The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


You Can Tell A Company By The Inconvenience It Embraces …

Lot’s of companies talk about doing good.

Sadly, of those who do, many have both eyes fixed on what’s in it for them.

A headline.

An award.

A chance to win favour with someone they want to connect with.

An opportunity to distract attention from all the bad stuff they’re doing.

Now there are some companies who mean it.

Who have a set of values that truly is reflected in a set of behaviours.

However, in my experience, I’ve found it’s often more to do with the character of an individual within the organisation rather than the organisation.

Not always, but often.

What I’ve found is the best way to identify the real motivation behind an act of generosity is to see how inconvenient it is for them to execute.

The more inconvenient, the more they care.

I’ve seen some amazing examples of people going out of their way …

There was the time Simon Pestridge – when he was CMO at NIKE – got me a signed Wayne Rooney, Manchester United shirt so I could give it to a random taxi driver I’d met in Atlanta. Or the time San – also from Nike – humoured me by getting me green M&M’s [my attempt at reliving the Van Halen ‘brown M&M trick] when they asked me to pull a global preso together at the last second.

That’s proof of people who give a shit about others.

But I’ve seen the other side.

The food brand who ‘donated’ $100 to a group collecting food for victims of an earthquake.

Or the travel company who gave schools a 3% discount for train tickets so city kids could see a beach.

Or the international conglomerate who talk about purpose and their desire to help humanity but continue to profit from cultural exploitation and acts of prejudice.

But where you would normally expect me to leave the post there – with a bad taste in your mouth – I’m not going to.

I know, who the fuck am I?

You see a while back I got asked by Coca-Cola if I’d give a presentation to their Asia-Pac marketing team.

I decided a while back, that I’m going to start ‘exploiting’ my so-called position by trying to do things that can positively change things for more people.

So I told them I’d do it if they agreed to hire a young woman [full-time or a long-term paid internship] who hadn’t gone to university and came from a more humble background.

Then – proving I’m still a selfish, blagging bastard – I said I’d also like some Coke Zero for me.

Amazingly … brilliantly … awesomely they agreed and were nothing but kind and open about making it happen – which also helps explain the photo at the top of this page showing Otis with an outdoor furniture set made of Coke Zero supplies.

They didn’t have to do it.

They could have just asked someone else to do the talk.

But they did … and while there are many things people could throw stones at them for, this was more than many and more valuable than most.

Which leaves me with this …

If you’re asked to do a presentation or a talk or even a panel for someone, maybe you could consider doing a similar thing to me.

Let’s face it, if they would do it for me, they’ll DEFINITELY do it for you.

And if they say no, then you’ll know exactly what you’re dealing with.

But maybe they’ll say yes.

Maybe it won’t be an internship, but it could be something else.

A partnership with a school.
An introduction to one of their partner companies.
Some mentorship.
A donation.

And while it might not change millions of lives, it could change one.

And that is most definitely better than none.

Just a thought.

Thank you Coca-Cola..



Desperate For Friends …

A while back, Mark Zuckerberg announced to the world he was creating a holding company – that would house Facebook and Instagram etc – called Meta.

He launched it with this piece of underwhelming fanfare …

There are so many questions about this …

Why did Zuck make his avatar leaner than the real him? Why did he think showing a virtual room with some boring mates playing cards would excite the world? Why the fuck is his wife & dog making an appearance & why would his dad give a shit about receiving a clip of the pooch? Why was the “awesome virtual room” like a Sega Megadrive game background? Why are Facebook/Meta employees so cowardly they can’t tell their boss his acting is worse than people who appeared on that short lived BBC soap, Eldorado? Why did they think it would be trippy to show a flying fish to a generation who make TikTok videos far weirder, fancier and more interesting? Why did I watch the whole thing. Twice? Why did they make their logo a shot Zorro mask? Why does android Zuck still pretend he’s human?

It was, in no uncertain terms, fucking terrible.

