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

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Law and Marketing

Whether you work for a private or public sector organisation or advise clients, there has been a significant increase in legalisation relating to marketing activities, both at National and EU levels.
Some of this legalisation has updated existing laws and regulations, but there has been the introduction of new legalisation in such areas as SMS marketing, spam, direct marketing, brand management, advertising, cookies and direct selling.  New legalisation is currently in the pipeline and this will bring more challenges and complexity for how we, as Marketors, go about our daily role and devise marketing strategy.
For Marketors, there is also the ‘spirit’ of what the law intended, principles and behaviour, and ethical codes to be considered when reaching a decision or recommendation.
Given the importance of legalisation, I’m pleased to announce the formation, under the Chairmanship of Liveryman Ardi Kolah, of the Marketors Law and Marketing Group.  The group will identify the changes and challenges; keeping Marketors aware of what these mean for the marketing profession.  The group is about support and help; identifying key legal issues and working with law firms and other professional advisors who will host events on these topics for our Company Members.
More announcements will follow shortly, but if you have any immediate questions please feel free to contact Ardi.

John Flynn
Master Marketor