s Marketing Focus | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/07/2014         Volume. 6 No. 6   
Information to Pharmacists


From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the July 2014 homepage edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine.
At the commencement of 2014 i2P focused on the need for the entire profession of pharmacy and its associated industry supports to undergo a renewal and regeneration.
We are now half-way through this year and it is quite apparent that pharmacy leaders do not yet have a cohesive and clear sense of direction.
Maybe the new initiative by Woolworths to deliver clinical service through young pharmacists and nurses may sharpen their focus.
If not, community pharmacy can look forward to losing a substantial and profitable market share of the clinical services market.
Who would you blame when that happens?
But I have to admit there is some effort, even though the results are but meagre.
In this edition of i2P we focus on the need for research about community pharmacy, the lack of activity from practicing pharmacists and when some research is delivered, a disconnect appears in its interpretation and implementation.

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News Flash

Newsflash Updates for July 2014

Newsflash Updates

Regular weekly updates that supplement the regular monthly homepage edition of i2P. 
Access and click on the title links that are illustrated

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Feature Contribution

Woolworths Pharmacy - Getting One Stage Closer

Neil Johnston

It started with “tablet” computers deployed on shelves inside the retailer Coles, specifically to provide information to consumers relating to pain management and the sale of strong analgesics.
This development was reported in i2P under the title Coles Pharmacy Expansion and the Arid PGA Landscape”
In that article we reported that qualified information was a missing link that had come out of Coles market research as the reason to why it had not succeeded in dominating the pain market.
Of course, Woolworths was working on the same problem at the same time and had come up with a better solution - real people with good information.

Comments: 5

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Intensive Exposition without crossing over with a supermarket

Fiona Sartoretto Verna AIAPP

Editor's Note: The understanding of a pharmacy's presentation through the research that goes into the design of fixtures and fittings that highlight displays, is a never-ending component of pharmacy marketing.
Over the past decade, Australian pharmacy shop presentations have fallen behind in standards of excellence.
It does not take rocket science - you just have to open your eyes.
Recently, our two major supermarkets, Woolworths and Coles, have entered into the field of drug and condition information provision - right into the heartland of Australian Pharmacy.

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The sure way to drive business away

Gerald Quigley

I attended the Pregnancy, Baby and Children’s Expo in Brisbane recently.
What an eye and ear opening event that was!
Young Mums, mature Mums, partners of all ages, grandparents and friends……...many asking about health issues and seeking reassurances that they were doing the right thing.

Comments: 1

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‘Marketing Based Medicine’ – how bad is it?

Baz Bardoe

It should be the scandal of the century.
It potentially affects the health of almost everyone.
Healthcare providers and consumers alike should be up in arms. But apart from coverage in a few credible news sources the problem of ‘Marketing Based Medicine,’ as psychiatrist Dr Peter Parry terms it, hasn’t as yet generated the kind of universal outrage one might expect.

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Community Pharmacy Research - Are You Involved?

Mark Coleman

Government funding is always scarce and restricted.
If you are ever going to be a recipient of government funds you will need to fortify any application with evidence.
From a government perspective, this minimises risk.
I must admit that while I see evidence of research projects being managed by the PGA, I rarely see community pharmacists individually and actively engaged in the type of research that would further their own aims and objectives (and survival).

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Organisational Amnesia and the Lack of a Curator Inhibits Cultural Progress

Neil Johnston

Most of us leave a tremendous impact on pharmacies we work for (as proprietors, managers, contractors or employees)—in ways we’re not even aware of.
But organisational memories are often all too short, and without a central way to record that impact and capture the knowledge and individual contributions, they become lost to time.
It is ironic that technology has provided us with phenomenal tools for communication and connection, but much of it has also sped up our work lives and made knowledge and memory at work much more ephemeral.

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Academics on the payroll: the advertising you don't see

Staff Writer

This article was first published in The Conversation and was written by Wendy Lipworth, University of Sydney and Ian Kerridge, University of Sydney
In the endless drive to get people’s attention, advertising is going ‘native’, creeping in to places formerly reserved for editorial content. In this Native Advertising series we find out what it looks like, if readers can tell the difference, and more importantly, whether they care.
i2P has republished the article as it supports our own independent and ongoing investigations on how drug companies are involved in marketing-based medicine rather than evidence-based medicine.

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I’ve been thinking about admitting wrong.

