Woman involved in U.S. Secret Service scandal notes prestigious standing of RIM smartphone
April 19, 2012, 9:16 AM — Could this be the spark that ignites Research in Motion's comeback?
The prostitution scandal involving U.S. Secret Service agents who arrived in Colombia last week in advance of an international summit meeting involving President Obama has cost at least three agents their jobs and embarrassed the White House.
A messy affair overall, and one that never would have blown up if one of the stupid Secret Service agents had just paid the Colombian prostitute the amount they had agreed upon over two bottles of Absolut vodka at a swinging discotheque in Cartegena. Yeah, baby!
Wait, did I say "prostitute"? I meant "escort," because there's a big difference, according to the woman in question, who was interviewed about the incident in-depth by the New York Times .
And therein lies the free promotional gift presented on a silver platter to RIM, which has in large part blamed its precipitous decline over the past three years on poor marketing, as opposed to, say, its inability to keep up with Apple and Google's Android in smartphone technology.
According to the Times, the escort "is dismayed ... that [television] news reports described her as a prostitute, as if she walks the streets picking up just anyone"!
“It’s the same, but it’s different,” she said, indicating that she is much more selective about her clients and charges much more than a streetwalker. “It’s like when you buy a fine rum or a BlackBerry or an iPhone. They have a different price.”
Hello, serendipity! Now, I'm just kicking around some ideas here, RIM, but you might want to consider focus-grouping some of these marketing slogans (or at least run them by Mike Lazaridis, because he has his finger on the pulse of smartphone customers everywhere):
* BlackBerry: Like a fine rum before hot sex with a prostitute high-priced escort
* BlackBerry: Too good for streetwalkers, but good enough for you
* "Is that a BlackBerry in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"
* BlackBerry: The equivalent of an iPhone to many vodka-addled Colombian sex workers
That's just a freemium taste, RIM. Anything more will cost you 1.4 million Colombian pesos. I suggest we settle on the price now. But no funny stuff. I have a currency converter at my disposal. And I know people in Washington.
By Chris Nerney