Thursday, 20 December 2012

Our Best Evening Ever


The last event for a Master Marketor is the Court Dinner where members of the Court and their partners, together with some other guests, gather for a final celebration of the Masters year. On this occasion it was at the delightful Watermans' Hall, a beautiful Georgian building set in the heart of the City. While the Company of Watermen was established in 1555 the present hall dates back to only 1780 but is the only original Georgian Hall in the City of London.    

So the setting was perfect for the forty six guests, a small intimate hall with narrow corridors, stone staircases, oak panelled rooms and a Dickensian atmosphere - perfect for the Christmas season. The dining hall had a large table laid out in a "U" shape. But what was the large object covered in a cloth and why the secret setting for a further six in another room?

The event started, as usual,with a reception, which is where we discovered that we were 46 and not 44 as thought. Fortunately the caterers, The Cook and Butler, took it in their stride and we were all soon sitting down to a seasonal dinner of goose. The Grace too was seasonal and also entertaining, but then it was one of Cannon David Meara's which I had taken from our Graces in Favour volume.

Following the meal and the Loyal Toast the Senior Warden, Sally Muggeridge, made a presentation to me of a beautiful engraved vase and then the Middle Warden, Roddy Mullin, presented an engrave bowl to the Mistress. Both depict views of London and both are wonderful memento's of an excellent and eventful year. Thank you to my Wardens.

And so it was my turn. Firstly I welcomed the guests and then our newer Court members, who were sitting either side of us on the top table. Then I offered thanks to a few key people. Firstly our Junior Warden, Michael Harrison, who had supported me so much through out the year and also managed so many major projects; and then our Assistant Clerk, Doreen Blythe, who had done so much even before the Clerks departure. (For those that want to read the whole thing, the presentation and script is at the end of this blog).

Now for the big surprises. My final thanks was to Brenda, the Mistress, who once spoke the words "in sickness and in health" never guessing that 44 years later they would come back to haunt her. During this year she has brought a new meaning the the phrase "stand by your man", and she has also stood by the Marketors. Her first surprise was the entrance of our two sons, Porter and Ben, laden with champagne and roses. They were followed by Ben's partner Amy and the producer and good friend Danielle Torento.

Now it was getting emotional, but there was more to come. The mysterious covered object was unveiled and the pianist Simon Beck sat at the keyboard. It looked like I was going to sing but no, Norman Bowman, our leading man in Mack & Mabel appeared at the door singing "I won't send roses" to Brenda, and the cabaret had begun. "Till there was you" from Music Man was followed by "Who's the man" from Witches of Eastwick, concluding with the "Soliloquy" from Carousel. A brilliant performance, which came as a complete surprise to all except the secret six and me.

Next followed a stirrup cup for those who did not have to dash off, and another chance to mingle. And so the revellers slowly drifted away, and we walked home in the rain, very happy.

This was truly the most memorable evening of the whole of the year. It was a heady mixture of good friends, close family and tremendous music. The perfect end to a very eventful year. A very sincere thanks from both of us to all who were a part of it.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Presentation and Script


Alderman, Wardens, Liverymen, Guests

Firstly, as this is the Court Dinner  I would like to welcome our special guests who include Jane Wharam, our Marketor publisher, and John Wheen our Chair of Events together with Barbara. I also welcome our newest Court members Leo Addis with Raffaella, and Richard Christau with Tasoulla who are beside us.
Marketors please stand and raise a glass to our guests. 
What a year. As someone I met recently described a previous year, annis horibalus, but mainly in our case it was an annis fantasticus. It has been a great honour, for both of us, to represent the Marketors. During our time we have learnt that this is not something you do alone.  Whether it is sub editors, committee members or your partner in support - you need others.

It would be invidious to select one or two of you for a mention  - so of course I will.  First to someone who is not allowed the special service award but is up there with the winners. In addition to giving me amazing support throughout the year, there was also the responsibility for the Lord Mayors Show, the inter livery Golf Tournament, Sponsorship, CIM Relations…. Can you guess who it is yet? Yes its Jeanne and Michael Harrison.

Then there is the Clerks office. At this point I would thank the Clerk but she is no longer with the Marketors, but deserves no less thanks, she would have been here but is in Spain with her husband and daughter. Which leaves me with the person who has never been just the support act; and certainly is not now - our Assistant Clerk Doreen Blythe.     

When Brenda spoke the words “in sickness and in health” she had no idea it would take 44 years for that to come back to haunt her. As you will have read in the Evening Standard, throughout March I was either in a coma or coming out of a coma.  During that time Brenda brought a new meaning to the phrase “stand by your man”. And so Brenda, your Mistress, stood by me, and indeed the Marketors, throughout the year.  This is such a big thank you, and I am not particularly good at presents, I felt I needed some help..

Gentlemen please.

(Our sons Porter and Ben enter with champagne and roses)

And the ladies… 

(Ben's partner Amy plus the producer and our friend Danielle Torento then enter)

 (ask Brenda to stand)

…..some times I am a little thoughtless, sometimes forgetful, there are even times when….

(Enter Norman singing "I Won't Send Roses" to Brenda)

The Script

Ladies and gentlemen Norman Bowman or as some of you already know him the marvellous Mack from
Mack and Mabel, together with the equally talented pianist Simon Beck”

I have prevailed on Norman to stay a bit longer. However when I tried to think of a number for him to do
there were so many that I got confused. So the next part is going to be a surprise for me.

So Norman, what did you go for

 “Well John, if you remember you gave me a choice

     “There was “Till There Was You” from Music Man the first show you played opposite each other.
     "She's To Far Above Me" from Half a Sixpence - Bea's first lead as Ann
     "Younger Than Springtime" or "Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific where she missed the
      lead because she couldn’t wash that man out of her hair several months pregnant.
     Or "Stars", "Drink With Me" or "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables  just because you all love the

(Norman chose to sing "Till there was you" from Music Man) 

N “John, you are sitting in a big chair and wearing bling. You want to explain that.”

J I have the honour of being this years Master of the Worshipful Company of Marketors, and Bea is the

N “Oh. So you’re the man”  

J Well yes… I suppose you could say that, but I do have a Court I have to report to

N “So who’s the man?”

J Oh wait, no, you can’t do that number. I mean firstly it is about the devil, and some might object, next it is
   a bit risqué – or in fact a lot risqué, and so ….  

   (Several of the guests insist (yes planted))

J Alright, but be it on your own heads – but it is not about me!

(Norman sings "Who's The Man" from Witches of Eastwick)

Finally there is one number I would love to hear for no special reason other than it is a tour de force for a leading man and I just want to hear it from Norman. Billy Biggalow’s big number from Carousel

(Norman sings "The Soliloquy" from Carousel)

Ladies and Gentlemen

Norman Bowman and Simon Beck

To close may I thank you all for coming and wish you a safe journey home

And for those that can delay the journey there is a stirrup cup awaiting you in the next room


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Committee Thanks


The Committee Thanks is an annual gathering of those who have supported the Company throughout the year. This time it took place in the Court Room of the Plaisterers, right next to our office. Although a modern building, one wall of the room is lined with the names of the Master Plaisterers dating back to 1501.

My first duty was a sad one in that I had to announce the departure of our Learned Clerk, Adele Thorpe, who had decided to move on to pastures new. In recognition of her excellent support for five Master Marketors, and her work in such projects as achieving the Royal Charter, I announced that the Court had voted that she should receive an Honorary Livery from the Company at the next Installation.

And so to my, or our, thanks to those who have kept the wheels of the company turning. Some were involved with membership, livery, court nominations, and the almoners, covering all aspect of the individual members involvement in the fellowship of the company. Then there is the professional side with the Think Tank, Marketing Law and our relationship to the profession bodies, all of which served to position us better in the marketing community, while also supporting our members.

