20 June 2006

Wanted: Slave to the overtly wealthy

Check this out. Its a real, true, I'm-not-making-this-up job ad for a "life-style consultant" for American Express. You see, when you have a Platinum Card you get access to this super special service called a concierge. They basically do whatever the hell you ask them to. Send a suit back to Milan for repairs? Certainly, sir. Book a 5 star hotel suite with spa for my mistress and a trip to Disneyland for the rest of the family? Right away, sir. While you're at it Matthew, cancel third world debt for me, will you? Er, is that the whole globe or just sub-sarahan Africa you were after?

I read about this service as the ultimate example of marketing that aims to constantly jack up people's concept of what it is to "have everything you really need". Hence making us endlessly dissatisfied with life and desiring more stuff. In a book called Affluenza. At the linked site you can download the first chapter where the author points out:
Ten years ago the gold credit card was a mark of distinction, a sign that you had made it—or at least that was the message the credit card companies put out. But too many people began to qualify for the gold card and its symbolic value became diluted. So the credit card companies invented the platinum card, designed to be accessible only to those at the very top of the pile.

Determined to stay ahead of the game, American Express has now introduced a black credit card known as the Centurion.

1 comment:

J said...

'Black is the new gold' Noice.
To be honest I could do with a concierge. I think they used to call them 'manservants' or maids once upon, but lets not quibble. 'Jeeves would you mind fixing me a scotch and soda?', 'Henrietta dear, don't suppose you'd be a love and pop the heater on and put dinner in the oven - I'll be home at 10', 'Fabio, would you mind heating the straightening wand, I feel like having ridiculous levels of shine and bounce today'. See what I mean? Could be cool.