My nephew, the 7-year old you may remember as Dynamite Boy, broke his 5-
year old sister’s nose last week playing a “harmless” game of stick fight. While this was reportedly not on his Mother’s list of approved play activities, occasionally kids will be kids and the best you can hope for is survival. According to him the game was her idea and she was armed with an eight inch plastic princess wand and he said, and I quote, “She didn’t say it wasn’t fair to use the bat.” Apparently, the 5-year old hasn’t learned the importance of Fine Print. And while we’re on the subject of stupid activities, let’s talk about on-site weathercasters. I’m afraid some of these people are just too dumb to live. I realize most of them were communications majors and that, in college-speak, means they didn’t have to take any classes that required them to think but why, for a minute on camera, will they go anywhere the producer, who by the way is usually sitting in a warm studio, tells them to go. This weekend we were inundated with images of these boneheads standing out in the wind and rain describing, poorly I might add, the progression of Hurricane Irene and shortly, as fire season heats up on the left coast, we will have them standing next to a burning fence as they describe a barn going up in flames. I’m certain someone has easily sold them on the absurd idea that this is important but the majority of us are only watching with the hope that one of them will get blown into the next county or have their hair catch on fire. While the 5-year old may have been remiss in setting the ground rules for the stick fight, I guarantee if I told her, “There’s a thunderstorm coming. Go stand in that cornfield with an open umbrella” she’d smack me with her wand. But if I gave the same command to the talking heads we see on TV, I’d need a bus to get them all there.
As a supplier or distributor you should know the ground rules going into the game and know what you’re willing to give up, add in or take away from the deal because if someone says they’ll do it for you, at some point they’ll do it to you. While everyone wants the order, ensuring the order is fair for both sides should be your goal for a long-term relationship. And remember to keep your Fine Print honest and accurate or your hair will mysteriously catch on fire. What do you think? IMC wants to hear it. Leave a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter.