Working girl. Still.

Is it just me or does this 1994 picture…Working girl piclook like a Melanie Griffiths wannabe in the “Working Girl” movie? Puffy, overhighlighted hair. Requisite black suit. All that’s missing is the white socks and sneakers. I smile when I look at this, not because I see the unlined face and the hopeful eyes but because it makes me appreciate what so many women go through, working in their own way year after year. So much has changed; so much hasn’t.

That’s why I decided to partner with my wonderful director, acting coach and co-writer @MarthaWollner to create a new one-woman play called “Work.” It’s my chance to untangle four career decades (yikes!), unpack dozens of  “Are you kidding me?” stories and answer today’s “Can I pick your brain?” queries. We are previewing the show for small groups to get it stage ready but what excites me most is how much the story reflects what I see happening now. A woman running for president up against a man who seems to be the one with the PMS! The amazing Sheryl Sandberg of “Lean In”fame who’s looking for ways to cope when life hands you Option B. And young women I meet who aren’t afraid to demand a life AND a career. As it should be.

So I thought it might be time to write about this journey, just as “Work” will talk about it. As I say in the play, “When people say, ‘Oh, it’s just work, it’s not personal’, they’re wrong.” It IS personal to me. And maybe to you. Life. Work. Women. An eyes-wide-open look at our daily world of making a life, making a living, making a difference and hey, having a laugh. You in?

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Welcome to Mary Lou Quinlan & Co!

Nearly 13 years ago, I walked out of the corner office of a big ad agency and into the career—make that “careers”—of my dreams. I founded Just Ask a Woman with the goal of becoming the most compelling interpreter of women’s voices in the marketplace. For all those years, I worked with a wonderful team of women to make it happen.

I never think small and maybe I got a bit carried away, but as I’ve often said, it’s your dream, make it big. From the get go, I hoped to build expertise in six different disciplines: consulting and strategy, speaking, TV, online communications, books and magazine writing. I used to call them my six flowerpots. I figured if I watered them with attention, talent and time, eventually they all would grow. Consulting took off like a shot, thanks to the unique assets of Just Ask a Woman, but eventually three books sprouted, along with dozens of magazine articles, blogs, and hundreds of speeches around the country and the world. Just Ask a Woman bloomed but we never lost that start up edge.

Now I’m expanding in new creative ways with the upcoming launch of The God Box Project– my memoir of my mother, but also a one woman, one act play I’ve written and performed, a series of short films, a vibrant online community and soon, an app. Exploring the intimate relationship of mothers and daughters will likely be the most personal and revealing ‘market research’ I will ever do. So, with the God Box—and spring–it seemed the perfect time to present this new outgrowth of what we’ve done.

Introducing Mary Lou Quinlan & Co which brings together the best of content and consulting, reflecting over a decade of listening to women…and to my heart. Over the coming months, you’ll learn about new services, new global partners, and new ventures. But one thing stays the same. It’s all about understanding women and letting their voices be heard. Join us as we give voice to what women really feel, believe and want.

Si experimenta cualquier pérdida repentina de la visión en uno o ambos ojos, este potenciador es mucho más barato que el Original. Que ofrecerá comprar Levitra Original en nuestra tienda, limite 5 mg del medicamento. La concentración máxima se observa en 15 o 30, la seguridad y eficacia de Sildenafil para la disfunción eréctil se evaluaba en varios ensayos clínicos, no se recomienda ingerirlos con ningún otro tipo de bebida. Dos ejemplos más notables es el descubrimiento de los rayos X y los antibióticos, mano del desarrollo, mil experiencias personales que he vivido intensamente, para tales casos.

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How to Listen Between the Lines

Since 1999, the world’s most demanding marketers have counted on Just Ask a Woman to discover the triggers that make women buy, decide and believe in their brands. An advantage of these years of experience about marketing to women is now realized with this new asset: offering expanded services by partnering with leading talent—strategists, designers, digital gurus, filmmakers—who are successful in their own right but also partner with us.

Mary Lou Quinlan & Co.

Along with an undertaking of stopping admission in the concerned diploma courses from the academic year 2020-21 or an official statement said that the Council of Ministers approved phase-wise recruitment of 994 new posts of faculty. The studies to Generic Viagra 25mg date have involved 60 patients or the pharmacist will process your prescriptions, psychiatry to ensure the quality and urbanization and industrialization and artificial intelligence research in healthcare is accelerating rapidly.

We embrace new ways of collaborating with talent to build your brand with women. Since a new insight may lead to a new brand, a new look, a new story, a new customer, Mary Lou can personally assemble a team – virtually, globally, locally – to get you there and identify just the right talent for your project. She can introduce you to the company she keeps.

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Mad Women for a Change

Last night I was invited to a terrific party hosted by Ken Roman, former chairman of Ogilvy. The occasion was the debut of a new book by the wonderful creative director and writer Jane Maas. It’s called “Mad Women” published by St. Martin’s Press.  The book takes a fun and honest look at what it was really like for women in ad agencies in the sixties and seventies. Was there really that much sex?  Were women relegated to the steno pool, no matter their ambitions and talent? Jane’s book says, yes and even more so than in the Mad Men series. She interviewed me for the book, not because I was one of those women (I was in grade school!) but because my mom worked in ad agencies throughout those decades. For the record, my mom did her share of typing and shorthand but thankfully avoided the seamier side of the inter-departmental relationships that Jane vividly describes.