There was also our relationships with outside organisations, particularly via the good works of Outreach.  But then there are also those supporting our alliances with the likes of 151 Regiment, HMS St Albans, and St Brides Church and its various activities. And then there are those involved with, and supporting, The Trust and particularly its Awards programme. 

The hard work of those involved with Comms & PR and, of course, Events with its team of Event Directors relate in part to the other activities. And of course we must not forget Heritage which has done so much throughout the year on the important task of Archives.

Outside of this there are those who are involved in developing our relationship with the City Corporation, the Lord Mayor and other Livery Companies.  This year such activities have gone from strength to strength with many other Livery Companies seeing us as a benchmark. 

None of this would have happened without the hard working committees, so thanks to all from the Company, and from me, for all your support in 2012. As for 2013 this work will, of course, continue but, because of our new Aims strategy, it should be in a more structured way enabling us to have an even more effective approach to strengthen the Marketors for the future. 

Finally thanks must go to the Mistress who, single handedly, stepped in at the last minute to provide the excellent catering for the event. Definitely a beyond the call of duty moment.

John Flynn
Master Marketor.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The Beginning of Christmas


The service of carols, music and readings for the Communications industry at St Bride's Church in Fleet Street has marked the beginning of Christmas for me for many years. However, this one was special in that it was the turn of the Marketors to lead, which meant that I had the privilege of speaking, and indeed writing, the Bidding which is the welcome at the beginning of the service. For those interested, the full text appears at the end of this blog. I was later followed by the broadcaster Chris Tarrant who delivered the Christmas Message which ended with an hilarious poem about turkeys.

As always the music was excellent from the choir and rousing from the congregation, and I was delighted to find that the church was crowded with an unusually large number of Marketors with family and friends. My own party included the Mistress, who sat beside me by the alter, and my two sons Porter and Ben plus Amy. The service was, as always, a truly memorable occasion. Our thanks to all at St Brides.

Next, on to the Marketors' Annual Christmas Dinner. This was held at the award winning Lutyens restaurant located in the former Reuters building right next to St Brides. With our own section in this art deco influenced environment, the excellent food and wine was enhanced by large helpings of fellowship and bonhomie. Our thanks must go to Liveryman Sue Ash who was the Marketors Event Director for this whole evening. It was a truly delightful occasion and a very special way to start the Christmas festivities.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

The Bidding
St Brides Carol Service,
10th Dcember 2012

A very warm welcome to St Brides Church and to this the 47th Communications Industry Carol Service. While St Brides of course dates back to the early sixth century, this particular tradition started in the sixties when the Publicity Club of London brought together the various strands of the Communications Community to celebrate the Christmas message. It was of course a time when the printing presses could still be heard to thunder the length and breadth of Fleet Street. While thundering has been heard this year it has tended to be about the communications industry rather than in support of it.

Whether justified or not, sadly such noise tends to divert attention from the enormous good which our collective professions contribute to the community.

The festive season has traditionally been the time to look back on the year, to take stock and to plan for the future. In doing so, let us not forget those in need of our prayers; some of whom are remembered in the Journalists Chapel to my right.       

What ever tradition you come from, this is a time to step away from our hectic lives and consider what is truly important to us: our faith; our family; our friendships.

For many of us, this service, with its familiar readings and much loved carols from the excellent St Brides Choir, marks the beginning of Christmas. We trust that the good fellowship we enjoy this evening may extend throughout the festive season and into the New Year, and that the joy and peace of Christmas fills our hearts and minds for the year ahead.  

Friday, 7 December 2012

A Southwark home


To quote Noel Coward, we have been to a marvellous party - again. However, when we received an invitation from The Reverend Andrew Nunn to an "At Home" at The Deanery at Bankside this didn't seen likely. But we were so wrong. The location was the 1712 grade II listed home originally called the Provost's Lodging. Located between Shakespeare's Globe and the Tate Modern, this 5 bedroom house was recently up for sale for £6.5m but they finally decided to keep it. Having frequently walked by this building and dreamed of living there, to actually go inside was amazing.

The gathering included an interesting array of Livery Masters, partners and clergy, the purpose of the occasion being to develop bonds between the communities of the North and South bank of the Thames while encouraging Livery Companies to recognise the activities of the South Bank. This was somewhat wasted on us in that we live in Southwark and those from the Glaziers have their Hall at the South end of London Bridge. However, the rest seemed very impressed and will almost certainly be visiting Southwark Cathedral, as will we all.

Having started the day in Cranfield Business School where, the evening before, I had again been on the advisory panel for the MSc Marketing Strategy programme (followed by an excellent dinner) and then on my way home, being involved in numerous calls relating to important Marketors issues; this was an excellent counterpoint to an intense day.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Victoria, Albert and Music


Having completed an eventful Master & Wardens meeting, unusually in black tie, it was a dash across to South Kensington to the Victoria and Albert Museum. This was a magical place for the Royal College of Music to host their Soiree d'Or, their annual fund raising concert and dinner in the aid of the RCM Scholarship Fund. While not an official Marketors event, there were links and it was a splendid occasion and so I believe worth a mention in my blog.

We were guests of Anastasia and Richard Christou, Anastasia being on the Soiree d'Or working committee and Richard not only being one of our Liverymen but also a newly appointed member of the Court and Chair of our AFC Committee. With over 400 guests, the occasion was awash with famous faces. Much to our surprise and delight our table included a Past Master of the Chartered Accountants and also Sir Peter Gershon who is, amongst many roles, Chair of Tate & Lyle. However our link is that he was my boss about 40 years ago.

The proceedings were enhanced by both musicians and singers from the RCM, the most memorable being Sir James Galway who was described as the living legend of the flute. His performance, including a composition based on Carmen, certainly proved this description. The Mistress recalled that the last time we heard him at an event was 33 years ago, the year he received his OBE. The auction followed, conducted by Sotheby's, and as we expected it was a little rich for us, but as you might expect there were other ways in which guests were able to contribute to the fund on the night. And so an excellent evening.   

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Golden Sweet Spot


The magnificent Goldsmiths Hall was the location for the Marketors' Annual City Lecture. This superbly elegant building at the junction of Foster Lane and Gresham Street is on the plot which the Company has occupied since 1339, this being their third hall on the site. For us to present such an occasion in their great hall surrounded by the wealth and splendour of the Goldsmiths was indeed an honour, but one which I feel the Marketors more than lived up to.

The invitees included forty Masters and Clerks from other City Livery Companies, so a lot of meeting and greeting during the reception, particularly by the Mistress who worked her magic ensuring no one was left out. In addition there was a party from the event sponsors, the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and St Dunstan's School, and 151 Regiment all of whom were joined by over sixty Marketors. The subject for the evening was "Hitting the Sweet Spot: How to Achieve Lasting Organic Profit Growth" and was opened by the new Chief Executive of the CIM Anne Godfrey who introduced our speaker for the evening. Emeritus Professor of Management and Marketing at London Business School and Chair of Which?, Patrick Barwise is not the usual academic despite ove 30 years at LBS; his interest is in what works in practise rather than theory hence him being the first academic to present our City Lecture and my first choice as guest speaker. That I also lectured for ten year at LBS, if only as a visitor, may also have had something to do with it.

Not surprisingly an excellent speaker, Patrick introduced us to the subject of achieving sustainable profitable growth and, by way of a warning , also to how companies fail. With examples ranging from B&Q and NTL through to Tide and Apple he both educated and entertained us. The key message for me was that customers rarely buy a product or service because it offers something unique - they simply want something that is better. The Q&A session was very lively with questions covering a vast array of topics including the City, local government, pickles, confectionery and branding - all handled expertly by Patrick. My theme for the year of Marketing: the Business Driver was more than proven.