Mark Neuenschwander

Editor's Note: This is an early article by Mark Neuenschwander we have republished after the soul-searching surrounding a recent Australian dispensing error involving methotrexate.
Hmm. There’s more than one way you could take that, huh? Like Someday when I get around to it (I’m not sure) I may admit that I was wrong about something. Actually, I’ve been thinking about the concept of admitting wrong. So don’t get your hopes up. No juicy confessions this month except that I wish it were easier for me to admit when I have been wrong or made a mistake.
Brian Goldman, an ER physician from Toronto, is host of the award-winning White Coat, Black Art on CBC Radio and slated to deliver the keynote at The unSUMMIT for Bedside Barcoding in Anaheim this May. His TED lecture, entitled, “Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about it?” had already been viewed by 386,072 others before I watched it last week.

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Dispensing errors – a ripple effect of damage

Kay Dunkley - BPharm, Grad Dip Hosp Pharm, Grad Dip Health Admin, MPS, MSHPA

Most readers will be aware of recent publicity relating to dispensing errors and in particular to deaths caused by methotrexate being incorrectly packed in dose administration aids.
The Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA), in its Communique of 13 June 2014, described a methotrexate packing error leading to the death of a patient and noted “extra vigilance is required to be exercised by pharmacists with these drugs”.
This same case was reported by A Current Affair (ACA) in its program on Friday 20 June

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Take a vacation from your vocation

Harvey Mackay

Have you ever had one of those days when all you could think was, “Gosh, do I need a vacation.”
Of course you have – because all work and no play aren’t good for anyone.
A vacation doesn’t have to be two weeks on a tropical island, or even a long weekend at the beach. 
A vacation just means taking a break from your everyday activities. 
A change of pace. 
It doesn’t matter where.
Everyone needs a vacation to rejuvenate mentally and physically. 
But did you also know that you can help boost our economy by taking some days off? 
Call it your personal stimulus package.

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Explainer: what is peer review?

Staff Writer

This article was first published in the Conversation. It caught our eye because "peer review" it is one of the standards for evidence-based medicines that has also been corrupted by global pharma.
The article is republished by i2P as part of its ongoing investigation into scientific fraud and was writtenby Andre Spicer, City University London and Thomas Roulet, University of Oxford
We’ve all heard the phrase “peer review” as giving credence to research and scholarly papers, but what does it actually mean?
How does it work?
Peer review is one of the gold standards of science. It’s a process where scientists (“peers”) evaluate the quality of other scientists' work. By doing this, they aim to ensure the work is rigorous, coherent, uses past research and adds to what we already knew.
Most scientific journals, conferences and grant applications have some sort of peer review system. In most cases it is “double blind” peer review. This means evaluators do not know the author(s), and the author(s) do not know the identity of the evaluators.
The intention behind this system is to ensure evaluation is not biased.
The more prestigious the journal, conference, or grant, the more demanding will be the review process, and the more likely the rejection. This prestige is why these papers tend to be more read and more cited.

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Dentists from the dark side?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

While dining out with an elderly friend, I noticed that he kept his false tooth plate in his shirt pocket. He had recently had seven amalgam-filled teeth removed, because he believed that their toxins were making him sick; but his new plate was uncomfortable. He had been treated by an 'holistic dentist'. Claiming to offer a "safe and healthier alternative" to conventional dentistry, are they committed to our overall health and wellbeing or are they promoting unjustified fear, unnecessarily extracting teeth and wasting our money?

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Planning for Profit in 2015 – Your key to Business Success

Chris Foster

We are now entering a new financial year and it’s a great time to reflect on last year and highlight those things that went well and those that may have impacted negatively in the pursuit of your goals.
It's also a great to spend some time re-evaluating your personal and business short, medium and long term goals in the light of events over the last year.
The achievement of your goals will in many cases be dependent on setting and aspiring to specific financial targets. It's important that recognise that many of your personal goals will require you to generate sufficient business profits to fund those aspirations

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ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

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Attracting and Retaining Great People

Barry Urquhart

Welcome to the new financial year in Australia.
For many in business the past year has been described as a challenging period.
Adjectives are a key feature of the English language.  In the business lexicon their use can be, and often is evocative and stimulate creative images.  But they can also contribute to inexact, emotional perceptions.
Throughout the financial pages of newspapers and business magazines adjectives abound.
References to “hot” money draw attention and comment.  The recent wave of funds from Chinese investors, keen to remove their wealth from the jurisdiction and control of government regulations is creating a potential property bubble in Australia.

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Updating Your Values - Extending Your Culture

Neil Johnston

Pharmacy culture is dormant.
Being comprised of values, unless each value is continually addressed, updated or deleted, entire organisations can stagnate (or entire professions such as the pharmacy profession).
Good values offer a strong sense of security, knowing that if you operate within the boundaries of your values, you will succeed in your endeavours.

