I caught a TV ad yesterday afternoon for what appeared to be a Pet Shop Boys greatest hits compilation - featuring a bonus new track. The resolution of the videos seemed rather cheap and the track selection obvious - but this was not directing us to follow up the Pets' Brit Award by picking up Pop Art or Discography. We simply need to buy today's Mail on Sunday to collect our free CD.
Clearly someone has lost the plot.
We know that Middle England loves the gays. Well, as long as they remain a safe distance, aren't having sex, stay away from our children, and camp it up in the style of Graham Norton or Michael Barrymore. But how hypocritical is it for The Mail unleash their vile homophobia throughout the week, only to reward readers with a free gift on the weekend from openly gay artists?
And what is Parlophone's strategy? How much have they spent on the cover mount deal (not to mention the prime time TV ad slots) to promote their celebrated act to the conservative middle class? If the intention is to market the artist to the widest group possible in advance of the Pets' new album, then I propose that the team at Parlophone go back to marketing school.
Partnership deals between the press and labels are now the norm - you almost expect your complimentary CD or DVD with the weekend papers now. But like any brand association, if the two products don't relate, the consumer will fail to develop trust with either brand - and the marketing is therefore ineffective.
I can't imagine that the Pet Shop Boys sanctioned this relationship. I hope heads will roll at Parlophone on Monday morning.