Friday, July 25, 2008

Those crazy golfers and the things they get up to

It could only happen here. Company X organises and sponsors a series of regional golf tournaments, the winners of which meet in a world championship final. And in between teeing off, they get little treats such as taking company X's cars on a test drive.

The only "problem" is, what the Singapore winner does for a living when he's not playing golf is to sell cars for Company Y, which is the biggest rival to Company X. Which then refuses to send him to the tournament final. It says that it doesn't want him privy to its new cars and marketing plans. It offers him monetary compensation but he refuses it. All he wants is to play golf with the very best.

The whole sorry PR affair has now become a High Court case as the man is suing to stop Company X for preventing him from playing in the final.

In a more pluralistic society, Company X would have rolled out the red carpet for the Company Y employee and won him over with their largesse. Who knows, he may end up selling even more cars for them.

Instead, they blackmark him as That Man from the Rival and mutter about industrial espionage when all he wanted to do was to play golf. But then, this is how insular minds on a small island work.

Marketing campaigns reflect how a society operates. And ours isn't as gracious and as inclusive as our leaders would like us to think.

1 comment:

The Cat's Whiskers said...

Yes, it could have been a huge PR opportunity for Company X, and executed with humour, they could have played on the "industrial espionage" angle and got people on their side.