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Evidence-based medicine is broken. Why we need data and technology to fix it

Staff Writer

The following article is reprinted from The Conversation and forms up part of our library collection on evidence-based medicines.
At i2P we also believe that the current model of evidence is so fractured it will never be able to be repaired.
All that can happen is that health professionals should independently test and verify through their own investigations what evidence exists to prescribe a medicine of any potency.
Health professionals that have patients (such as pharmacists) are ideally placed to observe and record the efficacy for medicines.
All else should confine their criticisms to their evidence of the actual evidence published.
If there are holes in it then share that evidence with the rest of the world.
Otherwise, do not be in such a hurry to criticise professions that have good experience and judgement to make a good choice on behalf of their patients, simply because good evidence has not caught up with reality.

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Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, July 25, 2014
Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One
by W. Todd Penberthy, PhD

(OMNS July 25, 2014) Niacin has been used for over 60 years in tens of thousands of patients with tremendously favorable therapeutic benefit (Carlson 2005).
In the first-person NY Times best seller, "8 Weeks to a Cure for Cholesterol," the author describes his journey from being a walking heart attack time bomb to a becoming a healthy individual.
He hails high-dose niacin as the one treatment that did more to correct his poor lipid profile than any other (Kowalski 2001).

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Culture Drive & Pharmacy Renewal

Neil Johnston

Deep within all of us we have a core set of values and beliefs that create the standards of behaviour that we align with when we set a particular direction in life.
Directions may change many times over a lifetime, but with life experiences and maturity values may increase in number or gain greater depth.
All of this is embraced under one word – “culture”.
When a business is born it will only develop if it has a sound culture, and the values that comprise that culture are initially inherent in the business founder.
A sound business culture equates to a successful business and that success is often expressed in the term “goodwill” which can be eventually translated to a dollar value.

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ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

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Pharmacy 2014 - Pharmacy Management Conference

Neil Johnston

The brave new world of health and wellness is not the enemy of Pharmacy, it is its champion.
Australian futurist, Morris Miselowski, one of the world's leading business visionaries, will present the Opening Keynote address on Pharmacy's Future in the new Health and Wellness Landscape at 2.00pm on Wednesday July 30.
Morris believes the key to better health care could already be in your pocket, with doctors soon set to prescribe iPhone apps, instead of pills.
Technology will revolutionise the health industry - a paradigm shift from healthcare to personal wellness.
Health and wellness applications on smartphones are already big news, and are dramatically changing the way we manage our personal health and everyday wellness.

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Generation and Application of Community Pharmacy Research

Neil Johnston

Editor’s Note: We have had a number of articles in this issue relating to pharmacy research.
The PGA has conducted a number of research initiatives over the years, including one recently reported in Pharmacy News that resulted from an analysis of the QCPP Patient Questionnaire.
Pharmacy Guild president, George Tambassis, appears to have authored the article following, and there also appears to be a disconnect between the survey report and its target audience illustrated by one of the respondent comments published.
I have asked Mark Coleman to follow through, elaborate and comment:

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Marketing Focus

Barry Urquhart

articles by this author...

Barry Urquhart, Managing Director of Marketing Focus, Perth. Barry is an internationally recognised conference keynote speaker, facilitator of strategic planning workshops and marketing business coach.
Contact Barry: TEL:61 8 9257 1777 - EMAIL: urquhart@marketingfocus.net.au -
WEB: www.marketingfocus.net.au

Look for, understand and respect the transformation ……….

Up to this time the unemployment statistics have been a consequence and a measure of the global financial crisis.
Things are about to change.
In the immediate future, probably within the next three months in Australia, the nature and significance of unemployment will become a cause of the deepening decline in many national economies and in the international economy.
Losses of income, buying power and the ability to settle debts will have an immediate and increasingly devastating impact on the unemployed. The number of personal bankruptcies will increase significantly. As a consequence there will be a rippling, cascading effect on government and business revenues, margins and profits.
Overall, confidence will be further adversely affected. So too will the willingness to expend, invest and employ.
Regrettably, the ability and drive for the few who will seize upon “bargain” buying and investment opportunities will not result in widespread or sustainable overall recruitment and new employment.
Do not ignore the unemployment statistics. Monitor them closely, for they will provide insight on when the nadir of the economic downturn is reached . However, they will not be a good and timely leading indicator for any economic upturn. To sustain a national economic uplift, capital investment by governments and private entities is a prerequisite. That is the set of statistics which need to be monitored most closely in the immediate future.

