[This is more about "the selling of clothes" than "clothing details", so read on if you are interested in the former] Last night I read the article in the New York Times Magazine (from two weeks ago) on "Bzzz Marketing". For those who have never heard the term, this is a marketing technique whereby a company hires thousands of "ordinary people" (called "agents") who go out and proselytize about the product. For example, if a product is a book, the agents go to book clubs and recommend the book, go onto amazon and write positive reviews, post on bulletin boards about how good the book is, carry the book around with them conspicuously wherever they go to engage strangers, etc. etc. The key issue is that these people never let on that they are paid in some way to do this. So, why am I bringing this up here? Because one of the companies that is mentioned in the article as adopting this method is Johnston & Murphy, a shoe company here in the United States. I have no opinion of Johnston&Murphy shoes, but I do have an opinion about this method of advertising: I think it's more than a little slimy. And it can drastically affect how boards such as this one operate, as it removes the implicit bargain we all have when we post: that we do so to provide helpful information through first hand experience and learned knowledge, rather than through paid influence. So, this is basically a heads-up. It's up to us to understand how to recognize quality, no matter what others say. And if someone pops up with some fab recommendation of Johnston&Murphy shoes, think twice...
post #1 of 14
12/14/04 at 1:35pm