Time to bring back Bongo
Peter Beaumont (pictured) is deputy chief executive of The Mortgage Lender
OK, the financial crash put an end to the excesses of the sector and that’s been a good thing.
But for an industry that was renowned for its characters I can’t help feeling we’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater and become rather dull as a consequence.
In conversation with my rather long in the tooth PR, Joanne Gill, who had the pleasure of reporting on Financial Adviser and Money Marketing in the late 90’s, she mentioned that the diary pages of both publications were always the most popular.
Those are the ones that relayed funny stories, quotes with double meanings, or pictures of people holding copies of the publication in strange places.
Time was that the printed pink papers would arrive in the office on a Thursday and be poured over, not to see which network members were revolting that week, but who’d made it into ‘out of context’ in Money Marketing or been Mystery Shopped in Financial Adviser.
It was a badge of honour to be written about in the diary columns and they gave us the ability to take five minutes out of our day for a bit of fun.
What’s the equivalent online? Where do we read the fun stories in the industry or giggle at the gaffs people make in conversation? Nowhere, the diary columns haven’t made it online, which is where most of us consume our sector news now. And I, for one, am quite sad about it.
Our jobs are serious, we work long hours to help people who are making the biggest financial commitment of their lives and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with giving your mind and soul a short break to have a laugh.
It’s time to put the fun back in financial services and if any of the trade magazines would like to help by introducing online diary columns I would welcome it.