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December 31, 2013


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Interesting had not realized the mistake airlines make when they are advertising especially if they are not doing it at the right time.

So many people forget the guest experience. Last night I was watching as a spectator how something like that unfolded in front of my eyes. Even worst when they will affect customer experience for cents on possible dollars lost.


David, some advertising I can tolerate. But this "we think of you as our hostage" advertising immediately flags a company that is no longer deserving of my business. And if I can't tune out the advertiser, I give them a mental thumbs down as well.

One of our local Exxons blares the 'gas station network' (all advertising) *outdoors* while you pump gas. It's obnoxious. I have three other (now clearly better) gas station choices within 150 yards.

Another good example is advertising before movies. Showing previews is one thing, but advertising? We pay $22 for a movie and a drink, they delay the movie by 15-20 minutes with trailers, and they have the gall to force us to watch additional product advertising at eardrum-popping volumes?

I'm sure they've run the numbers, but I don't think they truly "get" that we have the much cheaper alternative of watching a movie in HD on a large screen at home. For a couple, it's $7 instead of $44. And no need to be a hostage.


Oooh ooh and taxi video advertising! Loud and obnoxious and right in your face.


Get, and turn the damn TV off. If it happens often enough, maybe they'll get a clue.

David Meerman Scott

Andre, I did the same thing with gas stations! I don't go to the one that plays that stupid network. At least with taxi TV, there is a mute button (at least in NYC).

qka - It is too high to reach at Qdoba unfortunately...

Tom Borgman

Parallel Universe Qdoba Job Description:

Wanted: Customer Experience Manager with a lick of sense.

Inquire within.



First of all, Happy New Year. I'm excited to see what 2014 has in store for us.

Secondly, great point about putting ads where they don't belong, the airlines pushing their credit card in-flight is a great example (or how about the carnival barkers pushing credit cards in the terminal as your racing to catch a flight?)

The QDoba near me has a TV but they usually have sports on. Maybe the one near you just had a lazy staff that didn't change the channel from what was on when they were cleaning the dining room before opening? Did you ask anyone if you could change the channel to CNN or ESPN? As the customer, I always ask the bartender or waitress to switch the game they are showing if its not the one I want (and if no one else is watching what is on).

Just wondering if there is another side to this story (QDoba has an agreement to pitch infomercials) or if this store is acting alone?

Keep up the great work.


David Meerman Scott

Hi Sean, No I didn’t ask. The entire idea of television of any sort anywhere is terrible to me no matter what is on so the only thing I would have asked for was to turn it off. But I stopped fighting that battle long ago. Maybe I should have asked.

Greg McVeigh

When I see this sort of thing I have to think that at some point there was a meeting of the marketing group, team or whatever. People sat in a room and signed off on this. Didn't anyone raise their hand and say, "What if this pisses the customers off? We should test it first." Geez.

John J. Wall

It's ok, Qdoba is only an alternative when you are tired of Nellio's!

David Meerman Scott

Greg - That's what I have been wondering.

John - Ha!! One issue with Nellio's is there is nowhere comfortable to eat. What's interesting about this TV thing is if Qdoba keeps it up then they will be take out vs take out and will lose my business because I liked being able to sit there. Ping me if you want to meet up soon for a burrito or Turkey Terrific!

Stuart Trier

Interesting post David,

Before the holidays I asked one of my managers to look into this issue at our company. We run a network of primary care clinics in Ontario. Some of our clinics have signed on with a marketing company to supply tv's and news with ads running 12 minutes per hour.

Mostly just news running. But i doubt anyone has asked the patients if they mind. I'll make sure to have the admin team start asking for feed back.

David Meerman Scott

Stuart - I think what you've done is a TERRIBLE idea. Patients are in a hospital to recover. They need quiet. I discharged my wife early from a hospital because her roommate watched TV 24x7 and my wife could not sleep. The nurse said it was the roommate's "right" to be able make unlimited noise! Ridiculous!

Andre L. Vaughn

What was Qdoba thinking? I would have been thinking, "WTH is up with that" if I was a customer eating in. Nice Post!


David, your comment that just because you have a blog doesn't mean you'll advertise on it brings to mind the responsibility of spandex in public: just because someone can wear it doesn't mean they should. -Douglas Burdett

David Meerman Scott

Andre - Exactly.
Douglas - Wow. In a strange way, that analogy works.


I think this type of "violent" information should be put to end. Not only because it's just my will. Time has changed. People don't perceive such a way of receiving info. Plus, subjects who still does it bury themselves alive. Don't they understand that?

David Meerman Scott

Serge, My guess is they are reconsidering TVs in the restaurants.

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