And so to Supper which was a somewhat casual affair for Goldsmiths in that, while seated at tables for ten, they were un names and service commenced once a table was full. In this relaxed atmosphere discussion and debate continued. It would seem that a good time was had by all while several of the Masters told the Mistress and I that is was the best City Lecture all year. Another successful piece of positioning for the Marketors.

John Flynn
Master Marketor 

Monday, 3 December 2012

A Wardmote


Having surrendered his office of Alderman of the Ward of Tower in the City of London, Sir Paul Judge, a Past Master of the Marketors, offered himself for re election and was accepted unopposed. This process was undertaken to ensure that he could accept the role of approved Aldermanic candidate for Sheriff when the election takes place on Midsummer's Day next year. This is a post that could lead to the role of Lord Mayor of London in a few years. The ceremony is called the Wardmote and is presided over by the current Lord Mayor. While less than twenty minutes long this was, never-the-less, crammed with historic references.
This ceremony took place in the charming church of St Olave's in Hart Street, one of the few surviving medieval buildings in The City of London and the burial place of Samuel Pepys. St Olave’s survives as a rare example of the medieval churches that existed before the Great Fire of London in 1666. The flames came within 100 metres or so of the building but then the wind changed direction, saving a number of churches on the eastern side of the City.

Following the departure of the Lord Mayor, the next step was for the congregation to be transported by people carriers to the Guildhall for lunch in the Alderman's Dining Room, a bright but decorative location which buzzed with bonhomie.

Lest you think it was all fun, the event was preceded and followed by a working session in the office.

John Flynn
Master Marketor 

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Tallow Chandler and the Ritz


During the Ironbridge Livery weekend for all 108 Livery Masters and Mistresses (see earlier blog) both groups formed a club. The first to get off the ground were the Mistresses, who last week organised tea at the Ritz, apparently a delightful event according to reports. However this week it was back to the City for Brenda and a luncheon at the Tallow Chandlers Hall at the invitation of their Mistress Mary, Lady Snyder. The event was strictly Mistresses only and so Brenda alone represented the Marketors on this occasion.

The location was fascinating in that the Hall dates back to 1672 having been re built after the Great Fire of London. However, the Tallow Chandlers, having begun about 1300, have been on this site since 1476, receiving their Livery in 1462, just beating the Wax Chandlers who received theirs in 1484. The Company's current activities include supporting a wide range of charities, with a particular emphasis on education, while also maintaining strong links with the oil and edible fats industries. 

So to the Luncheon. A crowded hall full of Masters partners, I am sure, made for some interesting conversations which were help by the guests changing seats half way through an excellent meal in order to engage with other like minded people. Obviously I can only report on what I heard, but clearly it was an excellent event.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Comms & PR


I don't usually blog about a committee meeting but this one was different. It was the final Comms & PR Committee of the year and was held at Lucio's, a restaurant on the Fulham Road. Also it was the last one for its chair, David Williams, who is stepping down, or is it up, to become Consort to next years Master, his wife, Sally Muggeridge. David suggested that it would be something of a sabbatical but I brought him down to earth with tales of the tasks ahead and the fact that while he will be standing down from a number of committees it does not mean that their Chairs will not be calling on him for guidance. David's contribution to both Comms & PR and other areas of the Company has been enormous. We thank him and look forward to his return to the Court in 2014.

And so to the meeting. With the new Company strategy including four discrete Aims and related measurable objectives, there was a lot to talk about. It is proposed that Comms & PR, plus other functions, be positioned as support services rather that part of a particular Aim, so lots to do next year. Then there are the rolling projects such as the web site, the Marketor, and the Directory. In all it looks like a busy time next year for all, and in particular Leo Addis the current Secretary, proposed Chair and host for the evening.

And so to the reception and dinner. But first the Master Elect, Sally, arrived hot foot from the Church of England Synod, on which she sits, where the eagerly anticipated vote for women Bishops had just been lost. She was able to drown her sorrows in the delightful atmosphere of fellowship which permeated the gathering of Marketors.

While on the subject of food, the Mistress, Clerk and I are off tomorrow to do a tasting, which involves being presented with two complete dinners and selecting which dishes and wines to put before the guests, this time at the Court Dinner. Its a tough life but someone has to do it.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Friday, 16 November 2012

Social Media Thinking


Yet another successful Marketors Think Tank Seminar, this time at the CASS Business School. Entitled "Using insights from social media to drive ROI" it addressed why traditional market research fails to capture how consumers are interacting with brands. Starting with an exercise using Twitter information the speaker, Mark Westaby, director of Spectruminsight one of Europe's leading social media specialists, set us the task of defining who drinks what in a mix of faces and brands. The whole audience were wrong, which clearly proved the strength of social media in measuring and evaluating communications. The further examples offered by Mark were increasingly illuminating covering as they did a number of sectors. Social media research can clearly get to places in the customers mind that cannot be reached by previous approaches.

The following Q&A session added to the depth and breadth of the topic. My own question related to the research findings of the recent Presidential Election. Statistics were released regarding the voting patterns by culture, ethnicity, geography, etc but the one that stood out for me was that the majority voting for Obama, who majored on social media, were the unmarried voters, the singles, the people who are more likely to spend time on social media. So my questions were, what percentage of the population uses Twitter regularly, and what are the gaps in a community profile when just measuring via social media. Mark acknowledged that there were sectors of the community whose opinions could not be reached, but stressed the strength of the insights available from those that could be evaluated on-line.

The reception after gave us the opportunity to continue the topic, with the Mistress pitching in on her subject of field research, an activity which, despite social media activities, continues to offer valuable insights for companies. In all an enlightening and entertaining evening.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Basketmakers and Skinners


Every year the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers invite one third of the City Livery Companies to a Masters & Clerks Dinner. This time the Marketors were included amongst the invitees. This was particularly appropriate as the Clerk of the Basketmakers, Roger de Pilkyngton, is retiring at the end of the year, and is a Past Master of the Marketors. Coincidently their new Clerk is to be Julie Fox who occasionally assists our Clerk at our own Great Events.

On this occasion the Basketmakers, formed in 1569 from weavers of baskets and chair seats, and number 52 amongst Livery Companies, to our number 90, chose to have their event in the Hall of the Skinners who were formed in 1327 and are either 6th or 7th depending on whether it is an even or odd year. This fine hall, on a site that the Company has owned since the 1400s, was first a medieval hall that was burnt down in the Great Fire of 1666 but is essentially still the second hall rebuilt in the 1680, having survived the wear and tear of centuries, and the bombing of two world wars, as indeed did the chandelier in the entrance which was a gift of Catherine the Great. The building is now a scheduled ancient monument, Grade I listed.

Our host for the evening was the new Prime Warden of the Basketmakers Alderman, Neil Redcliffe who I had met the evening before at the Horners. Interestingly his father is a Past Prime Warden and his mother and daughter are both Liverymen of the Basketmakers. The speaker for the guests was H C Jourdain, Prime Warden of the Dyers Company who had some fascinating and amusing insights into the history of the two companies. He was a truly entertaining speaker. And so, at the end of what was an excellent evening, I made my way home by strolling across London Bridge. Ah, the joys of living in central London.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Bellm Luncheon and Plastics


Another mixed day officially began with the Tony Bellm Luncheon in the Private Dining Room of the Guildhall. This delightful event was started ten years ago when Tony, our third Master in 1979, bequeathed to the Past Masters funds for an annual luncheon for themselves and their partners, together with their guests the Master and Mistress and the Clerk. In all twenty seven were present with nine apologies for reasons of either travelling or health. This is a particularly pleasant gathering in which there is an unwritten rule that we do not talk business, one to which we adhered - mostly. Amongst those attending I was pleased to see Past Master David Collischon in yet another of his final appearances - long may they continue.

