater authority.

As the John Terry story broke (the ex England Football Captain) a source (rumour) from the Capello camp (the England Football Manager) said“It wasn’t one thing with Terry. It was the rumours. It was getting worse every day.”

It was the rumours…not the facts… the rumours.

And it’s not just rumours and gossips that carry impact. It’s insinuations, nods and winks as well.
Rumour is the biggest aggressive marketing tool we have…and I don’t want to be the first one to say it but have you heard that Sir Martin Sorrell …

(Already the expectations about WPP have been raised and the bloodlust has been stirred and stimulated.)

The old adage “there’s no smoke without a fire” has become “where there’s a rumour there’s a story”…and where there’s a story there’s an audience. And where there’s an audience the bushfire spreads very fast.

And it’s hard to put out because we enjoy bad news and feet of clay.

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