Letters: No substitute

In John 'I am a salesman' Burghardt's column of Dec. 12 ('The Basest sin of all'), he takes exception to my 'Do-it-yourself ads shriek bad taste' column of Nov. 28.John scolds me for dumping on certain guy-with-the-snake-on-his-face tv campaigns, and infers...

In John ‘I am a salesman’ Burghardt’s column of Dec. 12 (‘The Basest sin of all’), he takes exception to my ‘Do-it-yourself ads shriek bad taste’ column of Nov. 28.

John scolds me for dumping on certain guy-with-the-snake-on-his-face tv campaigns, and infers that my problem with them is simply that they ‘lack production values.’

He also infers I can’t recognize swell salesmanship when I see it.

My point was that unadorned egomania is no substitute for seductive storytelling, and that an effective electronic salesperson shouldn’t be someone you’d go out of your way to avoid having a cup of coffee with.

For the record, salespeople I’d go out of my way to buy from include Lee Iacocca, Michael Richards, Candice Bergen, Red Dog, the Energizer Bunny, Linda Evangelista and John Cleese.

Salespeople whose products I’d consider avoiding just on principle are Mel Lastman, Mel Lastman’s Kid, Alex Tilley, Leona Helmsley, That New Microsoft Voiceover, the Little Caesar’s Chimp, Victor Kiam, and, now that you mention it, Elliott Ettenberg.

Barry ‘I am a storyteller’ Base

Barry Base & Partners

Toronto