The Threat of More Information

Dec 21, 2011

Who ever thought he’d live to say, “Pity the poor bank.”

But, goodness, everybody’s after banks today. The president. Congress. Wall Street. Even the Wall Street Journal. Banks are today’s whipping boy.

Well I know a lot of bankers who are good guys, but, lordy, it’s hard to like a bank. It’s stuff like this. One day recently comes this letter from Chase Bank. I guess because one of my credit cards is a Chase Bank card. Right off the bat, the letter asks me to respond to update my preference for receiving offers by mail from Chase.

First, I don’t ever remember asking for any offers that would require updating. More important, they didn’t ask me. They didn’t tell me I should update things. They threatened me. They told me that I must update the list. That if I threw it away – if I didn’t respond – by December Fifteenth, they implied that I would begin to receive mail offers on all nine of the stuff listed in the letter. Not let them know which ones, if any, I wanted. But if I didn’t respond, I darned well was gonna probably start getting all nine.

I’ve dealt with a lot of direct mail offers in my life. This was the first threat. No wonder banks have become public enemy number one.

John Malmo is a marketing consultant who concentrates on helping business owners grow their businesses with effective marketing. To reach Mr. Malmo, hear and read more of his commentaries, or to ask him your own marketing question, go to