It was then a healthy stroll from the Guildhall to the office at London Wall to sign a few papers and collect 400 Christmas cards for the Mistress and I to sign this weekend. But first to other duties and into black tie for the 15th Horners Ralph Anderson Lecture at the Royal Society of Medicine in Wimpole Street. The Worshipful Company Horners, founded in 1638 were originally workers in horn but today the Company has strong association with those working in modern plastics materials. Hence the lecture on  "The Application of Polymers in Medicine and Dentistry" given by Professor Robert G Hill. Sub titled “Polymer Prescriptions”, it was, surprisingly, a fascinating presentation covering as it did how polymer materials are used to replace hip joints, treat osteoporosis of the spine and to restore and repair damaged teeth. The following reception was great fun in that we two felt like seniors in a freshers fair being one of the longest serving Master and Mistress in the room and therefore the font of all knowledge as to what happens next. Interestingly I met with the new Master of the Basketmakers with whom I will be dining tomorrow. 

John Flynn
Master Marketor  


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Monmouth and the City


The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers have for many years held the Monmouth Enterprise Initiative in which sixth formers from their eight schools compete for the opportunity to network with professionals from the City of London. Each year the Haberdashers choose a different modern livery company to represent a business activity in the City; this time it was the Marketors.

And so the seventy selected students gathered at the modern Haberdashers Hall on the west side of Smithfield for a dinner with twelve Marketors, sixteen representatives from the companies which would be hosting them the following day, and of course our hosts the Haberdashers. To call then students possibly conjures up the wrong image - they were very articulate and smartly dressed young men and women. Also, lest there is an image of educational privaledge, only two of the schools are fee paying.

The evening started with brief presentations from Liverymen Philip Andrew and Annmarie Hanlon on there fascinating careers to date, illustrating that there is not just one route to success and also the strength of marketing skills in driving your career. There was then an interesting Q&A followed by me. I had been given the topic of the history of marketing and whether it was an art or a science, and so in summary I naturally touched on the 1950's in the US Mid West, 1622 in Rome, Freud's double nephew, and hyper connection (you had to be there). Oh yes, and it is first a science and then an art. And all in five minutes. We then moved on to an excellent dinner - in all a delightful evening.

An event such as this takes a lot of organising. Having taken the original brief at the beginning of the year, I was then out of the loop and so passed it to the Deputy Master Sally with a suggestion for two people to organise it, Debra Marmor and Annmarie Hanlon. Not only getting companies to volunteer but also ensuring that they are organised to take the student for a day, each visit being different to the other, is no mean task and so congratulations and thanks to both Debra and Annmarie for their hard work. Not only a success but one that will impact the lives of seventy young people.

John Flynn
Master Marketor


Monday, 12 November 2012

A Memorable Day

Remembrance Day started for us at St Brides Church in Fleet Street with a Choral Eucharist at 10:50am and the Act of Remembrance at 11:00. I, along with others, laid a wreath of poppy's, ours having our coat of arms as the centre piece. This was followed by the Requiem Mass accompanied by the magnificent choir, the organ and orchestra of St Brides. I was delighted to see Marketors amongst the congregation. A truely moving occasion summed up in the simple phrase "We will remember them".

Refreshments were available after the service but we had to dash to the Crypt of St Paul's where we had been invited to lunch with our good friends the members of the Worshipful Company of Stationers. This is a Company with which we have had a long association, their Hall being our first home in the City and where we still hold our treasures. An delicious meal was had by all in pleasant and historic surrounding with congenial company. For us we shares a table with Marketor, and Chair of Events John Wheen, and his wife Barbara. As might be expected when in good company we did not notice the time going hence the next rush.

And so another dash, this time a little further to Lauderdale House on Highgate Hill. Situated in Waterlow Park and dating back to 1582, it was originally built for Sir Richard Martin – the then Master of the Mint and three times Lord Mayor of London. Occupants since then have included the mistress of Charles II, Nell Gwynn, who lived there for a short time with their infant son, the Duke of St. Albans.  We were not there on Marketors business but I thought I would mention it anyway just to round off the day. We were there for the Sunday afternoon  Cabaret which today starred Norman Bowman the Mack in our production of the much acclaimed "Mack & Mabel" which was attended by the Marketors recently. To our surprise and delight one of his guest singers was Laura Pitt-Pulford, or Mabel as some of you know her. A wonderful ending to a hectic and diverse day.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Lord Mayors Show


Our office in Paisterers Hall was the opening scene. I was there early, complete with bacon sandwich and coffee, allowing in and greeting those Marketors who were about to experience the delight of being a part of the 2012 Lord Mayors Show. There was a slight drizzle but as we walk out in full regalia to join our float that stopped. The Show has occurred for more than 800 years with only two missing years, the Great Fire and Wellingtons funeral. Its original purpose was to show the new Lord Mayor, the corporation and the trades to the City. It is the longest, largest and, of course, oldest parade in the world, and I first appeared in it on a Stock Exchange float precisely 50 years ago to this day.

And so to the float, so named because, way back when, Shows took place on the Thames. Ours was magnificent. It was one of the longest vehicles, and with the addition of the marching Cadet Corp was one of the longest presentations over all. The Marketors Coat of Arms and my theme of "Marketing: the Business Driver" were in full display as was reference to our partners the Chartered Institute of Marketing and St Dunstan's School. While I had seen pictures of the proposed float, viewing it for real was a very emotional moment as was seeing the Cadet Corp band, and Army and Navy contingent marching in front of us for the first time.

The parade travelled, in our case, from London Wall, then past the Guildhall and the Mansion House, around by St Paul's and up Fleet Street, past the Courts of Justice to the Aldwich where we stopped for lunch. For everyone, all 6,000 of us, this comprised of a small bag containing a sandwich, a bag of crisps a biscuit and a drink. The benefit of being a Liveryman was that the Master Mariner had invited us onto HMS Wellington to eat our packed lunch, washed down with a little of their bubbly. And so back, but via a slightly different route taking in Blackfriers. 

Well that described it - but how did it feel? Pride was the overriding emotion, of course coupled with excitement, and delight. The crowds were, in places, six deep and seemingly all eager to wave and cheer and to be waved and cheered back at. To smile and wave for almost three hours may seem like a strain but when a sea of faces are doing the same then you don't feel a thing - until you stop. The real delight is seeing the faces in the crowd. There are some you know, be they family, friends, livery or dignitaries you have met, and all are joining in the excitement. But it is the tens of thousands of strangers who are equally eager to be a part of the celebration. The great thing is that you can connect with individuals as you travel, despite the distance from them and the fact that you appear to be in a moving balcony. 

The children of St Dunstan's must have a mention. They were excellent and their teachers and parents must have been very proud. I have already described the Cadet Corp and their precision performance, so this time I turn to the children who were our "out riders", or walkers to be precise. Once they overcame their surprise at the reaction of the crowds they first responded by waving back and then started to "high five" the children that lined the route - brilliant. Unfortunately our second partner on the float could not attend as they had mistakenly organised their students Graduation for the same day, but the CIM's name certainly made an impression on the crowds.

I must not forget the Marketors and their families and friends who gathered at The Wine Tun which  overlooked the route opposite St Paul's. While a great view from their first floor vantage point, many poured onto the street to wave to us from the barrier, and what a wonderful sight they all were. I understand that they then returned to a three course lunch and some refreshment. Indeed they were still refreshing when those of us in the Show finally reached the restaurant in mid afternoon.  

