Friday, February 3, 2012

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Advertisement and endorsement is a common feature in today’s life. It is in all media, print and electronic, on hoarding and bill-boards, and the unregulated ones on public properties, as well as the flyers that we get in our post box every day. Of course there are so many ways of projecting a product.

It goes without saying the main object is to get people’s attention to a certain brand. I suppose they call it “marketing”. I will not go into details of the reasons of the existence of this industry. I am more interested in relating my experience lately.

As we get along in age we are inconvenienced by the deterioration in our health status, the regular visits to the doctors, clinics and hospital. My wife and I are no exception. Our common ailment is diabetic. She has other sickness as well while I too am not exempted. Of course we get our regular dosages of medications from the hospitals and clinics as recommended by the doctors. The problem is, like so many out there, we are easily taken in by the recommended alternative treatment and medication, especially in the name of “traditional” medicine. We have been selective in this area.

My wife was taken in by a product that was supposed to improve her kidney function. Though on the expensive side, it costs RM 120.00 per container that can last for 3 weeks of consumption, it seems to be effective. After a month of twice daily dosages the hospital noticed that there is a tremendous improvement in her kidney function. I too did consume the product on a daily basis of one dose in the morning. When I went for the regular check up my doctors found that there is an improvement in my kidney too.

On purchasing the product the owner of the supply, a Haji, insisted on talking to us, besides briefing on the goodness of his product, he wanted to know what our doctors said of our health condition. Being naive we relate the truth but he insisted that we bring along our medical reports for his verification. We told him that was not possible as it was a personal and private matter between the doctor and his patience. The matter rests.

I noticed the Haji was interested in me and kept asking on my background and acquaintances. I took no notice of that but when he espouse the effectiveness of his product he kept mentioning people of importance who were his regular customers such as Chief Police Officers of certain states, high ranking military personals, leading academicians and of course well known personalities.

My wife would purchase the product once in three weeks and the Haji would always want to talk to me. I find the sales talk monotonous, so I avoided going into the shop with all sort of excuses. Normally my wife would enquire via my mobile if his shop is open at the time we wanted to be there.

Three months into using the product, I began to receive calls from unknown people on my mobile enquiring on the effectiveness of the product. Being a nice guy, initially I told them that I was not sure of the effectiveness. There were also calls from reporters who wanted to write articles on the product and wanted my endorsement through interviews. That irritate me, and I told them a lie by saying I no longer consume the product.

In order to stop such calls I have no choice but to call the Haji and inform him that I no longer consume his product as its effectiveness is negligible. I also advised him not to mention my name and spread my mobile in his campaign as it was getting into the stage of irritation. He accepted my request and now I don’t receive such call anymore.

I did not run down his product. He took me as another “Tom, Dick and Harry” who would endorse his product at will. He didn’t realised that I used to handle commercials when I was taking charge of RTM’s TV division.

I was taken aback earlier on when our request for a reduction in the price of the product felt on deft ears. As a business person he forgot that and endorsement cost money. At least he should talk to me on terms and conditions using my name, not that I am a well known.

What I want to stress here is that we should not be easily taken in endorsing a product. The good Haji could at least give a special price to me for his product, if not gratis, for endorsing his product. That would be the end of the story and I don’t have to pen down in this blog.

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