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Upon reflection and after careful, extended analysis it has become apparent that many entities, in both the private and public sectors are not set up for ongoing success.


Indeed, the prevailing structures, systems and cultures may be and probably are contributing to suboptimal performances and sluggish responses – to dynamic changes to the contemporary marketplace.


Recent and evolving structural changes in the world order, because of the global financial crisis, have not been met with, addressed or redressed by conspicuous, broad and dynamic changes in the manner in which business is done.


Ubiquitous cuts in staff numbers, inventory levels, product/service ranges, travel expenses and marketing expenditures do not necessarily establish a new framework for growth and success.


During a recent and extended broad ranging discussion with long-time associate Paul Mitchell of The Human Enterprise in Sydney, he made the statement that entities needed to be “set up for success”. His assessment was that many were not.


The phrase and the underlying strategic significance resonated with me, based on recent experiences in working with big and small businesses in the formulation, documentation and implementation of strategic plans.


Paul is a widely recognised and respected consultant and counsellor on Leadership Transformation. I have long valued his insights, experience and expertise.


We concluded the dinner, the meeting and the discussion with the mutual resolve to awaken in clients and business people at large the need for a total, close and disciplined review of leadership styles, strategies and systems to ensure that the entities are…………….


If Paul of myself are able to assist you in your endeavours, please do not hesitate to make contact.

Email: soul@thehumanenterprise.com.au


Business owners and managers who have ensured that a business plan has been “reduced to writing” (a favourite legal term that I often utilise ) are to be applauded.
Too often, careful study and review of business plans reveal many stark deficiencies, not least of which include absences of situation analysis and logical, integrated and sustainable strategies.
In short, a significant percentage of “business plans” are in reality little more than wish lists, action plans and schedules of aspirations which lack structure, infrastructure, understanding and a capacity to respond to external forces. The latter include economic and financial volatility, changes in government policies, emphases and priorities and the threat of direct, indirect and imposing retaliatory actions by competitors, substitutes and, yes, ”pretenders to the Throne”. Everyone and everything today seems to represent possible threats which could result in leakages in sales, revenue, margins and profits.

Strategies and strategic plans can not and should not be formulated, documented and implemented in isolation or in a vacuum. It is imperative that consideration be given to probable responses from all external entities, including the increasingly ubiquitous regulatory authorities, which tend to narrow options and opportunities.


One characteristic common to many companies at present is the inaccessibility of executives because “they are in planning meetings”.

Interactive, focussed and strategic planning is laudable. Among the qualifications to such sentiment is the need for resultant documents to be concise and transparent, with specific accountabilities to be assigned to nominated people within specific time horizons.

In periods of economic downturns some comfort can be derived from involvement in group sessions, be they for planning, teambuilding, restructure, performance review and overall bonding. It is imperative that the process(of planning) not overwhelm the outcomes and the needs for productivity, sales and profits.

Business plans of 100 pages or more are seldom read, comprehended, recalled or implemented. Take pause.

We can all learn from the lyrics of the late Beatle, John Lennon, who wrote:

“Life is what happens to you -

While you are busy making other plans”

John Lennon

The key message : -

Think It -

Say It -

Write It -

Do It -


The global financial crisis is a common stage setting for a full spectrum of businesses and sectors.

One redeeming feature is that it has sharpened the focus of many business owners and leaders. “Things aren’t being allowed to just happen”. Assertive action is being taken to assure control and directly influence outcomes.

During May, Marketing Focus was retained to facilitate interactive business development workshops in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth on the following topical issues:-

CARBON TRADING Capitalising on and being advantaged by carbon trading legislation.

SPHERES OF INFLUENCE Optimistic revenue streams from internal company spheres of influence.

MERGING CULTURES Effecting better integration between merging company cultures.

NON PRICE DEMAND Generating, qualifying and developing demand for real estate purchases – countering any push for lower prices.

NEW INCOME STREAMS Recognising, enhancing and capitalising on complementary income streams.

The energy and power unleashed in such sessions are palpable.
The outcomes are bankable.

In stark contrast is the training schedule being conducted by an Australian national real estate franchise network. It is training real estate agency sales representatives on how to have vendor clients accept lower prices for their properties. This is a strategy which competitors will find easy to counter and to capitalise on in the pursuit of good listings and prompt sales.



Self promotion has, or should always be, on the business agenda.

However, many such endeavours flounder because of a lack of planning, poor execution and spasmodic follow-up and reinforcement.

The following article outlines some fundamental steps and many challenges. Enjoy, learn and profit.



