Thanks for the interest and support I have been given over the launch of my own book, Consumer Kids, co-written with Agnes Nairn.
We launch this, this evening, at the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. This is alongside its exhibition on fashion and clothes for children through the ages. I am doing a seminar earlier in the afternoon too for the Young Foundation.
The scientist Susan Greenfield has sent in a lovely comment after reading Consumer Kids. She says it is “vital reading for all concerned with how technology is shaping the minds of future generations.”
Do you tend to prefer the book…or the film? I was bowled over by meeting Andrew and Rob from the company Ten as they are the living archetype of my absolute favourite consumer book of the last five years – The Support Economyby Shoshana Zuboff and Jim Maxmin
The core idea of the book was that in a world of complexity, customer service needs to adapt to start from the needs of consumers rather than pushing what companies want to sell. Ten is taking this out in a myriad of ways, including some upcoming attempts to pilot a G10 low-carbon lifestyle support service.
The book, which wants to change the world, or the business that is starting to do it for a few? I can’t quite make my mind up.
David Wright passed me this photo from his local WH Smiths – not a good offer.
The music and film industry have their mitts all over ministers when it comes to setting the rules on intellectual property and I am personally outraged that the public interest is being signed away.
We did have good news today after we put together a coalition campaign – joint_statement_final – to put a stop to this in the European Parliament – and they responded by failing a first reading
The Telegraph runs a front page article on my book today – charting how schools are paid up to £4,000 to get children to do market research for companies and how children like Sarah, who we feature in the book, are paid to sell products to their friends. Harry Wallop who wrote this was nice enough to say the book “has a touch of the polemic that made Fast Food Nation such a brilliant rage against the worst excesses of the burger industry. Parents should take a look.”
But today in fact was all about British Gas cutting their bills by 10%. Now you need to know that for an average user, British Gas was the most expensive by some whack. So a 10% cut is not as radical as it might seem – they are simply now close to the cheapest. But it is better than a poke in the eye for seven million people. Some commentators have called it token, but I think we should all praise the company for doing the right thing – and the double the pressure on other companies to do the same and all companies to cut prices for electricity.
The Times, which bought the serialisation rights for Consumer Kids, has published a wonderful splash today on the book, with a two page feature, a news story and a leader comment. Agnes and I were on the couch for BBC Breakfast this morning. My son’s question was ‘do they give you breakfast then?’. The answer was the BBC’s finest bananas.
My book, co-authored with Agnes Nairn – a professor of marketing – comes out on Janury 29th. Not long now!
The book is published by Constable. You can pre-order on http://www.amazon.co.uk/Consumer-Kids-Business-Grooming-Children/dp/1845298802/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232126372&sr=1-1
We are getting some nice comments in – I will post in the week. In the meantime, here is a copy of the front cover.
and a happy birth day to a baby boy for Joe, born at 11.16am today…
you can see a pic here of Joe, toiling on the Consumer Focus website, when he only had three kids!
Two new citizens of the world from colleagues and ex-colleagues. Saba has a new baby daughter, Zainab, and Marketha has a girl, Alexa – 3lbs at birth and hoping to put on weight in hospital for a few weeks.
Went along to a LibDem Summit on fuel poverty this morning – good selection of people, good selection of comments with Nick Clegg in charge. I described the complex and incoherent array of initiatives around as a ‘pepper pot’ approach and with my colleague Jonathan, drummed up support for setting higher targets for home energy efficiency – so-called SAP targets I have blogged on before.
Good chance too to speak to Vince Cable in the corridors, who thanked me for originally putting him onto issues of debt five years ago. I was speechless – this is the great man talking!