During The Second World War, the Government ran a campaign, “Careless Talk Costs Lives.” This campaign told people to be very careful about what they said on the phone and in public lest a Nazi agent was sitting next to them.
This morning, I was sitting on the top deck of the C2 bus, on my way to an uncontroversial meeting about telesales scripts. Yes, yes, I know. How did it come to this?
At the front of the bus was a young man, in a black striped shirt with a loud voice, barking into his BlackBerry about his wonderful relaunch ideas for www.ideas.org
He also talked about his close relationship with the Director of External Communications at Google UK, and a bunch of other stuff, too. Regrettably, I had to get off at Kentish Town Tube Station, so I probably missed a barrel-full of other indiscretions. I have no idea who he is, but careless talk might cost careers, too.
Some years ago, I was the Account Director at Lowe Howard-Spink on Weetabix. Whilst travelling up to Old Trafford to watch a Test Match, the JWT account team sat close to me on the train, pulled out some concept boards, and discussed a promotion aimed at taking share from Weetabix.
Well, I was dressed as a cricket fan, but one of their team, who had worked at Option One, and who knew me, made no attempt to stop the discussion.
Digital media is great for tons of reasons, but some rules apply:
- Once it’s out on the web, there’s no way of recalling it, so think hard before you post on Twitter, Facebook, Bebo, MySpace, your website, your blog, LinkedIn and so on
- People can find you more easily than you think, and then find out more about you than you would like
- Indiscreet conversation can easily put at hazard lengthy and expensive marketing projects, and it can also terminate your marketing career
Anyway, I’m now going to have a bit of fun, and find out who the bragger on the bus was. If you look on his website, you’ll see that’s there’s nothing much to see. All the content was to be heard on the C2 bus.
Finally, Gordon Brown has just announced that he’s stepping down. Maybe there’s a kind God after all.