No you cannot ask me a quick question about my hair.

If one more flannelette-clad guy with a slight British accent and rugged good-looks approaches me outside the QVB with a question about my hair, I cannot be held responsible for my subsequent actions. “But your Honour, he was a promoter” should be a legitimate defence in court. Putting aside the frustration of seeing your bus drive past while some guy rattles on about honeycomb treatment technology, since when is it OK for a stranger to single you out on the street as needing a haircut?

These days there’s a promoter lurking around every corner, waiting to flash a dazzling smile that has us cheerfully gorging-out the contents of our wallets before we can re-assemble our mental faculties to remember what the movie Taken taught us about good-looking strangers. You can’t even trust your own friends anymore - they could betray you at any moment by bombarding your Facebook with an endless stream of messages about the Friday guest list at SOHO. Facebook will never be a haven of witty wall posts and casual stalking again, as you are now faced with the dilemma of whether your real-life friendship would survive if you were to block them in the cyber world. (Then again, should you really be that stressed over a friendship with a guy in his mid-twenties who frequents the same nightclubs as underage schoolgirls?)

No generation is more in need of liberation from this tyranny than our own. Since apparently Gen Y has greater spending power than any other, as well as the greatest influence over the spending of our families, we’re the ones bearing the brunt of the promotions industry. You can't say Gen-Y isn't a patient bunch: we’ve put up with the harassment of marketers since we were embryotic, the Herald Sun describing us as “the first generation to have been in the sights of advertisers while in the womb.”

The most perplexing aspect of this phenomenon is that Gen Y possesses the tools to launch an effective resistance against the promoter; having been raised on a steady diet of search engines and wiki pages that could quite possibly have been written by your Alzeihmic next-door neighbour, discernment between the factual and the unreliable is one of our most natural instincts. So why have we allowed the promoter’s species to reproduce and multiply at such a rapid pace? Is it that deep down, once you navigate past all the jokes about how many promo girls it takes to screw in a light bulb, we actually want to be marketed to? As a self-confessed material generation, we’ll usually listen-up when someone’s raving about something we ain’t got (unless of course, it’s not Apple brand). Or is it that this latest sub-species of face-to-face promoters has found the chink in our armor: we’ve spent so much time practicing our powers of discernment against any information-generating authority, that we don’t know what to do when faced with a real-life human being on a street corner appealing to us with a personal testimony of their experiences.

Whatever the cause, I appeal to you to now to bring that Gen-Y fraud-filter of yours onto the street. With a united front we can put the promoter out of business. I don’t want my children, or children’s children, or children’s parents, to fear the motives of any passer-by who asks them for the time, or to suffer the tyranny of a pamphlet being shoved into their already-overloaded hands, or to question their self-worth when they realize this person is only talking to them because someone is paying them. Let’s fight to reduce promoter pollution.

Unless, of course, they’re trying to give us something for free. Those guys can stay.


  1. I love this post! Everything you say here is so true. I am enjoying your posts as a i sip coke and listen to Led Zeppelin. yiewwwww

  2. Yeah like those lame Red Bull girls!!