Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Life’s a Pitch – Is this a Typo?

Today we read from New Media Age about ‘Life’s a Pitch’ a new business book published by Random House. The news is that the first chapter of the book is being offered to consumers to read free on a mobile via SMS. Consumers are also sent details on how to claim a 40% discount from shops on the book itself.

So we took a quick look at Random House. No mention of the book here but a long list of first chapters available to read online and plenty of other stuff to catch the eye including ecards of book jackets and comedy podcasts. Not perturbed, after all Random has a huge list we searched for the title and there it was. It said that it was not on the Random House site but their sister site at Transworld. The Random House extract and associated icons were not working and there was no mention of the SMS download - so onto the Transworld’s site. There it was on the home page with all the others. There was a link to a Radio 4 interview and mention that the book was a prize in their March competition - but no mention of the SMS download. The individual page was very detailed both about the book and the authors but we could only find a ‘buy now’ icon which took us to … Amazon.

We then went back to the original article and found a link to as you would expect everything here is here, the biography, the blurb, the Radio 4 interview and details on how to text and receive the book and claim the discount. Well in for a penny – and the chapter duly arrive on the mobile via a download link to ICUE Shop with the message ‘buy this book for £0.00’ . Then just as we waited for the actual download came the next message, ‘Sorry, but we don’t have any books for your make of mobile phone. Don’t worry though, we can see that you wanted a book and we’ll try and get one for you as soon as we can!’ There we were thinking we had a up to the minute mobile with skype, internet access and every function know to man!
The phone number given on the life’s a pitch web site was to customer service at TBS, so we felt it only proper to update them it was not available and priced ambiguously. They took our details and make of phone…………

'Life's A Pitch' by Roger Mavity and Stephen Bayley was published by Bantam Press.

The questions raised show the complexity of promotions and why life at the cutting edge can be a *itch!