What have you been doing for the past three years? I only ask because this is my 150th column and thus represents three whole years of recording life at a leading (ie small) food and drink PR agency. So you still find me promoting challenger (ie second-rate) brands, but in the loftier position of account manager, which means I can pretend I have a team working for me.
Of course, at 29 the biological clock is ticking (still not a grey hair on my head though, as you can see). There’s also the real and ghastly prospect of ending up like Karoline (with a K) in 30 years’ time. In other words, making money hand over fist, but alone and treated with respect and ridicule by clients and colleagues alike, depending on whether or not she’s in earshot.
I see myself more as a harder-working Kate Middleton - I’ve yet to find the prince of course, though I did spend one heady afternoon with a sales rep from Princes - and thus I’m very surprised not to be in this year’s Grocer Power List. As an example, don’t all of Britvic’s current woes stem from my constant teasing?
So, in some respects nothing has changed. Little Chef is still a basket case and Ocado still hasn’t made any money. But in other ways, everything’s different. Three years ago companies were spending a fortune on social media stuff they didn’t understand. They’re still spending a fortune but now they’ve hired some young people who can pretend to understand it for them.
I know marketing via social media is a complete waste of time because I received a promoted tweet from Lidl yesterday. It didn’t actually begin ‘hello loser’, but certainly gave that impression. Who wants that popping up on their mobile?