Deflecting Bad Attention


We could begin with the simple targets. It goes without saying that traffic wardens, tax inspectors, investment bankers and politicians could rescue kittens from burning buildings and still stand by the smouldering door being pelted with an assortment of rotten fruit and insults. But still, a poster campaign might work – this is post-TPD legal. An image of our four hate figures could be set against a slogan of “Maybe they’d be better people if they vaped?â€

This doesn’t work too well if we are trying to convince parking officials, tax inspectors, investment bankers and politicians that vapers are awesome…but do we care for their respect? It is also possible that some of our customers are currently traffic wardens, tax inspectors, investment bankers or politicians. This isn’t an attack on you; you are vapers first and annoying occupation second.

But there are others.

Monday morning always brings a slew of hilarious “Oh joy is me, it’s work again†jpg files on social media. With all the humour of a Garfield cartoon or a trip to the piles doctor, we all know it’s Monday. We’re currently reading your update because, like you, none of us want to be in work and we were trying to forget about being here for ten minutes. Thanks. Reality just came crashing through the screen.

It’s tricky to include these folks in a pro-vaping campaign and, some might say, they are very lucky to have a job. I was once employed by a large fast food chain to clear excrement and urine from the toilet floor. It’s not going to be easy to use the multitude of shortsighted or poor-aiming burger eaters either; I imagine very few of us have suffered them.

How about unsolicited door knockers? After guffawing at a Monday image on Facebook our door went and there stood a builder touting solutions to an invisible problem, full of promise of combining high cost with low quality. Then came a young woman attempting to interest me in replacing my 2yr-old UPVC double-glazing with brand new UPVC double-glazing. Then someone wanted the clothes off my back to help a helicopter or children or Bono, I lost interest quickly. Knockers on doors would be brilliant at deflecting some of the animosity aimed at vaping.

But if we are thinking about cold calls: what about telemarketers? Why did an Internet service provider call me while I was still in bed? Why were they trying to sell me some of their honest-to-goodness Yorkshire broadbands before I’d had a coffee? And how did they achieve that when I’m meant to be X-directory?

Maybe we should skip the posters and concentrate on the personal. Each time someone voices dissatisfaction with vaping simply say to them: “Aha, but at least I don’t work for BT Customer Serviceâ€. This approach even applies to those who actually work for BT Customer Service; they’re already good at fibbing.