Friday, March 20, 2009

Late Stage MBA- Josh Moritz, Blow Up Marketing, AIG and Obama

I find it kind of amazing that living in Westport, CT is considered part of the Eastern Seaboard Gold Coast. I am not feeling that well off this year, and never even considered myself as part of the elite. Despite my own business, well off middle class, not Maserati Class.

The AIG witch hunt did come to Westport as well, seeking out devious capitalists with contracts. Despite being an unapologetic lefty capitalist, the witch hunt is nuts. While I question the moral fiber of things like CDO's, swaps and derivatives sold to unsuspecting sophisticated souls, my feeling is that contracts are contracts. I know, when we sold a company, we had a contract, and although we exceeded expectations, I would have been really pissed off if someone had come in and unilaterally taken away my contract.

More to the point. As of March 31, 2009, the AIG blow-up is off the front page, in fact it has disappeared from our consciousness.

Speaking with my friend Tim Manners, a local spin doctor and owner/editor of the HUB, just after the the AIG fiasco aired in mid-March, we both felt that the way it was handled in the press was a classic Blow UP Marketing. While the Clinton administration did not know how to handle Blow UP Marketing, and the Bushies were just too Republican to get it, the Obama Administration has embraced Blow UP Marketing as a critical communications tool.

It works like this: You take the irritant, build on where the press is going is going with the irritant, check the poll numbers to see if the public is getting good and crazed and if they are, fan the flames of fury like a tornado. Like a good old fashion laser canon that vaporizes everything in it's path, the fury is gone in a few days. It is cathartic. You cry your eyes for a week and forget about "it" and then focus on the real problems at hand.

Thus, the NY Times breaks the AIG Story on Sunday March 15th, the administration got rightfully indigent in the press on March 16th, Congress got into the act on March 17th and by March 25th or so all the fury was spent. No more bus visits to homes of rich people, the President called off the witch hunt and even some of the AIG folks paid back some if not all of their bonuses.

It's been blown up, its gone, at least until the next irritant.

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