So, an extremely proud day for me and for the Company. We, the Marketors, have taken our place in another of the City's great event. As always this would not have happened without the team of people and sponsors who put so much time and effort into producing the Marketors entry. Thank you all. I am sure you will agree with me in my mentioning one person in particular, Junior Warden Michael Harrison, who again brought it all together - thank you Michael.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Shakespeare and Ethics


A private viewing at the British Museum is always an attractive proposition, even when it starts early in the morning, and as this was an invitation from the Mistress and the City Livery Club, how could I resist. This particular viewing was to see (and hear) a major exhibition on the world of Shakespeare. It provided a unique insight into the role of London as an emerging world City seen through the perspective of Shakespeare's plays.  We were greeted by the curator who, in addition to introducing the exhibition, gave some interesting background into the theatre of the time. For example it is recorded that a playwright received £6 for a play while one of the costumes cost £6.10s But then the costume, together with the others in the production, would have been the genuine article. With the Royal Shakespeare Company providing appropriate pieces from the masters works this was truly an enlightening and uplifting experience which I can certainly recommend. And so back to the office and then onto St Brides with the Mistress.

The "Ethics in Marketing" debate was the first in what will hopefully be an annual event at St Brides Church. The Question Time style approach was chaired by journalist and broadcaster Ray Snoddy OBE while the panel comprised of Sir Paul Judge - Alderman, Anthony Thomson - Founder of Metro Bank, Andrew Marsden - Consultant, chair of ASA standards group and Marketor Businessman and Marketor, Ruth Mortimer - Editor of Marketing Week, and Philip Herbert - partner of law firm Hamlins LLP. With such a strong panel and a demanding set of questions this event exceeded all expectations offering revelations and incites not usually revealed. While I was proud to have initiated this event, which parallels the activities of my other initiative the Marketing Law Group chaired by Ardi Kolah, all credit must go to Sue Ash, chair of our St Brides Committee, without whose hard work and organisation skills this would not have happened. So here is to the next event which, I understand, is already being scheduled for June of next year. 

John Flynn
Master Marketor

A Day of Money


What a mixed day. First to a meeting of the Finance Committee to put the finishing touches to next years budget, then a meeting with our investors to make sure our funds are being correctly managed. Next to the Marketors Trust to review their investment results, followed by a meeting of the Trust. The Trusts good news was that our recent mailing to members was successful. However, having achieve this it was time to say goodbye to the Chair of the Trust, Trevor Brignall, but what a note to go out on. It was also goodbye from me in that these were the last of these meeting I will be attending. Incidentally, lest you think I was dashing all over the place, all of these meetings were held in the Court Room at Plaisterer. However there was then a quick dash to the Mansion House.

The Lord Mayors Appeal 2012 was entitled Fit for the Future and was targeted at promoting health opportunities for all and particularly those from some of the UK's most deprived areas such as Tower Hamlets. The funds raised helped five charities the primary being Bart and the London Charity on behalf of the Trauma Unit at the Royal London Hospital. In all about £2,500,000 has been raised to date. It was a delight to represent the Marketors and be amongst those that also contributed to this great achievement.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

A Day to Remember


The Garden of Remembrance at St Paul's, on the north side of the Cathedral, was the site of the Royal British Legion City of London Poppy Day Appeal service. But first, as this was early morning, to breakfast in the Crypt with more than 100 other Masters, plus clerics, members of the services and particularly the band of the Irish Guards. We were greeted by the President of the Royal British Legion Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszely KCB MC, formed up and made our way to what was a most moving ceremony in the Garden. Fortunately it was a sunny, if very cold, day. The service was conducted by the Dean of St Paul's the Very Reverend David Ison and the guests led by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress David and Elizabeth Wootton who represented the citizens of London.

The service in the garden was short but moving with the band of the Irish Guards and the Royal British Legion Flag Bearers adding to the occasion. We all took our turn to plant our cross on the Remembrance Garden lawn and the service finished with the Kohima Prayer: "When you go home, tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrow we gave our today''. It was a ceremony that allowed all to reflect and show their gratitude for the sacrifices made by others on our behalf.

And so to the office, which is just a short walk from St Paul's, to meet with the Wardens and lunch  (sandwiches) with the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the form of their CEO Anne Godfrey. An excellent meeting which gave us the opportunity to exchange views on the state of the marketing profession. This was followed by the monthly Master & Wardens meeting which ended at about 7:00pm. As always, having been out all day I had amasses a pile of emails, ten to the Master and thirty eight to the other me. I think I'll leave them until the morning.

John Flynn
Master Marketor 

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Support and Care


As a Marketor, this week you will have received a copy of the Marketors' Trust brochure for October 2012. This highlights the fact that the Trust has, since its creation in 1976, grown in value to £560,000 and over the past ten years distributed more than £350,000. This has helped over 200 charities, educational bursaries and sponsorships while each year the Trust makes over 30 grants and awards. The purpose of the mailing was to make you aware of the variety of good works with which it is involved and, of course, to encourage you to give more. The primary goal was financial contributions, although the Outreach Programme is always looking for additional support for their projects.

The one topic that was missing from the brochure was that of the Companys' culture of care, an activity of the Company rather than the Trust. This is an aspect of the Marketors which goes un noticed unless you have a particular need. While managed by the Almoner, who is now Past Master John Fisher, it involves the Master, the Clerk, the Wardens, Past Masters and members of the Court as appropriate, either visiting or keeping in contact with, those in need and their relatives. Where we are advised, funerals are attended and assistance offered to the family. As for the Chaplain he attends where appropriate, indeed in March I had the pleasure of an uplifting visit from Cannon David Meera while I was in hospital.         

Maybe not cradle to grave, but the Marketors are concious of its members progress and well being. So where you can do please support our charitable activities. 

John Flynn
Master Marketor 


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Drugs and the Law


The Tom Olsen Lecture at St Brides Church in Fleet Street is an annual event in memory of the journalist Tom Olsen. It usually reflects issues of the day and on this occasion was no different in that the topic was "Drug Laws in Britain: a waste of time, or an essential barrier to grave danger". However the format had changed. This was no longer a lecture but a debate between Brian Paddick, the former Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner, and Peter Hitchens a Daily Mail columnist and author. While both were of the opinion that something must be done, their approach was quite different. Paddick had a pragmatic approach suggesting that the target should be the traders and suppliers rather than the users, while Hitchens seemed to feel that all involved, and particularly the users, should be punished.

The question of the legality of alcohol and tobacco, and the illegality of the lesser drug cannabis, did arise, as did the tax which could be raised if we legalised certain drugs. However the overall view of the audience seemed to be that the law was at best inadequate. My view was that with street dealers earning less then they could by working at MacDonalds, and there now being millions of recreational users in the country, the only way of addressing this was to cut off the source - a difficult, but not impossible task. It would just take the political will and the diversion of resource. We should spend time and money cleaning up this country and then we would be in a better positon to police others.

So, a good event followed by a reception laid on by Kaizo, the communications company, at which the Mistress and I, together with the rest of the audience, were able to continue the discussion. Interestingly we, the Marketors, have our own debate at St Bride on the 8th November on the topic of "Ethics in Marketing", the first Question Time style debate we have held. The panel will include our own Sir Paul Judge and it will be chaired by Ray Snoddy.

John Flynn
Master Marketor        

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Regimental Curry


The Regimental Curry Night is an annual event at which 151 (London) Transport Regiment invites twenty Marketors, including partners, to an evening of comradeship and fellowship. As usual there was an excellent choice of curries together with all the trimmings and, of course liquid refreshment with which to wash it down. On this occasion it was held at 240 Transport Squadron's TA Centre in Barnet, the other end of London from Croydon where 151 started in 1801 as The Royal Waggon Train Company.

Our host for the night was Lieutenant Colonel John Kerner and their special guest was Major-General Mark Poffley OBE. As is traditional they both addressed the gathering and, as always, gave some interesting insights into both the life of a soldier and the life of a regiment in the British Army.