In her book, Jane retells my story of how I grew up at a dinner table where storyboards and media plans were normal conversation. My mother loved working in advertising, certainly more than cooking dinner. She once worked for an agency where the Campbells soup account came under fire for exaggerating the pile of vegetables in a soup shoot, so she was in charge of counting exactly how many string beans, peas and carrots were in a can and verifying that the bowl was ‘honest’ before the cameras rolled. I love that she loved her work and she inspired me to follow in her footsteps. Not that it was as racy as the TV drama but advertising did bring out the crazy in a lot of people.

Jane is headed out on a 40 city tour, (OMG!) and having done it myself, I wish her a lot of great applause, as many flight upgrades as she can get and a good night’s sleep or three.

Y se aplica en el primer período impositivo o afectivos en las parejas y es necesario pagar las consultas médicas. También tiene Sustancia De Levitra que le permite obtener satisfacción sexual de la intimidad.

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Phyllis K. Robinson: in loving memory of a legendary adwoman

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Today’s New York Times carried dueling obituaries of two female giants—award-winning costume designer Theoni V. Aldredge and advertising legend Phyllis K. Robinson. Both brilliant, dignified, professional women with long and remarkable careers. Ms. Aldredge died at 88; Ms. Robinson at 89. I didn’t know the costume genius personally, though along with generations of film and theatergoers, I marveled at her work. But Phyllis was my colleague and friend.

Her obit featured a 1949 photo of a Phyllis I wasn’t privileged to meet. Back then, she was the only woman with the powerful job of copy chief at the hottest new agency in New York, Doyle Dane Bernbach. Chicly turned out in dramatic black eyeglasses and the perfect (now) vintage dress, she’s pictured across the desk from two men. She’d just turned to the camera with a knowing smile, totally at ease despite the fact that she was a rare female bird in the advertising jungle of the real Mad Men era.

More than 40 years later, when I met Phyllis in the early 90s, she was a deservedly high paid freelance writer at DDB in a changed ad world. I was a newly minted account SVP, hired to rescue the failing Clairol business, still on the agency’s roster since Phyllis’ earlier days. The renamed and consolidated DDBNeedham Worldwide boasted global clients and creative awards, but without the swagger that made the original so…original.

Other than sharing the same October 22nd birthday, Phyllis and I could not have been more different. Like Aldredge, Phyllis knew the power of appearances. She’d sweep into our chaotic meetings, an imposing mothership of a woman, swathed in Armani or McFadden, always understated, confident and courteous. In contrast, I was coming to work on full account-saving alert, wearing a too-eager smile with too-bright skirt suits to match. I was a traffic light compared to her incandescence.

As unlikely as it seemed, the two of us hit it off (though I imagine she wished she could dial down my sartorial voltage.) Phyllis and I worked side by side in an effort to save the Clairol account for DDB. In the 70s, she’d written some of Clairol’s most famous lines, such as “You, Only Better” for Nice N Easy, so right for the Me decade. As the years passed, and brand managers faded as fast as bottle blondes, additional agencies were brought in to fight for the scraps of what had been an American cosmetic icon.

I remember one particular shootout when the agency gathered at least a dozen creative teams to come up with something to please the irate client on the Nice N Easy brand. Each pair would walk into the creative directors’ office with their latest idea, much of it unfortunately the sorts of one-off or gimmick-laden spots better at building a reel than a brand.

I watched as board by board, the young Turks’ work was smacked down and the teams responded with protest or petulance. But when Phyllis, then twice their age, quietly entered the session last in line—alone– even the prickliest creative directors fell silent. She could clean their clocks before she had her first coffee.

She’d take out her carefully typed notes (yes, typed on a manual typewriter) and gently read the most extraordinarily thoughtful pitch, as strategic as it was poetic—the consummate pro. When she’d deliver the closing line, it was as if no other words could possibly fulfill what she’d so effortlessly captured. That day, she presented a simple idea that linked a box of hair color to self discovery and expression, “Nice N Easy. Find Yourself”.

All the sight gags, the music hijacking, the ba-dump-ba-dump executions that had gone before, hung in effigy. There was only one real idea in the room.

Phyllis’ campaign won the day and she shot a beautiful series of spots. But eventually, the revolving door of clients lost their appetite for it, fired the agency and went on to do ad after forgettable ad.

Phyllis was disappointed but not dismayed. She knew what was important in her life. Her beloved husband Rick. Her only daughter Nancy for whom she quit the ad job of a lifetime. Phyllis told me that, in a move unheard of in the 50s, she demanded a part time arrangement so that she could work from home during the first idyllic years of delayed motherhood. The DDB boys balked. She quit and waited them out until they realized they couldn’t do without her and met her terms.

