Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ask Me About Fleas And Worms

Ask me about fleas and worms...The picture above isn’t a mock-up.

It is a genuine poster on display outside the Pets At Home store in Leamington Spa.

I saw it last week and it literally stopped me in my tracks. I had to take a photo of it, such was my disbelief.

That poor woman! That was my initial thought. That poor, poor woman. Because she doesn’t look like a model or a stand-in (I have pixellated her face to protect her identity – though I acknowledge the futility of that considering she’s on a 6ft poster outside the store for all to see). She looks the genuine article. A real, bona fide store assistant. Some poor women who got called to the manager’s office one day and told to sit down in the comfy seat. The one with arms and a swivel mechanism that works.

“Barbara,” the manager would have said. “Babs. Do you mind if I call you Babs?”

And she would have smiled sweetly and thought, “Shit, he’s either going to fire me or I’m going to have to suck him off to get promotion.”

And then the manager would have revealed the truth. No sucking off. Just sucking.

“Babs, we would like you to be the face of our new campaign. Out of thousands of employees we have chosen yours as the face of our new marketing drive to encourage pet owners to check their beloved pets for fleas and worms. Yours is the visage that says, ‘Yes, I am an expert in this field and I am approachable if you wish to discuss your flea and worm problems.’ We’ve even had a T-shirt made up in your size. Slip it on, Babs, the photographer is downstairs waiting. Or I can give you your P45 if you prefer?”

And that was it. Deal done. Fate sealed. Picture taken. Credibility broken upon the cold altar of commerce.

That poor woman.

Is this the new MO for  marketing campaigns? Is this a sign of how things are going to go?

What next?

CBeebies stalwart Justin Fletcher splayed on a poster with the words “Ask me about CRB checks” written in bold Comic Sans MS type beneath his clownish features?

A nice big political campaign poster of David Cameron above the words “Ask me about integrity, fairness and how to protect the rights of the vulnerable”?

How about G4S frontman Nick ‘Buckles under pressure’ with the words: “Ask me about your safety at the Olympi... whoops...!” or Rupert Murdoch “Ask me about a citizen’s right to privacy”?

The list, unlike this blog post, is I am sure endless.

But please don’t ask me about it.


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23 comments:

Being Me said...

Is that the "Mr Jolly" Justin Fletcher you refer to? Always reminds me of Mr Jelly the shitty clown (shitty because he's not Mr Jolly and people keep mistaking him for him) in Psychoville.

I'm just rabbiting. Don't mind me. It's late here.

Steve said...

Being Me: Mr Gigglebiz himself, yes indeedy. Go to bed, madam. Your tasks for the day are done.

Gorilla Bananas said...

I bet she was proud to do it. Fleas and worms may not be your bag of crisps, but someone's got to know about them.

Suppose there was a full length poster of yourself outside a toy shop with the words "Ask me about Lego" on it? Wouldn't you be proud to have your specialist knowledge recognised, even though people would point at it and say "Look at that sad bearded wally"?

Wanderlust said...

The t-shirt is a bit degrading, but the doggy bone name tag restores her dignity.

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: Hmm... sounds like the subject of fleas and worms has hit a bit of a raw nerve for you...

Steve said...

Wanderlust: I bet she brought that in from home; it wasn't work issue.

libby said...

Oh my Oh my.....the things we do for dolla!

Steve said...

Libby: I hope I'd draw the line at selling my soul.

About Last Weekend said...

My dog has fleas. For real and not just the guitar tuning thing.

Steve said...

About Last Weekend: guitar tuning?! Does he whine in E major?

English Rider said...

If she's getting a commission on all related sales, she'll have the last laugh. Those preventative products are expensive. (Assuming her approach was to promote prevention?)

Steve said...

English Rider: that's a good point. Maybe there's a money making opportunity here?

the fly in the web said...

Some clever clog idea...make the initiator wear this when venturing among the public.

Steve said...

The fly in the web: the world has gone commerce crazy when people themselves become advertizing billboards for their employers.

TimeWarden said...

Surely you're not implying that Britain is a fascist state... well I never! (And, God Save The Queen only got to number 2, 35 years ago, held off the top spot by Rod Stewart, supposedly, or were the BBC selling us porkies like they still do to this very day?)

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

I do hope the poor woman got a decent bonus this year.

That said, her plight has made me giggle and at 9.30 in the morning that can't be bad. Ta Babs.

Hannah Denski said...

Ah, Steve, almost missed this in every day madness...

Poor woman indeed, I hope they paid her well for it! Though she may be proud of her talents...? : ) x

Steve said...

TimeWarden: jawohl, meine freunde.

Very Bored in Catalunya: I bet all she got was some complimentary flea spray.

Hannah: true, people have been prouder of stranger things.

Katriina said...

I'm with Hannah. What if she is a bona fide expert in fleas and worms? What if she volunteered for the task? Maybe the t-shirt was her idea!!

joebloggs said...

She's not alone!!!!

I saw a woman this afternoon at "Monster pets" in Goeffs oak in one of those shirts. Mind you it could have been worse. Spare a thought for the poor folk who are promoting "safe sex" outside nightclubs, they have t-shirts that read "Ask me about syphilis and gonorrhoea"

Steve said...

Katriina: if that T-shirt was her own idea I guarantee that she's single.

Joe: seriously? Where can I get me one of those T-shirts? It would make a great birthday present for somebody!

Marginalia said...

She not a very good advert for the product. Her face has been ravaged by fleas and flesh eating worms.

Steve said...

Marginalia: yes, some kind of new digital breed...