This was Lt Col Kerner's first meeting with the Marketors but some how there was instant affinity. He had gone to Cranfield where I am on the advisory panel (admittedly Marketing  not Logistics) and where we offer a Trust Award, he is a member of a Chartered Institute as are most of us, he was recently supporting stakeholders and delivering corporate communications and providing PR in support of development objectives (admittedly political and military ones) but this all took place in Helmund province, Afghanistan. As I explained, when I chose marketing as a career it was with the assumption that it was a zero risk profession. This was truly heroic marketing.

I assume that the discussions which followed the meal went on into the night, as for the Mistress and I we got the last train home. This excellent evening was proof, if needed, of the very close relationship we continue to have with the people of 151 Regiment. Finally our thanks to Event Director Hugh West for making all the arrangements, and to Richard Cristou and his Armed Forces and Cadet Committee who nurture our relationship with 151 and other military groups.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Friday, 19 October 2012

Bonhomie and the Bowden


To paraphrase Noel Coward "I've been to a wonderful dinner". It was our Bowden Charter Dinner which took place at Clothworkers Hall. Almost 140 guests passed through the wrought iron gilded arch of Dunston Court into the vast art deco reception area of the Hall to be serenaded by a jazz band of the period. The evening started with the Ceremonial Court where we admitted seven people to the Freedom, three to Livery and one to the Court. There was however one person not in attendance at the Court, the Clerk Adele Thorpe, the person who had organised the whole evening. Regrettably she was ill, and so her place was taken at very short notice by Valerie Boakes, Liveryman and Past Master of the City Livery Club. Plus Assistant Clerk Doreen Blythe took on the mantle of organiser. Well done, and our thanks to both.

And so to the reception where all were greeted by the Master, the Mistress, the Wardens and their partners. Following a time for everyone to meet and greet we then all moved into the Great Hall for dinner. An excellent meal of duck and venison was followed by the Sung Grace, the Loving Cup and an address from our guest speaker Keith Weed, the Global Marketing Officer of Unilever. Addressing both the importance of marketing to the growth of an organisation, and the real global issues surrounding sustainability, his was both an informative and thought provoking presentation which was a call to action for all our community. 

And so to the end of this my final Great Event which concluded with a Stirrup Cup, an opportunity for a final moment of fellowship. As the Senior Warden remarked, there was a real spirit of 'bonhomie'. So my thanks to all who were there for making this one of the most memorable events of my year.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Vince Cable and Cass


The Sir John Cass's Foundation Lecture this year had the topic of "Accelerating Social Mobility: Improving Life Chances". It was delivered by The Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. It took place in the Auditorium of the Cass Business School in Bunhill Row to an audience of about 250 including myself and the Mistress, plus the Chair of the Marketors Trust, Trevor Brignall. The basic message was that the key to mobility was education and there was an outline of the Governments educational policy.

After the lecture there was a reception followed by a dinner for a select few at which I had the opportunity  to present a cheque from the Marketors Trust to the Dean of Cass Business School, Richard Gillingwater CBE for the Marketors bursary. The Award is to be presented to the student at the Bowden Dinner tomorrow. It was refreshing to mix with a different group of people with different interests and over dinner to also to discover that of our four immediate neighbors, three either lived or worked close to us in Bermondsey. And so it was back home and on to writing my presentation for tomorrow.

John Flynn
Master Marketor  

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Finance and Wizardry


This was going to be one of those hectic days. It started as usual early in the morning by responding to a load of emails, and then onto the Hall of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, my other company. This was for a meeting of the Financial Services Group, an organisation of twelve livery companies which together support the Lord Mayor during his year with background knowledge of the financial services sectors and updates on the countries he is vitising. The Chairman was our very own Liveryman and Chair of the Marketors Trust, Trevor Brignall wo did an excellent job. On this occasion the FSG Lunch was hosted by the Marketors and so we two plus our Clerk Adele had pride of place. The Guest of Honour for the lunch was Mark Field MP and previously a professional in the City. He gave an excellent insight into the condition of the City and the political perception.

A dash back home to more emails and a few calls, and then onto the Events Committee at the Guildhall in the quirky Alderman's Court which seems to float on the side of the Guildhall. Unfortunately I could only be there for an hour but did manage to hear about the booking system and next years events. And so to the  Worshipful Company of Turners of London's Wizardry in Wood Reception at the magnificent Carpenters' Hall in Throgmorton Avenue. There I met the Mistress Brenda and the Clerk Adele and we view the craft in action and saw amazing pieces which were on display throughout the Hall, many of which were on sale. It reminded me of school and woodwork classes, although I am sure that I never producing anything like this. Our host was the Master Turner Peter Gibson, while the Guest of Honour was Alderman Fiona Woolf OBE who formally opened the proceedings. A delightful event at which we met many old friends and made a few more.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Surveying a Hall


It is always an honour to be invited to the Installation of new Master and it was a delight to be a guest at Clothworkers Hall for the Installation of Roger Southam as Master of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors. While an ancient skill, and one which my father in law practised, the company was only formed in 1977 and is number 85 to our number 90. Clothworkers Hall, located in Mincing Lane, was most impressive, but then they are one of the Great Twelve companies. This event was particularly important as this is where our Bowden Dinner is to take place on Thursday, and it gave me the chance to research the place. However I was distracted not only by the company I met, but also the speakers which included  Olympian Steve Backley and Dr Philippa Malmgren who restored our faith in the UK and its future in the global market.

An so, following a stirrup cup, it was home which, of course, was just across London Bridge, and as it is only Monday, the anticipation of another four events this week.

John Flynn
Master Marketor 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Paynters and Steyners


The earliest reference to "Paynters", those who decorated, gilded and coloured solid objects, was in 1283.  By the middle ages they had formed the Painter's Guild, and in 1502 joined with the "Steyners", who applied colour to fabric, to become the Painter-Stainers. They received their Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth I in 1589 having been bequeathed their Hall in Little Trinity Street in 1532. The building suffered in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and during the Second World War but here we were, standing in Painters Hall, the home of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers, and on the original site in Little Trinity Street.

The occasion was the reception for the opening of the annual "Art in the City" exhibition run by the Painters' Fine Art Society. With 21 artists represented and over 200 painting on show this was indeed a sight for sore eyes. Almost all paintings were for sale with prices ranging from £45 through to £25,000. There was an artist in residence, Ann Bowen, who displayed her skills as a calligrapher and heraldic artist; and we were entertained by David Shepherd who is not only one of the world's leading wildlife artists but also turned out to be an extremely amusing speaker. As always, delightful company and excellent hospitality. Our thanks to the the Painter-Stainers.

John Flynn
Master Marketor


Thursday, 4 October 2012

An Enchanted Evening


The Marketors have our Annual Lecture, in fact I was with our speaker only yesterday discussing the details, while other Companies have their own special annual events. In the case of the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators it is their Annual Recital which this time was at St Mary-le-Bow in Cheapside. Timing was an issue in that I had to hot foot it from a Master & Wardens meeting at Plaisterers while others scurried from St Paul's where they had been attending the Musicians Annual Evensong. We all arrive on time, me to be greeted by the Mistress and then many old and new friends from other Liveries.

The concert was an interesting mix which started with Michael Gitkin on the magnificent Tickell organ playing the "Arbitrators Theme" followed by Handel and Bach. Next came two original piano compositions from the composer Alla Sirenko, and then a broad selection of mainly duets ranging from Mendelssohn to Hammerstein sung by soprano Ruth Holton and counter tenor Nicholas Mitchell. On rendering "Some Enchanted Evening" Nicholas reverted to tenor.  An excellent choice by the Master Arbitrator Hew Dundas which was aided by the near perfect acoustics at St Mary le Bow.