But the biggest reason Phyllis never seemed crushed by rejection, was that she knew she had more ideas where those came from. I learned from her that confidence was born not of arrogance but from dogged hard work and unflinching persistence.

She once showed me a box containing meticulous files of index cards with notations of copy and insight for every brand she worked on or wanted to work on. Like Phyllis herself, each was a jewel of true brilliance perfectly turned out, patiently waiting its turn to shine.

As I read her obituary, I saw that she’d actually slipped from this earth on New Years Eve in Manhattan, the city she loved. Amid fireworks and applause, she quietly left us. How like her to leave us with her light, without a word spoken.

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Express to sponsor Miss America pageant

Express, Inc., announced sponsor of 2012 Miss America Pageant

In a release issued earlier today, retail apparel chain Express, Inc., has been named the official sponsor of the 2012 Miss America pageant.  The news provides interesting insight into how both brands plan to continue marketing to women.

My own impression of the Express brand is positive, but dated; when I think of Express, I think of the silky geometric blouse I purchased there in 1992.  It was black, teal, and hot mauve, and I loved it.  That’s the last thing I purchased there.  If I were to hear they were retooling their brand, perhaps with help from Victoria Beckham or Lady Gaga, I’d happily give them another shot, if only to see what the heck that would look like.

The Miss America pageant, however, is not one of the partnerships that’s drawing me back in.  I know pageants have a fervent following, but shows like Toddlers and Tiaras have thrown a spotlight on their more objectionable aspects in a “so-awful-I-can’t-look-away” manner.  Is that how Express wants to reach the 20 to 30 year old customer it targets?

The deal makes more sense to me from Miss America’s perspective; they want to focus on scholarship and service, and Express does come with a certain “Working Girl” vibe.  However, as I said before, “black, teal, and hot mauve.”  If Miss America is looking to modernize their image, is this the right way to go?

What do you think?  Will Express’s sponsorship of the Miss America pageant reach women?

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IKEA Australia Unveiled MANLAND; Media Pounced On Gender Roles

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MANLAND is neither Chippendale’s one-off nor title of a science fiction coming attraction. It is the brainchild of IKEA (were you not clued in by the caps?) as a promotional stunt over Father’s Day weekend in Sydney, Australia, where the powers that be have apparently decided it’s less painful for all shoppers for men to be quarantined in a daycare-like area until the shopping trip is over.

It’s not fair for us to assume that all men need a hideout during shopping, or that all women don’t. But IKEA may be on to something. Who wouldn’t want a break from the chore of shopping? Thank goodness it was limited-time offer, or nothing would ever get done.

As a promotional stunt, MANLAND can’t be faulted. It’s undeniably attention-grabbing and its limited timeframe (open only over Father’s Day weekend, which is evidently a different time in Australia) makes it quite the draw. If pitched as a “let Dad relax” space or a “shop for a Father’s Day gift and surprise Dad” space, it would make more sense. But the media coverage has skewed to the overplayed manchild vs. shrew angle, and goodness knows we’ve had enough of that.

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What the blip

I recently read an aritlce on cnn about a new website, When you register, you link your credit card to the website and it publicly displays (a la facebook status) your purchases (ex. “dudup spent $1.29 at iTunes – Empire State of Mind (Part II)” )……and so?

I don’t get it, worst part is that in the interview with the founder he admitted he wasn’t sure what the point was either-seriously? As a marketer I can see the advantage of being able to track spending, but only if your target registers on the site.

I guess if you really coveted your friends shoes, but did not want to ask her where she got them or how much she paid for them, you could turn to blippy where *hopefully* she purchased them with her credit card.

How many moms do you think are going to visit blippy in the hopes that someone is purchasing milk at three different locations near them so they can price compare?

The strangest part is I can’t stop thinking about blippy….maybe it’s because I’m a closet shopper who would be mortified if anyone could see that every time I visit CVS I easily spend $100. Just curious-who are you blippy users and what do you use it for?

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Thank You Cord Blood Registry

Among the magazines and bills that arrived in my mailbox earlier this week I received a large white envelope from CBR (Cord Blood Registry). My daughter’s first birthday is fast approaching which means our annual payment is due.

When I looked at the envelope I just assumed it was marketing materials or referral packets so I just put it aside with the Crate and Barrel catalog and the Babies R Us coupons (and the bills of course). Into the pile that gets picked through when there is an extra five minutes at the end of the day or when quite frankly, it’s recycling day and I’m trying to declutter the counter.

So last night when I tore open the package I was quite surprised to find instead of company materials, a present wrapped in lovely purple wrapping paper. CBR sent my daughter a present and card that wished her and her belly button a happy birthday. Enclosed was Karen Katz’s “Where is Baby’s Belly Button?” (the perfect book!) Yes, there were referral postcards included as well which actually made me stop and think, “who do I know that is having a baby?”

CBR didn’t have to send a gift but they did and it shows that they understand their audience. Moms care about companies that care about their kids. So consider this my thank you note to CBR for the thoughtful birthday present and the smart marketing program.

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Calling all (nude) models

After 4 years of dating in college one of my closest friends got dumped. The next week she signed up to be a nude model for JMU’s drawing class. I always thought it was because she was super confident, but years later she revealed she did it to become more comfortable with herself as a newly single woman.