But to show that Facebook have no shame taste, they then went on a social media tirade in a bid to drum up support and interest from brands.

Not people. Brands.

Asking them what they’ll be doing in the metaverse.

And while the social media account of a brand talking to another brand may be cool for the people working at the brand, 99.9% of the time it’s an act that shows a complete lack of self awareness.

Look at this …

It’s the equivalent of 2 old white dudes – wearing Yeezy’s & Supreme tees – thinking they’re the hippest, hottest dudes on an empty petrol station forecourt in Basingstoke on a wet Tuesday night.

Seriously, I detest this sort of thing.

I certainly detest every bit about this echo chamber, jock-banter, industry ‘in joke’, interaction.

I know some people will claim it is ‘hijacking culture’, but there’s 2 key issues with this.

1. How can it be ‘hijacking’, when this approach is so common, people literally expect it.

2. There’s a major difference between hijacking and boring them.

Putting aside the danger of letting a man like Zuckerberg have even more knowledge about our lives so he can profit from it … putting aside his track record of saying his company does good things then is found to be doing bad … putting aside Facebook ‘borrowed’ their Meta logo from another company … what Zuckerberg is showing is he doesn’t care about the people who use his products, just the advertisers who keep throwing money at him so they can find more and more ways to sell stuff to them, before launching ad campaigns saying they care about the environment and everyone should act.

Or some other blame throwing tactic.

Zuckerberg isn’t going anywhere.

And what makes it worse is that technology … specifically the metaverse and mixed reality … has the potential to do incredible good for humanity. However when governments allow this space to be ‘owned’ by egotistical billionaires, then the only ‘incredible good’ we can look forward to, is more blatant exploitation with no legal implication whatsoever.

Thanks Zuck.

Thanks for robbing us of the future we could have, but you want to dictate.



Lies. Damn Lies. And Publicity Claims From Tobacco Firms …
November 17, 2021, 8:00 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Corporate Evil, Cunning, Death

A few months ago, I wrote about Philip Morris’ alleged ‘transformation’ from being a manufacturer of cancer sticks to a health company.

Well not only are they continuing with this ambition, they are adopting the Trump/Johnson strategy of acceptance.

What that means is this.

1. Drop the word ‘health’ in every conversation.

2. Use language that positions you as ‘the good guys’.

3. Under no circumstances ever acknowledge any mistake from the past.

4. Publicly question the credibility of anyone who challenges your actions.

5. Act like you only care about average people, never the corporate elite, despite you constantly and continually living and flaunting the sort of life no average individual could enjoy.

And why am I saying all this?

Because of this …

What the absolute fuck.

This is a company who purposefully, willingly and cynically spread false information about the benefits of their product over decades … talking about the dangers of companies who spread false information.

Hell, they even add a ‘warning’ that sounds awfully like the government mandated warning that appears on the front of every cigarette packet.

Seriously, this could only be more ironic if it came from Facebook.

Only a company who literally doesn’t give a shit about morals or honesty or other people’s health would do something like this. But let’s be honest, we shouldn’t be surprised.

Their whole history is littered with manipulation, lies and false information.

From making cigarette products labelled ‘lite’ to give the impression they were ‘better for you’ [they weren’t] to that iconic moment of shame, where the CEO’s of the biggest tobacco companies stood up in from of politicians in the House of Representatives, raised their hand and said their product was not dangerous when they already knew it was and it was killing people.

In fact, in this testimony, not only did the CEO of Philip Morris of the time, William Campbell, proclaim:

“I believe nicotine is not addictive” … which was subsequently repeated by the other executives of the biggest tobacco companies in America … one went on to insist that cigarettes were no more addictive than coffee, tea or Twinkies.

Fortunately, Henry Waxman, a democrat politician who was leading the proceedings, fired back: “The difference between cigarettes and Twinkies is death”.

Pretty hard to come back from a statement like that, even though they tried. Not because they had got so used to lying they thought it was true – they were VERY aware of the deceit they were peddling – it was more they were incredulous to anyone questioning what they said.