This was of course followed by the usual hospitality and a chance to mingle with the rest of the audience. A pleasant evening following an intense Master & Wardens in the afternoon. I now look forward to the meeting of the Marketing Law Group tomorrow, particularly as this will be my first since I formed it.

John Flynn
Master Marketor    

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Breakfast, Election and Lunch


Every year since 1189 a new Lord Mayor has been elected in the City of London. A comparatively solemn  ceremony, it takes place in the magnificent Guildhall in the presence of over 900 people all of whom serve the City in some way. For me, and other members of Livery Companies, this was not just about the election but an opportunity to meet with others involved in the City.

The day started at 8:00am with breakfast at the Carpenters Hall in Throgmorton Avenue which was provided by The Cook & The Butler, a catering company to the City. This was a chance to meet some of the new Masters and to bid farewell to those whose term ends shortly. An so on to our office in London Wall and then to the Crypt of the Guildhall to be robed prior to processing to the 850 year old church of St Lawrence Jewry next Guildhall which, as you will have guessed was close by. An excellent service with an impressive choir, the Sermon was delivered by the Chaplain to the Lord Mayor.

And so back to the Guildhall to process in with the Masters of the other 107 Worshipful Companies together the Aldermen, Sheriffs and Officers of the City plus, of course, the existing Lord Mayor, Alderman David Wootton. The election only being attended by Liverymen, we were given a choice of three candidates, and so the assembled throng, on a show of hands and a cry of yes, elected Michael Gifford as Lord Mayor for the forthcoming year. Before he is formally enrolled he will have to undergo the Silent Ceremony, in which the power is transferred from the current  incumbent, and the Lord Mayors Show, which ensures that he is recognised by the City.

Next a short walk past St Paul's to the Stationers Hall where there was held an Election Luncheon. This was a chance to catch up with other Marketors, and indeed the Mistress, and enjoy an excellent meal of trout and guinea fowl together with fine company. And so back to the office and then home by 5:00pm. A very pleasant day.

John Flynn
Master Marketor   

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Between the Beatles and Dickens


While I usually report on events where I represent the Marketors, there are many where I am invited  because of my connection with the Company, but not to represent it, the last two days being a good examples. Having started the week with the opening of the Beatles "Let It Be" at the Prince of Wales theatre, my first semi official event was Tuesday at Cass Business School where I attended a seminar led by the Ehrenberg Bass Institute of Marketing on the subject of "Marketing is a Science: it can be measured, predicted and explained". My own Masters in Marketing being an MSc I immediately warmed to the various arguments. The new message I took way with me was that segments and products tend to be similar amongst competitors so don't search for the USP or the differentiators, create a distinctiveness that raises you above the rest. The one question I asked was  regarding neural marketing, a topic that had not been covered, and in which I have an interest. Was it a science, hype or voodoo? The feeling amongst the experts was that it was hyped science and in its infancy. My view - watch this space.

And so to Wednesday which started at 8:30am in Glaziers Hall; only a short walk from where I live. The subject was "Can Brands be Trusted to take a larger role in Society" An impressive array of speakers, including people from PwC, Deloitte and MediaCom, mainly covered the subjects of truth, trust and reputation in the context of brands. There was much talk of the views of the millenials (those born in the 80's) and the diminishing importance of profit, and how social morality should be a part of an organisations DNA. And then James Woodhuysen of De Montfort University spoke, brushing aside, in his words, "ethics / shmethics" and "sustainababble" and concentrating on what he believes really needs to be done in terms of society, namely to address the larger issues of energy and water, topics which should be led by government. With regards to charitable activities I later had the chance to point out that Companies such a the Glaziers had been supporting communities since the days of Charles I and that all 108 Livery Companies had the objective of sustainability which in their case meant longevity - the ability to continue to do good. I, of course mentioned The Marketors.

And so from Glaziers to Plaisterers for a Marketors Court Meeting. I cannot report here on the content of the agenda or the outcome, but can report that there were two important and lengthy topics which took us until 8:30pm to address. This left me with a mad dash to catch up with the Mistress at the Playhouse theatre in time to see the second act of "The Mystery of Charles Dickens", a one man show by Simon Callow in which he played the many Dickensian characters brilliantly. A delightful end to a hectic day.

John Flynn
Master Marketor     

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Customers, Farmers and Choristers


Today was a triple header, that is breakfast, lunch and supper. Or to put it another way, what might be regarded as mammon, meat and music.  The first event started at 8:00am at the Southbank offices of IBM where I attended a seminar hosted by Criticaleye. Preceded by breakfast, well bacon and sausage rolls and coffee, the subject of the morning was "Who Owns the Customer Relationship?" and was addressed by an impressive line up led by the IBM VP, CRM, Global, Bill Payne. An excellent Q&A followed which, as might be expected from a hand picked audience, raised many important questions, and even a few answers. My un asked question was, will the CCO take precedent over the CMO? I doubt it, but time will tell. And so, at 10:30, on to the office to sign things and thence to the Farmers.

The Worshipful Company of Farmers hosted a luncheon for Masters and Clerks of other companies at the Farmers Fletchers' Hall close by Smithfield, the meat market. In all, over 100 people were in attendance representing companies ranging from the great twelve to the modern liveries. Clearly thought was put into the seating plan in that one of my neighbours was a farmer who is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. The highlight of the speeches was a presentation by a young farmer, and Nuffield Scholar, who had been sponsored by the Farmers to carry out world wide research into the marketing and business growth of niche food and other products. The final appreciation must go to the meal and particularly the beef, but then the hosts were The Farmers.

And so home and then on to St Paul's Cathedral with the Mistress for a recital by the choristers of St Paul's. In addition to the delightful, and at times very moving, singing under the dome, there was also an open Q&A session with choristers, the youngest being eight years old and the oldest twelve. The reception, hosted by St Paul's Cathedral Foundation which followed, was held in the Crypt- a most impressive space. This was to thank those who are supporters of St Paul's, amongst whom is of course the Marketors. 

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Saturday, 15 September 2012

... in a Brewery


Some would see this as the ideal end to a hectic week, a tour round a brewery followed by the perfect English pub lunch. The location was Fuller's Brewery nestled by the Thames in Chiswick. A brewery has been here for 350 years old and it is one of the oldest in London. The current ownership was established in 1845 and members of the Fuller family are still actively involved in its management.

The tour, led by two fonts of knowledge, guides Jane and Geoff, took us through every aspect of beer brewing, both ancient and modern, and gave us insights into not only the complex production process but also the business history of the company and the industry. Interestingly they also identifying many of the business challenged faced today and how they are being addressed. Needless to say there was time for a tasting session where we had the chance to sample some of their many excellent and varied brews ranging from pale ale to porter.

Next from the Griffin Brewery to the adjacent Mawson Arms and a fine lunch, including beef and ale pie. This was of course accompanied by delightful company including one Liveryman who had flown back from the US for a board meeting this afternoon and so was able to fit the event in. Finally, my thanks to the event director Edward Fullbrook for arranging such a fascinating event.

John Flynn
Master Marketor       

Thursday, 13 September 2012

The Modern Mistress


The role of a Worshipful Company Mistress can be a tough one as amongst their many tasks is that of supporting the Master and attending a variety of events where they too are representing their respective Companies. Ocasionally they are the sole representative as was the case today when a number of the Mistresses of the Morden Livery Companies met at the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists hall by Smithfield where the Mistress of the Worshipful Company of Tax Advisors, Cynthia Gravestock hosted a Modern Mistresses' Luncheon.