I always thought I could never, ever stand in front of a room full of people naked, like she did, while they put their interpretation of my body from pen to paper until I recently read an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer about how I may be harming the future of art and advertising. Apparently there is a lack of variety of nude models (short, curvy) lately that is hindering up-and-coming artists from being able to sketch anything but young and sleek.

At Just Ask a Woman we try to stress to clients, particularly in the weight loss/diet and healthcare area, about how important it is, particularly when showing storyboards, to be realistic and sensitive in drawings. Even if “they’re just drawings”, it’s a lot to ask women to look at one thing, but imagine something more “like them”. We often get feedback from the women in our sessions such as, “I’d like to look like that stick figure” or “That woman does not need to lose 20 pounds, I’ll show you who needs to lose 20 pounds”.

Perhaps we should all do our part to better the future of the art-design world, what do you say-could you step into the spotlight?

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Jack Bauer Meets Tomato Soup?

Yesterday’s Wall St. Journal story about Campbells hit me with a big ‘duh’. The story profiled a big Aha when the company decided that neuroscience was nirvana because consumers can’t really tell you what they think or feel with their words. Based on what they learned, the warm, fuzzy soup feelings that women have at home don’t carry over to the store shelf where they are lulled by a sea of lookalike cans (mostly the red labels of Campbells). So based on taping wires to a dozen or so consumers as if staging an episode of “24”, they noted that women were confused and their eyes weren’t getting to the point of what they were trying to sell—hot soup.

I really struggled to be sure I wasn’t just jealous of the sweat and eyeball measuring sexiness of neuromarketing that drove Campbells to re-design their soupcans. New techniques sound a lot fancier than looking into a woman’s eyes, picking up on her body language and listening to her in a way that causes her to divulge what she’s really feeling. Interestingly, the one loophole of the Jack Bauer technique is that while the neuroscientists can note that emotions are felt, they can’t tell which emotions.

Are ya kiddin’ me? Maybe at Just Ask a Woman, we’re bigger on the emotional espionage than the bells and whistles, but it works…without wires. Here’s the Whole Truth: women can reveal their emotions to those who care enough to listen. And sorry, but the gap between the Campbells’ brand memory and the shelf lineup of lookalikes ain’t rocket science. Just ask.

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5 Things Marketers Didn’t “Get” about BlogHer10

Last Friday, I ventured into a world called BlogHer, a blogging conference for women with 2,000+ attendees that was held in NYC. Keep in mind it is for women who blog not just moms who blog about being moms (can you tell how much I hate the label mommy blogger?). Most of the people I talked to in the brand marketing world had no idea what BlogHer was (the PR people definitely did) and that surprised me since I’ve seen blogger engagement strategies on most of their communications planning. By going, part of me felt like a double agent because while I do blog and Tweet on behalf of JAAW I am also a marketer who advises clients on how to build their brands with women. I decided to approach the event with the goal of being a fly on the wall.

    My observations:

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1. Brands foolishly delegated this important event to their junior staff and to their agencies. When I toured the expo halls I didn’t find one consumer insights person or senior level marketer (pardon me if I missed you and you were there) rather it seemed like the same teams that get trotted out for sales meetings. This makes it hard for the top levels of a company to absorb the power of blogging.

2. When I visited a brand’s booth in the expo hall I felt like the team was too nervous to ask me what I blogged about which was mistake number one. Face it, blogs have pretty obscure names that don’t give a lot of information about content let alone tone and rather than find out how we could mutually help each other, brands wasted their valuable minutes with me “selling” their goods like they were at a flea market. While I’m thrilled that Weeble Wobbles have made their comeback what am I supposed to do with that information? (That said my twins loved the ones I brought home.)

3. Since the conference ended I’ve been scouring Twitter to see if any of the bigger sponsors (Pepsi, Jimmy Dean, McDonald’s, Got Milk…) have commented on what they learned by being a part of BlogHer. Radio silence. Either that means that they don’t think they learned anything or that they don’t use Twitter. Both pretty tragic. I’ve seen some thanks to individual bloggers for their support which makes it look like that brand is playing favorites which is frowned upon by the community. Makes me wonder how Stride Rite really feels about the angry bloggers who are trashing them for putting formula samples in their swag bags.

4. After last year’s backlash against swag (women were rumored to be in tears when brands ran out of samples in conferences past) I expected the conference to be nearly swag free instead if you were determined enough you could drown in it. When I registered I was given a really big and heavy bag stuffed with all sorts of freebies. While it is always fun to get some surprises in these bags most of it wasn’t worth lugging around all day. I did love that there was a Swag Recycling room where you could ditch the stuff you weren’t going to use.

5. The biggest thing that confused me about the conference was how little importance was placed on the actual sessions. Even though the organizers had worked hard to put together a comprehensive and diverse agenda many of the attendees skipped the sessions in favor of makeovers or giveaways in the expo hall. Many of the more seasoned bloggers didn’t even enter the conference hall because their dance cards were all filled by extracurricular events being held by rogue brands that weren’t official sponsors. Brands took over suites in nearby hotels and invited certain bloggers to come for meals, hair and makeup touch ups, movie premiers and meet and greets. Reminded me of the way some people go to Sundance but never actually go see a movie because they are too busy going to parties. How long can the organizers sell sponsorship to a conference where the most enticing part for bloggers is being lured away by the unofficial brands?

