Are franchisees the new cigarette smokers?

April 24, 2010

At one time, smoking was seen to be cool.

Sophisticated.

Smokers were looked up to.

As it turns out, it was all lies and advertising.

Times change.


Franchising: a mixture of flattery and threats

April 9, 2010

Are some systems fundamentally “better” than others?No.

Some are just better at managing their image. That’s all.

Take a closer look and they all are operate under the same sign.

Image used with permission. Post created on April 9, 2010.

Aislin.com/stuff : Montreal Gazette, Feb 11, 2010


Franchise “charity” often means hustling the public or franchisees

March 22, 2010

Terry Fox has become a genuine Canadian hero and justifiably so.

His sacrifice has been an inspiration to generations of Canadians.

I was an assistant manager working at the Arthur St. McDonald’s in Thunder Bay when his Marathon of Hope came to an end in September 1980.

I remember seeing George Cohon, president of McDonald’s Canada, on television pledging a lot of money at the time.

I mentioned to one of the two franchisees that I thought it was great what McDonald’s just did.

He just looked at me and said:

That won’t cost head office a dime.  They’ll just add this on to the franchisees’ tab.

Since then, I’ve always frequently noticed that “charity” can be twisted into a very self-interested and cynical concept.


To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.

March 20, 2010

Franchisees who think they can have freedom and securty without working together, are deluded.

Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me.’

If you turn the other cheek, you will get a harder blow on it than you got on the first one. This does not always happen, but it is to be expected, and you ought not to complain if it does happen.

Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible.

And a new favourite: They had their cynical code worked out. The public are swine; advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill-bucket.

— George Orwell


Is Toyota being seen as the new Ford Pinto?

February 13, 2010

Without an attempt to remember history, man remains a very stupid animal (1970 ad).This is a Wikipedia post outlines the Ford Pinto safety controversy:

The model became a focus of a major scandal when it was alleged that the car’s design allowed its fuel tank to be easily damaged in the event of a rear-end collision which sometimes resulted in deadly fires and explosions. Critics argued that the vehicle’s lack of a true rear bumper as well as any reinforcing structure between the rear panel and the tank meant that in certain collisions, the tank would be thrust forward into the differential, which had a number of protruding bolts that could puncture the tank. This, and the fact that the doors could potentially jam during an accident (due to poor reinforcement) allegedly made the car less safe than its contemporaries.

I guess this 1977 Mother Jones article seemed to have been influential: Pinto Madness.

For seven years the Ford Motor Company sold cars in which it knew hundreds of people would needlessly burn to death.

I’m following the role of Mr. Dimitrios Biller here (so far):

I brought into our family our 4th Civic last month.


Why I will never write a non-ficiton franchise book

January 11, 2010

Marshall McLuhan said that every new book cannot be more be than 10% new material for the reading public.

The overwhelming public opinion is that franchising is in the sheep-shearing business rather than in the lamb-chop making business.

The former was true before: they created wealth for all stakeholders. Today, buying a new franchise is the later: It’s a different technology.

Any message repeated a million times can create the illusion of reality.

Ads seem to work on the very advanced principle that a small pellet or pattern in a noisy, redundant barrage of repetition will gradually assert itself. Ads push the principle of noise all the way to the plateau of persuasion. They are quite in accord with the procedures of brain-washing. This depth principle of onslaught on the unconscious may be the reason why.


McCruelty: Protesting animal slaughter methods

September 22, 2009

McCrueltyMartin Short is a comic genius.

Andy Dick joins in in this PETA campaign.

I must say.


Empire of Illusion, Chris Hedges: The Death of God & franchise propaganda

August 24, 2009

EmpireofIllusionThe title caught my eye.

Is franchising an empire built on brand-induced self-delusion?

If it is, then it appears to be just one in our post-modern world where any means justify the economic ends. So says a Pulitzer Prize winner, anyway.

The first chapter (The Illusion of Literacy) starts off with a bang. A quote from one of my favourite thinkers, John Ralston Saul that I’ve mentioned before (1., 2., 3., & 4.).

I especially like his contrary opinions about expertise: see Experts? We don’t need no stinkin’ professionals. Franchise law is an example of the hollowed-out perfection of the expert literate man.

Hedges lifts this quote from Saul’s 1992 book, Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West:

Now the death of God combined with the perfection of the image has brought us to a whole new state of expectation. We are the image. We are the viewer and the viewed. There is no other distracting presence. And that image has all the Godly powers. It kills at will. Kills effortlessly. Kills beautifully. It dispenses morality. Judges endlessly. The electronic image is man as God and the ritual involved leads us not to a mysterious Holy Trinity but back to ourselves. In the absence of a clear understanding that we are now the only source, these images cannot help but return to the expression of magic and fear proper to idolatrous societies. This in turn facilitates the use of the electronic image as propaganda by whoever can control some part of it.

Again: …the use of the electronic image as propaganda by whoever can control some part of it.

Case in Point: A new television show named How’d You Get So Rich? features, of all players in this drama, a franchisee attorney (YouTube). This “news” is then picked up the industry-financed social media apologists, not just once, but twice.