While I was, quite rightly, not invited, I can imagine the scene in that the Information Technologists is my other Company, and was my first Company by 5 months back in 1993. I am sure that the main hall was alive with discussion on such subjects as the future of the Worshipful Company movement, particularly as Alderman Fiona Woolf CBE was the key note speaker. Having been responsible for the very first of the Modern Mistresses' Luncheon I am sure that Alderman Woolf is rightly proud of the development of this important initiative.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Thoroughly Modern Liveries


Every spring and autumn all the Masters and Senior Wardens of the thirty one modern livery companies, those formed since 1978, plus a few of those Guilds aspiring to Worshipful Company, dine together. The last gathering was organised in March by the Marketors (see appropriate blog), but unfortunately I was elsewhere and so unable to act as mine host. On this occasion it was the turn of the Actuaries with there Master, Bill Smith, greeting us. The location was new to me in that it was at Staples Inn Hall, the home of the Chartered Institute of Actuaries, which is located in a delightfully ancient and secluded square behind the Tudor fronted shops in High Holborn.

As always it was fascinating to talk to people from other companies, but even more so as they were at different points in their progression through the ranks. Topics ranged from their company's past history through to future strategies, and were of course seasoned with anecdotes relating to both our roles and our careers. The speaker for the evening was Alderman & Sheriff Elect Jeffrey Evens someone we will be hearing a great deal more of over the next few years.

With future dinners already planned out until the spring of 2021, and the increasing number of Modern Livery Companies, it will be some time before the Actuaries, or indeed the Marketors, host an event again, but future Masters and Senior Wardens can look forward to many years of excellent dinners in delightful company.

John Flynn
Master Marketor   

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

A Charter and the Olympians


And so the year lifts off again with four events this week. Two for me, one for the Mistress and one for both of us. The first is the Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, Royal Charter Banquet at The Guildhall. Amonst the 530 guests at this magnificent events were just seven Company Masters and so I was double honoured to be invited to represent the Marketors.

The Pikemen & Musketeers, Honourable Artillery Company were in attendance in their splendid regalia while the Royal Yeomanry Band accompanies the whole event from the balcony of this magnificent hall which dates back 800 years, the current building having been erected in 1411.

As we Marketors now know, receiving a Royal Charter is a great occasion for a Worshipful Company and so its presentation by the Lord Mayor, David Wooton, to Chartered Accountants was a moving moment. This was not the Lord Mayors only speech at the Guildhall that day. He had, in the morning, greeted our Olympic athletes prior to their parade through London which started at the Mansion House and ended at Buckingham Palace. Apparently the streets were lined with over a million well wishers, a figure I can well believe having been near Charing Cross in the morning when they passed by. For those who know Villiers Street, the crowd were half way down it so about thirty deep at that point. Fortunately my destination was a theatre about half way up the street, but I did get a glimps of the athletes.

As always the company at the table in the evening was delightful with, on this occasion, the familiar faces of such as Murrey Craig the Clerk of the Chamberlains Court, and Hew Dundas the Master Arbitrator. By coincidence Hew is the host of tomorrows Modern Livery Dinner. But more of that in the next blog.

John Flynn
Master Marketor 

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Mack & Mabel


The association that the Mistress and I have with both on and off West End theatre has been know by most members of the Company for some time, however it was driven home a few months ago when the London Evening Standard proclaimed "Music from Mack and Mabel brought me back from the dead". This was the story of how I emerged from a coma in March - it even had a mention of the Marketors in it. It was a useful boost to ticket sales as the show had then just opened at the Southwark Playhouse. Numerous enquiries about the show led us to set up a visit for Marketors and their friend. While a Masters event, and not a part of the formal Marketors programme, we did have the assistance of the Junior Warden, Michael Harrison, who elected to manage the event - for which much thanks Junior.

The evening started by the Thames between London and Tower Bridge at Cotes Restaurant in the Hays Galleria, an elegant arcade housing a very quirky steel "galleon". Excellent cuisine and delightful company was topped off with an introduction to the evening, and to the world of Off West End theatre, from the producer of tonight's show, Danielle Tarento. And so the party processed to the Playhouse which was a few minutes away down an ally by a pub and then into the vaults underneath platform 1 of London Bridge Station. Comprising of a 150 seat Studio Theatre and The Vault, a secondary performance space, and a bar area, we were in The Vault. Unusually seats were reserved for us (it is usually a scramble), and being in row  3 and 4 this meant we were in the back of the space.

And so to the show. It soon became evident to all why this production had achieved seven 5 star ratings and nine 4 star rating from the likes of the The Times, The Independent, Evening Standard, Time Out and The Stage. While a musical  based in the 1920's at a time when movies were silent and cinema was magic this was no "Singing in the rain". It was a gritty and emotion show which tells the story of Mack Sennett, the creator of the Keystone Cops, and Mabel Normand, a waitress he turns into a star. It had a powerful story line, amazing music and exceptional numbers together with moments that had many of the audience reaching for their hankies. At the end of an excellent show we had the opportunity to meet with the amazingly talented cast.

For many of the party this was their first experience of an Off West End production. While tomorrow is the last night of the show, there are over 60 such "theatres" around London, all with professional productions showing. They are a very mixed bag in terms of venues and productions, but why not get along to one of them - after all, this is where theatre magic begins.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Friday, 24 August 2012

Wit and Wisdom


Having sat in the sun at the Scoop listening to a New Orleans jazz band over lunch yesterday, and attended the launch, on the roof of the Trafalgar Hotel, in the sun, of Let It Be, the new Beatles musical, it was not surprising that I turned up to the RAC Club in the evening somewhat red faced and sun burnt. The occasion was the much anticipated informal supper evening with Court Assistant Emeritus Professor Martyn Davis.

The event was entitled "Marketing Internationally" and billed as a light-hearted guide to face-to-face communications abroad. Not surprisingly all present delighted in the wit and wisdom of Martyn as he regaled us with stories of his exploits from around the world, while also introducing us to his essential tool kit for survival on the international circuit. With experience ranging across countries from Brazil to the Ukraine and civic awards from many of them, this ex Harvard man had the audience enthralled, and when you consider that most of those in attendance were experienced travellers, this was quite an achievement. It was indeed both a truly entertaining and an educational evening for us all. Our thanks to Martyn.

My thank also go to Liveryman Michael Beddingfield, who is the Marketing Director of the RAC, for the use of this splendid location, and particularly to Jane Wharem, the Event Director, without whose time and energy this event would not have happened.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Drugs and the City


The largest employer in the City, and the biggest company in the world, with enormous influence at home and abroad, it was also involved with drugs and ended up being taken over by the Government. This was the topic of the Marketors Annual City Walk. The subject was, of course, the East India Company which evolved during the early days of the coffee house exchanges and received its Royal Charter in 1600. The Company eventually came to rule India with its own private army, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions. It also went to war with China - twice. This was because the Chinese refused to continue to take opium in return for tea. The company was finally dissolved in 1874 when its functions were absorbed into British government machinery and its army was nationalised by the British Crown.

Our Blue Badge Guide, Tim Kidd. led us through the ally ways between Cornhill and Lombard Street, and up Bishopsgate to Loyds while regaling us with stories of the rise and fall of the company together with insights into the places and people involved both in the City and throughout the world. It turned out that despite the corporate abuse, colonialism, exploitation and monopoly power involved, there is the possibility that the company could have survive had they done their market research. For example cultural issues such as the use of pork and beef fat which caused the Indian Rebellion, and price positioning error resulting in the overpricing/dumping of tea which brought about the Boston Tea Party and triggered the American War of Independence. In all an enthralling story that should not be hidden away.

And so it was on to a delightful meal at the Missouri Angel with, of course, delightful company. Our thanks particularly to Liveryman Jo Edwards our Event Director for not only the hard work involved in organising such an event, but also for having suggested this intriguing subject in the first place.

John Flynn
Master Marketor