Not even Terry Bradshaw could save this stinker

Posted March 1, 2013

The Guelph administration dropped back, scrambled, pump-faked and was sacked.

That’s the judgment of Maclean’s magazine in selecting the Farbridge administration decision to hire NFL all-star great Terry Bradshaw to extol the city of Guelph in a video that featured, the Mayor!

The $24,500 production was described in a story titled “99 stupid things your government did with your money” in 2012. Guelph made the list twice.

The Maclean’s January edition called the video “foolish, wasteful and blatantly stupid.”

Holy halfback madam mayor, that sounds like a criticism.

The Bradshaw production was originally sold to we peasants as the city being selected for news coverage. That was first pump-fake. Turns out the city had to pay for the production that morphed into a paid commercial and a bad one at that. But the Mayor sure looked good.

The second pump-fake followed a recent scramble by the message meisters at city hall. Out comes Chief Administration Officer Ann Pappert, with a memo proclaiming that more than 5.5 million households “may” have been reached in North America. It is alleged that the video was telecast on the Business News Network in Canada and the Travel Channel in the U.S. Wonder how many decision-makers saw the program in the off hours? Plus, the CAO’s memo claims that 14,389 views have been seen on YouTube.

Okay, let’s separate the footballs from the soccer balls.

The purpose of this exercise was to score, right? So madam CAO, as a direct result of this Bradshaw production, how many enquiries did the city receive in the past year about doing business with Guelph, visiting as tourists or even requesting non-related information? Further, if you don’t tabulate and source enquiries, how do you know if your marketing plan is working? … if there is a marketing plan.

Best guess? Not one. If there had been, two decisions had to be made before releasing the memo. Either there were no enquires or there were so few that it must have been embarrassing. In that case football strategy is to fall back and punt.

It reminds me of the old saying: “When no one knows the truth it’s easy to get away with lying.” In this case it appears to be lying by omission.

So when Marty Williams, executive director of the downtown business association describes the game as a “red herring” he is looking through CAO coloured glasses.

The base problem is a crew of hustlers took the city. And they used the age-old tactic of telling the client what a great job they are doing. The city was had by experts who dangled a premise that was irristable to the city hall decision-makers.

Those responsible for approving the project probably don’t know a marketing plan from a crow bar.

And that sports fans is how you lose the game.

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