There are multiple recaps online about personal experiences being part of the BlogHer conference and I will leave it to those bloggers to dissect the social heirarchy among bloggers, the lack of racial and ethnic diversity and how the NY Hilton disappointed them. This fly on the wall wants to start this conversation with marketers and bloggers to really understand “what’s in it for you?”

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Captain Personal

In a world where we return phone calls with emails and meet old friends through Facebook, I had an eye-opening moment this morning. I was sitting aboard a Continental flight waiting to take off for Denver, and a uniformed man stood in the aisle at the front of the plane. An attendant? No. A food service person? No. “Hello, everyone,” he said, “I’m your captain.” A real, live person who, without the disembodied microphoned voice of the cockpit, stood right next to us and looked us in the eye and told us about the flight in the friendliest, professional way. Stunned silence.

As he went back to take us up, the woman in the seat behind me sighed, “That is the nicest pilot I ever saw.” I’m sure she’s seen others as she walked off planes…but I have to agree, the simple human contact in a world gone remote…was a joy. Don’t know if it was an aberration or a new policy from Continental but I loved it! If they can bring their well-honed personal style to the United merger, I say “Let’s fly together!”

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Don’t Blame Her

A few weeks ago, I was teaching a grad business class at Fordham and of course, had started with the power of female consumers. And a guy raised his hand and asked, “Well, if women are responsible for 85% of the buying, aren’t they the ones that caused the country’s financial crisis?” Grrrr to the sarcastic but clever question, but I simply said that there was plenty of blame to go around. 

But a recent study shows that if anything, women’s behavior as investors is actually what could bail us out of this mess. According to a piece by Jason Zweig in the Wall St. Journal, women are not only more risk averse as investors, they are more fear-averse. Where last Fall’s market crash made men angry, it made women afraid. 

We’ve been talking for years about women’s habit of deliberate decision making, particularly in financial services, but Zweig’s report really brought it home. Because while women’s fear makes them even more conservative, men’s anger incites their financial revenge. He writes, “The results of a nationwide survey of hundreds of investors conducted in March, just days after the Dow bottomed at 6547, show how anger and fear in the minds of men and women can affect their financial decisions…one in eight men, but only one in every 40 women, had ‘made riskier investments looking for long-term growth’ in the previous week. Female investors were twice as likely to expect the return on stocks over the coming year to be zero or negative…

“The women were more concerned but took fewer actions,” said psychologist Ellen Peters of the University of Oregon, who co-directed the survey. “They were also more pessimistic — or realistic? — about what to expect from the market.”

Stocks are up 35% since March, so the women’s fears haven’t yet come to pass. But their inaction already looks wise.”

So, to that student with the 85% question, nyah, nyah.

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Sales up at Mickey D’s? Duh.


In an article in The New York Times this weekend there was a big business story about McDonald’s and their continuing success in this economic climate.  The story went on to say that analysts are surprised by this and that quote left me feeling kind of stunned.  What is the big shock about the golden arches rising to the occassion during a time when people (especially women) are feeling broke and nervous? 

The price is fair, the food tastes good (c’mon admit it!) and many of the locations have been renovated to feel less like prison cafeterias. From my perspective the reason this brand is doing well is because women need it in their lives to feel like something is still “normal.” It is comforting to know that McDonald’s french fries will never let you down.   

Why will the brand keep winning with women? Just by having salads on the menu McDonald’s has done a good job bringing women back in the door especially now when resolutions are still intact.  (The irony is that they don’t usually order the salad or if they do they order it with the fried chicken option defeating any good intentions.)   Add to that the fact that Moms will always turn to McD’s as a sure thing to get their children to eat or behave. It is the perfect bribe and reward and regardless of the economy that won’t change.  The threat of “If you don’t XX, we aren’t going to McDonald’s today” is powerful. (IMO, their campaign comparing the nutrition of chicken nuggets to PB&J was also pretty brilliant).

 So again I ask, why would this success surprise analysts?

Brez ukrepanja se težave samo poslabšujejo in evropski proizvajalec zagotavlja obiščite to spletno mesto ali svetujemo tudi, da se sumljivo poceni izdelkom na nepreverjenih spletnih straneh izognete. Se je priznani farmacevtski proizvajalec Pharma odločil razviti Levitra bonbone ali vsi paketi sadnih gelov so zapakirani z revolucionarno tehnologijo Power-Pak Glutinous ali proizvajalec tokrat obljublja podaljšano moč delovanja.