Today, self promotion is an imperative.

Humility and understatement can be commendable but costly virtues in the current marketplace. The Pareto Principle, in which 80% of business is supposedly generated by repeat customers, referrals and recommendations is like the Italian economist himself, Pareto … ….long since buried.

At present low response rates to market, sales and relationship initiatives are being rationalised as consequences of existing and prospective clients being distracted by the fallout from the Global Financial Crisis. Wrong!

It is indeed the marketing, sales and relationship initiatives which are being dismissed or ignored as distractions from the primary focus as stretched and often stressed business owners and leaders address the priorities of the day. Many are up to their elbows in alligators.

Relationships are valued and protected. Tenuous holds on income streams are quarantined, with recommendations and referrals minimised. A loss of sales potential, a relationship or friend for any reason is too much to contemplate, let alone bear.

So, any and all emphases on self promotion need to be defined, confined and refined, to ensure that there is relevance, benefit and advantage to target audiences of such endeavours. Big noters and ” blow-hards” are presently and will in the future falter on the alter of growth opportunities.

It is said, and widely accepted, that man cannot survive on bread alone. So too companies with public relations campaigns. The measure of success in the prevailing economy and marketplace is not quantified in the column centre-metres of “free ink” in trade, business and commerce publications and websites.

“A picture is worth a 1,000 words” is a well travelled truism. However, this misquote of Confusius is incomplete. The missing phrase is “……..but a picture doesn’t tell the full story.”

The business life experiences of former elite sports people are similar. Past glories, victories and fame do open doors, but they seldom close deals.
Well crafted editorials are much the same. Editors and readers alike dismiss, scorn at and laugh down hackneyed phrases like “the nation’s biggest”, “the world’s best” “the market’s number one”. Figuratively and literally such contentions are “unbelievable”. So, dispel such contentions if credibility is important to you, your image and message.


Missives from professional public relations consultants are often transparently, self serving (to the interest of clients ) . In isolation most achieve little.
Complementary strategies, tactics and communications including advertising, displays product /service sampling, networking and one-on-one communication are typically required to “close the loop”.

Having stimulated interest, established a presence and developed awareness, recognition and preference for a brand, it is logical that reinforcement of such via medium of promotional products is implemented.

In a sea of sameness an ongoing presence of a company logo and brand name does establish a subliminal foundation on which to progress the sales and marketing processes.


In pursuit of effective self promotion certain essentials need to be respected and utilised.

As a starting point one needs to review The Three Rs ……

Written text instils a measure, a focus and discipline. Review of words used and sentiments expressed is typically instinctive.

Written text differs appreciably from the structure of the spoken word. It tends to be more concise, comprehension is higher and the orientation to the intent of the communication is noticeable.

In short, a well structured text reflects and projects a well considered case.

All self promotion material must necessarily focus on the recipients and highlight the advantages, benefits and confidence which will be or are also to be accorded them.

The underlying concept of “self promotion” is mirror-like in its character. Whilst the goal may be to promote the sender of the material, it will only ever be effective if the benefits flow to the recipient.

So in “self promotion” don’t be selfish.

Too often, self promotion initiatives are spasmodic, isolated and fractured.
Consistency and continuity are virtues.
Therefore, all relevant communication channels need to be deployed, including trade magazines and promotional products.
Images, perceptions, logos, packaging and product/service presentations need to be reinforced, consistently. Self promotion is part of the branding process and the disciplines need to be respected and deployed.

Professional service consultants consistently allocate up to 40% of their own time and resources on the promotion of their business, which typically centres on them (read: self).
That’s the reality. Now, all that one need do is to develop the ability and discipline to differentiate the person from the product (which may still be the person). For example, entertainers often talk about themselves in the third person. Tom Hanks will refer to “Tom Hanks” or “he” in interviews.
Little wonder this great self promoter can command fees of up to $70 (US) million for a single movie role. He has truly overcome his own …

“Angels and Demons”


Barry Urquhart is renowned internationally for his strikingly accurate forecast of the finish of the economic boom in 2008.
His well documented projection from early in 2006 of a specific date made media headlines around the world and enabled clients to plan for the event …
10.35pm (Western Standard Time), Sunday 24 August, 2008. It was the closing moments of the Beijing Olympics.
Barry’s subsequent warnings of the credit meltdown, increasing unemployment levels and branch, plant, model and services closures have enabled companies, large and small, to gain and sustain competitive advantages.

Tel: (08) 9257 1777
Email: urquhart@marketingfocus.net.au
Web: www.marketingfocus.net.au

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