Service of Due Diligence

December 13th, 2021

Categories: Due Diligence, Marketing, Questions, Research, Trust

Image by aerngaoey from Pixabay 

It pays to ask questions or do a modicum of research which some marketers have learned the hard way. According to, in the 1990s Yardley hadn’t asked actor Helena Bonham Carter about her makeup routine before they announced their relationship with her. After she publicly admitted she didn’t wear makeup and couldn’t fathom why they chose her, they cut their association that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

Image by Hannah Wesolowski from Pixabay 

In 1989 PepsiCo staff needed only look at Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” music video to determine that it didn’t reflect the image they sought. Yet they paid her $5million to appear in benign commercials which included the then new song. “While the ad itself was PG,” reported Laura Stampler, “Madonna’s music video for the song in which she witnesses a rape and gyrates around a burning cross incited an explosion of controversy.” Would checking that have been so hard to do?

And what about recently? In the “Sex and the City” reboot, “And Just Like That…” on HBO Max that premiered last week, a main character, Mr. Big, dies after a 45 minute Peloton class on a Peloton stationary bike–a super product placement gone south. The company didn’t pay for the placement but knew their equipment was being used, reported Joseph Pisani and Megan Graham in The Wall Street Journal. It also approved a Peloton instructor, Jess King, appear in the segment.

Did anyone at Peloton ask enough questions or demand answers before playing ball? “While Peloton coordinated with HBO on the placement of one of its bikes, HBO didn’t disclose the plot in advance because of ‘confidentiality reasons,’ Peloton said.” Lesson learned to leave nothing to trust in future?

Peloton spokespeople put a good face on it. “’Mr. Big lived what many would call an extravagant lifestyle—including cocktails, cigars, and big steaks—and was at serious risk,’ said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a cardiologist on Peloton’s health and wellness advisory council, in a statement from the company.” The reporters ended the article: “Peloton said there is some good news: ‘Riding his Peloton bike may have even helped delay his cardiac event,’ Dr. Steinbaum said.”

It’s not only in business we need to ask questions and insist on answers. The husband of a friend swallowed pills that killed him. He didn’t check the product insert and counted on his doctor to remember his health history that contraindicated the drug.

Are you good at asking questions? Do you know of other examples in which a well known company missed the boat due to lack of research? Are there any elements in our lives that we can leave to trust?

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay 

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6 Responses to “Service of Due Diligence”

  1. TC Said:

    Years ago I asserted we all have to be our best advocates–especially for health

  2. ASK Said:

    Advertisers will do anything to gain attention in this overcrowded and overheated market. While Peloton’s stock declined, I’m sure it will bounce back. They have to subscribe to the school of thought that any PR is good PR…

    Giving such a positive, long-winded interview to the Times of London, Chris Noth must be the teensiest bit unhappy that his reprised role was so short-lived. Then again, given the critical coverage the series has received in the above newspaper, maybe he’s happy he’s well out of it. But, who knows, the producers may yet bring him back as an “ectoplasmic manifestation,” as my former boss once described a ghost.

    When I went for my booster, I confirmed with the pharmacist that it was the right vaccine. (They offered both Pfizer and Moderna.) He seemed astonished that I would ask, and perhaps jabbed a little too hard…

  3. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie on Facebook: never ASSUME anything – you must ask questions, especially about side effects regarding your own personal health situation

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Waiting with me in the pharmacy where I went for my booster were some getting flu shots and others shingles and others pneumonia….couldn’t help but overhear. You bet I asked if I was getting the Pfizer booster!

    A friend told me her daughter and her daughter’s friends happily pay $5,000-$6,000 for Peloton bikes and suggested that I buy the stock before it goes up again. I don’t invest in products that can go away as fast as they came.

  5. lucrezia Said:

    A belief in logic begets questions. Searching for answers promotes learning and understanding. Next?

  6. Martha T Takayama Said:

    I absolutely agree with Debbie. Never ASSUME anything. Also do not rely above all without checking on advice with respect to medications and their side effects. For the rest, always be cynical about marketing claims for mechanical, technical, nutritional, household, and consumer products. Be cyncial or doubting about journalistic coverage and medical reporting! E
    Remember the era we are living in! Truth is only a memory in much of our everyday lives!

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