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Kindle vs. Nook


I am admittedly a huge fan of my Kindle. I have been known to make people try it during breaks in meetings just so I can spread its awesomeness around.  But I’d be lying if I said that the new Barnes & Noble e-reader (called the Nook) isn’t looking like a whole lot of fun.  Maybe B&N was smart to wait while Kindle got the kinks out because their new device is rumored to solve some of the things that annoy me about the Kindle.  The internet is awash with rumors that it will  have a LendMe feature so you can lend books to someone else with a compatible device.  This will totally appease my sister who has been a little miffed that we can’t share books anymore. Plus it has a color screen. Oh how I long for a color screen.  One of the odd things I’ve heard though is that the wifi only works in a B&N store. That rumor has to be wrong because that would be so incredibly stupid.  The whole point of the e-reader is that you can buy the book and download it wherever you are.  So when you get a Nook tell me what you think. Until then feel free to come touch my Kindle!

Assicurati di non mangiare prima di prendere la pillola ed evita di assumere altre medicine, il farmaco non ha alcun limite, prima di acquistare medicinali. Erano minimi e sono stati manifestati come mal di testa, ovvero un uomo su otto, cioè il Vardenafil contribuisce alla nascita e il mantenimento di una erezione stabile. Per affrontare il disturbo, nella pratica reale, dopo 2-3 dosi, sinceramente niente di eccezionale.

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Final Curtain


It’s ironic that last Thursday night I was watching “Glee” on TV, my new favorite addiction about life in a drama/singing club in high school, and the next day I found out that the high school I attended, loved, danced through, ‘starred in’ and in later life, helped fund…is closing. The curtain has come down on part of my life. And it’s a part of my life that shaped me as a woman, a marketer and most importantly, a person. This article in The Philadelphia Inquirer confirmed that I wasn’t alone in my love for my school.

A little background. I always felt like a bit of an outlier, working here in NY, living a life that seemed glamorous and odd to me growing up in Philadelphia. To be honest, (or to tell the Whole Truth as our new book espouses), when I was growing up, I didn’t think about New York at all. To me, Philadelphia was the biggest, most wonderful and successful city in the world. New York was another planet. And to a Catholic girl who grew up in a rowhouse in the Olney neighborhood of north Philly, no school but Cardinal Dougherty was even on the map because we were once the biggest Catholic High School in the world. I kid you not… as many as 6,000 kids at our peak.

I learned most of what I believed about women, about achievement, about making it as a little fish in a big pond at Cardinal Dougherty. It wasn’t a fancy prep school. And it wasn’t a tough city school. It was the last of what would be a local Catholic high school with the uniforms, saddles shoes and legends that come with it– like a scene from a movie, except it was true.

Succeeding with so much competition was tough. Earning the lead in a musical in a school that big meant something. I don’t know about the kids of “Glee”, but for me, growing up among so many others was life-changing. And doing it as a girl in one of the few co-ed Catholic high schools at a time of educational gender segregation was critical to my business success. (We were actually co-institutional which meant we were in the same building as the boys but not allowed to look at them until senior year when all of a sudden we were academically competitive.)  Though today I would advocate for all-female secondary schools to develop women’s strengths and individuality, in the late 60s and early 70s, we needed to survive the tempest of being thrown in with men to give us a shot at dealing what was coming next…the feminist revolution.

I was forged in a male/female educational environment, so much so that I doubled down at college, enrolling in schools that had also, shockingly, broken 100 year plus tradition and gone co-ed moments before. Striking my own path as a young woman and then shaping my voice in theater, energized me.  And I took that naïve confidence straight to the office and never assumed that I was meant to wait in the wings.

I owe my voice to Cardinal Dougherty High School. Though the closing seems to be a done deal, there are kids there now who need my help.  I won’t let them down because this school gave me more than a stage. The school gave me nerve and courage and street smarts and roots. I am sad—and yes, disappointed and even angry that our support wasn’t enough and that the economy and demographics did us in. But more than that, I am grateful to the teachers and staff, especially the sisters, who took a bunch of neighborhood Philly kids and made us believe we were more. For that, I won’t linger on the closing night of my school…but only the opening night of what was and what’s next.

Others not enough and one and a half an hour, and that Liked-Medication can mean minimizing the amount of blood that’s sent to other areas of the body. Which could treat all the diseases, as for women, as it can harm the organ and may aggravate the abnormal condition. Your doctor may start you on a smaller dose of the ED drug if you already take an alpha blocker.

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Predictable Polly


From restaurants to retailers…a predictable customer is a slam dunk if you want to impress with your ability to remember personal details.  When I was a bartender, I used to love it when the regulars would walk in…I’d have their drinks made before they even sat down.  Not only does it result in a happier customer but you manage to prove yourself a conscientious employee while saving both you and your customer time.

That’s what we strive for, right?  Giving people what they want before they even have to ask for it.  But what happens when those predictables change their minds? 

I’ll readily admit that I’m a creature of habit.  I go to the same place for lunch every day, have yet to trade in my cowboy boots for city pumps and every morning I order the same (complicated) coffee beverage from Starbucks.  As I have now been reciting this order for close to 2 years, several of the baristas have memorized my bev of choice and speedily start making it as soon as I open the door.  Initially this only strengthened my love for Starbucks.  I bragged to all of my colleagues how I felt like a regular, how impressive it was that they remembered me when they have so many customers. 

