We Want Answers, Bobby!!

April 29, 2009
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From Jim Metrock:

Above you see BusRadio’s infamous request for bids. I cannot get over the arrogance and ugliness of the language BusRadio uses.

They are looking for a "SEASONED PROFESSIONAL" – ALL CAPS. Wow. No amateurs wanted. That’s understandable.

"comfortable working with kids" This probably means a patient marketing expert who can make little children feel comfortable with a strange adult asking probing questions.

"is able to dig into their hearts and minds" This is what Kiddie Marketers do. This is how they think. (Rarely do you see them so openly talking this way.) They don’t think of children like you and I do. These Kiddie Marketers "target" children. It’s not that these people don’t value children, they do, it’s just that they value children because they have money, because they influence purchases by parents, because they can be molded to prefer particular brands, and because they have information. This valuable information can be pulled from children with the right SEASONED PROFESSIONAL in a quiet focus group setting.

"We have a set of questions we want kids to tell us the answers to." I’m not going to fault these marketing geniuses for ending a sentence with a preposition. Sometimes you have to. However, I think virtually every parent will find the aggressive tone of BusRadio to be appalling. It almost sounds like they will put children under a bare light bulb and sweat the information out of them if the nice, quiet focus group thing doesn’t produce answers. I want answers, Bobby!! If you want to eat dinner with your parents you better start talking NOW!

"full service kids media company" They are "full service" for advertisers, not children. This company primarily exists for the benefit of advertisers, not children.

"We … have access to schools and therefore the pool of kids." Good gosh. School board members who went along with the BusRadio deal never thought that they were giving this Needham, Massachusetts start-up company such access to their schoolchildren. What BusRadio is wanting to do was never part of their contract with schools. But then again, schools never gave permission to BusRadio to aim contests at bus drivers, but they did. Schools didn’t think BusRadio would be playing music acts known for their explicit content songs, but they did.

This request for a focus group facilitator has to be read by superintendents, school board members, transportation directors, and by parents in any school district that has BusRadio and in any contemplating signing up with them.

Obligation will circulate this document widely. If you have BusRadio on your child’s bus, I urge you to use the "email this article" feature at the top of this article and send it to your school officials and friends and tell them this company needs to be kicked off all school buses.