Monday, May 21, 2007

Monitoring the monitor

I (and probably numerous other Canadian PR people) received a letter recently from the company-formerly-known-as-Bowdens*, informing me that they changed their name.

And while I appreciated the news, I wondered how this might affect my agency.

It didn’t take long to find out. There, in the third paragraph, was the promise that I would continue to receive the same ‘Bowdens experience’ I had come to ‘know and trust’.

I wanted to scream.

To me the ‘Bowdens experience’ has been synonymous with mediocre service, missed obvious clips and the phrase ‘if you can tell me what network it was on and the time it aired, we’ll try to find it for you’. I’ve heard similar comments from other Canadian PR practitioners and some Americans, too.

To add salt to the wound, I received this same letter no less than a dozen times (in various bills). Once would have been fine thank you very much. But that wasn’t good enough for the company-formerly-known-as-Bowdens. They had to reinforce their ‘experience’ again and again.

Which only made my frustration grow.

Then around that same time, the company told us that the only good rep we’d ever had in all our dealings with them had been ‘reassigned’. Was she shipped to the Gulag? Where do they come up with this stuff?

Consistently low quality service is something I have complained about to the company-formerly-known-as-Bowdens for many years, regularly calling the president with my gripes. The difference is that before I grudgingly accepted their limitations as someone might accept an inept bureaucrat in Eastern Europe circa 1974. I now think that they’re so out of touch with the industry that they’re marketing their incompetence as a plus.

Will they ever change? I’m not holding my breath.

But there’s one thing I'm pretty sure of: they won’t catch this clip.

*Please note: I’m not including a link because I don’t want to drive traffic to their site.

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