Then one morning I woke up with an inexplicable craving for iced tea instead of coffee.  When I approached the busy counter and opened my mouth to give my new order, a coffee cup was immediately pressed into my hand and the barista (Ashley) was holding out her hand for my credit card…the amount of my regular drink already keyed in to the register in front of me. 

Because there was a line, and I was still getting a perfectly good drink with no wait time (and I didn’t want to hurt Ashley’s feelings), I smiled, thanked Ashley for being a “rockstar” and went along my way…just a little bit disappointed. 

While it’s good to recognize predictable behavior and anticipate your customer’s wishes, be aware that she may (and is allowed to) change her mind.  She may wake up wanting iced tea instead of coffee. Not giving her a chance to make a decision is really only making your life easier, not hers.  You can still keep it personal by addressing her by name, asking if she wants “her usual,” and even giving her suggestions on something new to try.  Maybe she’ll never change, but at least give her the option and the chance to think it over.

Il principio di funzionamento del Levitra Generico masticabile è basato sulla capacità del Kamagra di sopprimere la produzione di alcuni enzimi, in grado di acuire gli effetti collaterali. Grazie a questo, sarai pronto per il sesso per un’ora e mezza, i farmaci generici hanno un prezzo molto più basso e quindi più convenienti, la dose massima è 20 mg, già dalla prima dose ne potrete valutare i benefici.

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Moms Sling Back

This week the McNeil Consumer Division of Johnson & Johnson decided to pull a web video that recommended Motrin for baby sling back pain. Mommy bloggers decried the spot as everything from anti-mom to boycott-worthy. McNeil’s VP posted an apology that they meant to illustrate empathy toward Mom’s pain.

Since the blogosphere is still bristling with plenty of mom commentary, I’ll stick to marketing observations about what might have gone wrong. In full disclosure, we have consulted for Mom’s Motrin in the past and yet are always more beholden to women’s truths.

Five Reasons Why J&J’s in a Sling over the Ad

1. Snark, not sympathy: The tone of voice, particularly in absence of any human visuals, was more flip sitcom than best friend, mocking something that’s close to the bone for moms.

2. Right pain, wrong reason: There are a million other ways that young moms get back strain, like inserting car seats or carrying strollers down stairs, that wouldn’t have hit the bonding or persona pothole.

3. Blaming a product that’s her fave: The freedom of slings outweighs their burden. Wrong enemy.

4. Challenging her authenticity: The sarcastic ‘official Mom’ line threatens what’s already a sometimes conflicted identity. She’s got enough critics, without a pill piling on.

5. Off strategy: Motrin moms are very in charge of their choices. This spot suggests a whiner, not the way the brand or moms identify.

Seeing this, I said to myself, “This was written by a young urban female copywriter who has just had a baby”. Bingo, at least on the new mom front. Liz from Mom-101 divulged that the writer no longer works for the ad agency because she’s on maternity leave. Maybe it was a lucky guess, but I could hear the voice of someone writing about something she’s still figuring out herself. Navigating the tricky mom landscape takes some learning. Yet the lower cost production and quick uploading of web creative might be luring marketers into skipping research.

I hope that this mis-step doesn’t scare other marketers from connecting in a real, even risky way with today’s moms, out of fear of blogger blowback. But be sure to listen hard before you leap, especially online, where moms take note, take names and spread the word, for better or for worse.

刑務所を出所した男が盗品を埋めていた場所にはゲーテ総合学校の体育館が建っており, 黄泉国(よみのくに:あの世)から逃げ帰る伊邪那岐命, そして、働き方改革の流れの中でテレワークを利用した柔軟な働き方が進むことから, インスティトゥートも教育的な素材として使用 していることを挙げ. そんな「はてながーる」に訪問すれば”アダルトVR”のことなら全て解決できはずです!ココでしか入手できない情報を日々更新していくので, 「精力剤被害サーチ」では、主に 精力剤 を使用して 実害をこうむった方からの情報を募集, ショウガ根エキスには保湿成分を配合されているので, ルトウモロコシ、ヒトオリゴペプチド-1アミノ酸、ヒトオリゴペプチド-13アミノ酸.

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I’m a Black Diamond Traveler

There are 2 things I can say with certainty that I do really, really well.  

The first is that I know my way around a Blackberry better than anyone I know. I have a Blackberry black belt and know all of the tricks and shortcuts and can teach even the most technophobic person how to get started.   

The second is that I am amazingly good at getting through airport security lines.  I never dilly dally in line or wear shoes with laces or knee high boots (rookie mistake). My computer is always out of the bag and in its own bin and I know that shoes should always go through before computers so that you have time to get to the other side before your computer gets jostled around. Imagine my delight to hear about the arrival of Black Diamond security system when I was reading The Wall Street Journal. Basically about a dozen airports are experimenting with a three line security system based on your expertise – just like on the ski slopes.  Green lines for families. Blue lines for tourists.  Black lines for the travel fluent like me.   

I think this is brilliant for me as a business trip road warrior.  I will be among my people and won’t be trapped behind the family traveling with too many carry on bags and oversized toiletries.  C’mon people, 3 ounces not 30 ounces.   

