Celebrities are likely to shy away from finance companies thanks to our new regulatory package

June 3, 2011

It has been one of Alf’s big disappointments that nobody has asked him to endorse their product in TV and other advertising.

He has especially yearned to promote his favourite whisky (he would happily name it publicly here, if its makers would pay him).

But he would never endorse a bank or a finance company, essentially because he regards bankers and financiers as the business world’s equivalent of cockroaches.

He keeps his money secured under his mattress. It’s not a huge fortune, but it is a tad lumpy because coins account for part of it, and so it is stored beneath the mattress on Mrs Grumble’s side of the bed.

Because of his attitude to bankers and financiers, Alf was disappointed when folks like Richard Long and Colin Meads helped persuade ordinary Kiwis to invest in this finance company and that.

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The hunt is on for a Kiwi icon to sell infant formula without being culturally offensive

June 1, 2011

But is this a good way to sell canned baby formula?

In a follow-up to an item posted here the other day, Alf observes that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has done things differently from Tariana Turia.

It has investigated a Maori-branded infant formula being exported to China (and Tariana is bound to appreicate that this has been done).

The contents of the cans of baby tucker were given first priority and – we are told – they meet all food safety and export regulations.

MAF now will look at marketing and labelling considerations.

Tariana Turia, our Associate Minister of Health, did things the other way around and made the branding (with Maori imagery) her first concern.

She can chalk this up as a triumph because the company that is peddling this stuff is now looking for a new brand.

Kiaora’s experience will be instructive for other companies that come to this country (as they are bound to do, because of the asset fire sale that is now under way to help us settle our debts).

Nobody gets too excited about foreigners slapping an English word on a product.

But if they use a Maori word, they had better be ready for a fight with our special people, who can be very possessive about Maori words.

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When rugby comes into calculations, a feller called Michael Field is apt to drop the ball

March 13, 2011

The Sunday Star-Times has skated defty around a bit of conjecture about our next Governor-General that it published last week.

On its website this morning Alf found a piece by a scribe called Hubbard who says our next governor-general has risen from humble beginnings to the highest post in the land.

Alf had hoped this high post would have gone to him.

But Jerry Mateparae got the job, and Hubbard says –

Everyone who knows Mateparae uses the same words to describe him: “Modest, quiet, a gentleman.”

Hubbard could have said the same thing about Alf, if things had gone differently.

But let’s go back a week.

The SST then was reporting some stuff by a Michael Field.

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Clark honours system going, going – gong

March 8, 2009

A great move by The Boss – he’s announced the titles of Dames and Knights are to be restored to the New Zealand honours system.

One of the first daft moves by the Clark Government back in 2000 was to drop titles from the top levels of the honours system – Knight and Dame Grand Companion (GNZM) and Knight and Dame Companion (KNZM/DNZM).

Alf was among those who suspected the decision was part of an insidious socialist plot to edge us towards republicanism, reinforced by the subsequent dumping of the Privy Council (it cost Kiwi taxpayers nothing to tap into the best legal brains in the Commonwealth) to set up a Supreme Court here (which costs us heaps).

He is chuffed to see BustedBlonde, at Roarprawn. supports the move back to Sirs and Dames. Could be something to chat about if ever she drops into the Eketahuna Club – he’ll nominate her for a top gong if she’ll nominate him.
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