Nothing says sincere, honest and authentic in both a visual and journalist sense, as the two words together: Joan Rivers. Celebrity spokespeople have been used in franchising brand management for a long time but sometimes it’s a double-edged sword.

Is this a too cynical interpretation of this type of modern myth-making?

Humble but poor outsider +  scrub toilets + Harvard MBA/law + In Communion with the holy American Church of Franchising = A Saint’s story (millionaire, cars, 2nd wife, fame).

I wonder what the majority of mom-and-pop franchise investors would like to say to Mr. Zarco? Is he their champion of the underdog? Does his story reflect this people’s:

  1. life reality or
  2. is this just another in a long line of cheesy attempts to lure more life savings into a dying empire, noteworthy since this is an unbelievably desperate economic/employment times?

An inspiring story on a marketing and franchising level.

And personally, to me anyways.


Health care reform “debate”: More industry Canada Goose-stepping

August 20, 2009

USFascism

Go ahead: Blame Canada

I’ve held off commenting on the current U.S. health care reform debate.

Until now.

This “debate” is structurally identical to what passes for communication in the franchise industry today.

Propaganda, pure and simple (biased influence)

Unmistakeably, evil if judged by historical wisdom authors. Still corrupting even to most docile sheeple.

Some of it bordering on Große Lüge (The Big Lie), analogous to Big Tobacco defense style, Nineteen Eighty-Four,  modern PR, corporatism…

I think today’s Toronto Star op ed is a good summary of how most Canadians I know feel about our system versus the U.S.’s. In Why I’d rather be sick here than in U.S., Bob Hepburn writes:

For weeks, Americans have been told that Canada pushes its sickest and weakest to the bottom of wait lists, that our health care is inferior, that it’s the government that decides who lives and who dies.

Despite these attacks, the reality is that the overall quality of health care experienced in Canada is far better than in the United States.

If you have any doubt, just ask yourself this simple question:

Would you rather be sick here or in the U. S.?

For me, the answer is obvious.

I have worked and studied in the U.S. for a total of 10 years and, although I have received good care from American doctors and clinics, I’d much rather be sick here.

Some inconvenient data:

  1. 87% of Canadians beleive our health care system is better than the U.S. (EKOS survey),
  2. +90% happy with quality of care they received,
  3. 100% of Canadians have been covered since 1967 while 50 million U.S. have zero coverage,
  4. zero Canadians have gone bankrupt because of an health care expenses,
  5. zero Canadians have had coverage reduced because of being at a higher risk, and
  6. 10% Canadian GDP on health care (16% in U.S., highest in world).

We have problems, absolutely. Were lots of problems when I was hit by a automobile as a kid in 1968. But I know one Canadian family that was not bankrupted by hospital invoices. I went on to work at Royal Victoria Hospital, St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital and Victoria Hospital as a staff administrator.

Our first question is: How can we help? (not How will you pay?)

Ours is not a 100% government-owned, monolithic system. Many of the elements are privately owned and for-profit. It is wide-ranging but does not cover all health needs.

That said, even the most libertarian politicians know it is political suicide to even hint at tinkering with the founding principles of the Canada Health Act:

  1. administration,
  2. comprehensiveness,
  3. universality,
  4. portability and
  5. accessibility.

The debate, like in franchising, would normally be seen as just plain silly if it weren’t for the toxic effects on families and communities with these thought reform methods.

By its operating software, antithetical to a sustainable physical, spiritual and mental healthy human life. Machines running man.

Similar to many modern corporate technologies.


What is the Science of arresting intelligence long enough to get money from it?

August 19, 2009

SexyCopAdvertising.

Professor Leacock‘s full quote:

Advertising can best be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.

Franchising is just like that.

The primary stage of arrested intelligence (entrepreneurial wishful thinking) is call pre-sale due diligence.

Due diligence, DD was created as a concept to serve the sellers, NOT the buyers of franchisors.  Perfect, “110%” awesome research can NOT provide reasonable protection against post-sale franchisor opportunism.

DD cannot stop a totally sweetheart franchisor from turning into the worst predator, unilaterally and selectively after the contract is signed.

DD never could and it never will.

DD was created to give a plausible excuse why 1,000s of hard-working, honest investors have lost their life savings. It is maintains the ” confidence” in the game, cools out the mark and confuses and distracts people. When the siht hits the fan…the victim is blamed and most importantly, their shame (stigma, spoiled identity, self-loathing) silences their potential dissent.

Dr. Donald L. Nathanson (The Name of the Game is Shame) provides a nice treatment of a very powerful affect: shame. His Compass of Shame, I find very interesting. He defines 4 patterns of reaction:

  1. withdrawal,
  2. avoidance,
  3. attack others or
  4. attack self.

Note how certain ones of these strategies are encouraged to be used over at Blue MauMau and Franchise-Chat.com. People are ridiculed our shouted-down, banned, shouted, censored or made to be felt stupid. Even to the point of lecturing rape victim advocacy groups on their ignorance of asinine legal processes.

Just like they know the distracting qualities of such a lovely image, above.

Confusion, distraction, sleight of hand…not very difficult to disable critical thinking, is it?


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