So given Philip Morris are so passionate about facts, compare what they say in their ‘brand ‘purpose’ with what they say in public.

Don’t know about you, but it appears they’re not as aligned as they should be … because rather than being about health, it’s more about making their product less death.

‘Less’ death.

But for all the cleverly ambiguity they’ve placed in their writing, the overriding impression I am left with is that they don’t actually understand the meaning of the word truth … which is the only thing I may believe from Philip Morris.



Why Self Awareness Is Not As Profitable As Deliberate Delusion …
October 19, 2021, 8:00 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Corporate Evil, Death

A while back I wrote a post about being deliberately ignorant.

I also wrote a bunch of posts about the Sackler family – and their consultant partners – who continually looked for ways to keep selling their opioid, Oxycontin, by claiming it was safe, despite evidence it was causing huge addiction problems and death across the USA.

I talked about how my father had said the reason for this was because that by denying complicity in a situation, people can continue to convince themselves their achievements and motivations are worthy of accolades, rather than anger.

Well recently I read a quote that sums it all up very eloquently.

It’s from Upton Sinclair, who said:

“Man has difficulty understanding something if his salary depends on his not understanding”.

Now, I appreciate money is important, but I find it interesting the people who are often the worst examples of this sort of behaviour are very wealthy … the people who already have enough money to live a hundred lifetimes in comfort but want more and don’t care what the impact of that greed is.

So they lie.

Deny.

Turn tables.

Pay people off.

Hire PR companies.

Talk about ‘their purpose’ to help humanity.

Anything but accept their culpability in reality.

But then, when you hear how they continue to get out of the justice they deserve – even when the law finally catches up with them – simply by sticking steadfast to their denials, and having an extortionately expensive legal team who [allegedly] have a huge amount of influence and interactions with the judge presiding over the case [see pic at top of this post] … you realise deliberate ignorance is one of the smartness things you can do.

If you’re evil.



Whoever Said Crime Doesn’t Pay Hasn’t Heard Of McKinsey …

Monday.

God it’s hard isn’t it.

If this is the point of the week where you have the most energy, how the hell will you be feeling on Wednesday?

Well I’m going to help you with that.

I’m going to give you a surge of energy that will see you through.

And that energy is going to be created through anger.

Remember last week how I wrote about McKinsey and their moral compass free attitude towards making cash?

That they thought nothing of putting in proposals that allowed their client to continue killing people as long as they made money?

Well, I guess there was a small chance that someone could say it was all a mistake. A misunderstanding. A misquote.

OK, so no one really thinks that, but I may have been willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

OK, I wasn’t … because there was no way they ‘made a mistake’.

McKinsey doesn’t make those.

Every single thing they do is deliberate.

Everything.

Thought out. Considered. Evaluated. Proposed.

Their driving force is optimising profit. For themselves as much as their client – especially as they never execute what they recommend to clients. Implication free advice … morally, ethically and, in some cases, legally.

And why am I being so harsh?

Because of this:

Nothing highlights McKinsey’s knowledge of what they did – and what they didn’t do – than shredding files in relation to their client.

A long time ago there was a book called The Corporation. In it, the author argued that corporations are basically psychopaths on a relentless quest for money and power.

It’s literally why McKinsey are in business.

Who else would want to work with a company that charges huge amounts for work they don’t execute that encourages illicit or even illegal behaviour? And yet so many of the companies that work with them go on about their ‘purpose’, their ‘focus on the community’.

While there are exceptions, Joel Bakan – the author of The Corporation – was generally absolutely correct in his judgement.

When Arthur Anderson was caught shredding the files of the illegal work they did for Enron, their reputation was so tainted that they went bankrupt. That McKinsey continues to walk around like the Masters of the Universe should make you furious.

Absolutely furious.

And with that, you now have the energy to get through your week.

You’re welcome.