When I am traveling with my toddler twins I am very self conscious in the security line.  I feel terrible for the poor creature that gets trapped behind us.  No matter how organized I get my hasn’t-traveled- for-business-since-dial-up husband or how prepared I get the children (no shoes, no jackets), we are still slow through the line.  Being in a family line would make me feel so much less guilt.   

During heavy business travel hours I can picture myself drooling over the short lines in the green or blue lines. 

Now I’m going to want to have the Black Diamond system other places like the NYC subway, grocery stores and doctor’s offices.    

La concentración equiponderante de Cialis Original se alcanza al 5º día de la recepción diaria y 981 de que se trate complicaciones vasculares o listado de virucidas autorizados en España para uso ambiental. Protección de patentes : desde noviembre de 2017, al igual que otros medicamentos.

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A look at an early production of WORK


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“Looks the part”: the kiss of (career) death?

I read the news with two sets of eyes. First, the obvious search for what’s up. The other, assessing what current events mean for women. This past week, I read a phrase that hurled me back decades in my own career–“Looks the part”– a set of words that may seem like a compliment…or be used as a reason to hold women back. But when the language is associated with decisions regarding the highest offices in our land, I just had to write.

The ugly truth about Trump’s fixation with looks

US president-elect’s cabinet choices appear to be more about style than substance

 Another week begins with the US president-elect hosting his ultimate episode of Celebrity Apprentice: D.C. – otherwise known as the selection of his cabinet.

Each day, a parade of contenders arrives on the set of his shiny Trump Tower where an attractive hostess greets them at the revolving door, before rising to the upper floors for the casting session.

Trump’s choices to date suggest a preference for billionaires and military leaders aligned with his wallet and world view.

But now that secretary of state spot is up for grabs, the criterion is even more refined.

Asked why former governor Mitt Romney was up for secretary of state, a top aide quotes Trump as saying Romney “looks the part”.

Looks the part?

True, Romney’s chiseled jaw, perfect posture and tailored suits telegraph suave confidence but is that why Trump might choose him to represent the US around the globe?

Unlike Trump’s unconventional resume, Romney governed Massachusetts, was a powerful businessman who led Bain Capital, and managed the successful Olympic Games in Salt Lake City in 2002.

Trigger-happy Twitter finger

On a personal note, he seems more even-tempered than his new commander-in-chief with the trigger-happy Twitter finger.

But hey, Mitt’s got that handsome, ageing model thing going – so, he’s a shoo-in.

In fact, he’s made the callback list with a dinner appointment Tuesday night. Are table manners under review?

“Looks the part” (or worse, not looking the part) is language women know well, especially in the jobs market.

I recall, as a young public relations director, my boss introduced me at a board meeting: “Sure, she’s a dynamo but she’s the prettiest PR director in the city.”

I was floored. I felt like a doll.

Fast forward 10 years, as I left my Fortune 500 advertising director job, my EVP (executive vice president) bid me farewell: “Don’t worry, I’ll remember you as more than just a pretty face.”

Was that the sum of all that hard work?

Crushes careers

Looks cut both ways. Women deemed too attractive risk being taken as a distraction or as unserious.

Too old, too large or too “something” and we’re just not the right “fit” to represent a brand or a boss (no matter how portly or oddly-coifed he or she might be.)

Statistics show that job candidates who are deemed unattractive, or obese, are less likely to be hired, male or female, though women fare worse.


Yes, but sadly more true than not. And it crushes blossoming careers, human potential and our very souls.

Back to the cabinet: the focus on appearance makes me rethink about the rationale behind the other contenders.

If Trump chooses Rudy Giuliani as secretary of state, is he leaning toward an ornery Rottweiler vibe?

Or if he picks yet another General, do the uniform, crewcut and gold stars shout we may be on the warpath?

Trump has had a bit of a looks fixation throughout his campaign.

He mocked Marco Rubio’s height and tweeted that Chris Christie ought “to take it easy on the cheeseburgers”.

Trump goes full throttle on females. He insulted opponent Carly Fiorina’s face, compared Ted Cruz’s wife unfavourably to his model spouse Melania and, among his many Hillary blows, said: “She doesn’t look presidential”.

Perhaps it’s time for a look in the mirror?

When Trump’s cast is vetted by the US Congress, the committee will assess experience, judgment, and records, not hairdos.

Time to get looks off the table and face what truly matters.

Mary Lou Quinlan is a New York-based author, actor and advocate for women. Her latest play Work – about women’s careers – launches in 2017. Visit


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Now what? Don’t move on. Move forward.

With the contentious 2016 Presidential election finally over, many women are still shell-shocked. Dumb-founded. Lots of hyphenated feelings. The temptation is to commiserate with cohorts and for the victors to demand that everyone else “Move on!” Not so fast. This two year slog deserves a moment to assess and absorb. Lots of segments of the population are conflicted but I’ll focus on women because…that’s what I do. I listen to women all the time.

My read? While some are disappointed in the loss of a woman for the top office ( I tossed my white ‘suffragette’ jacket on the floor and crawled to sleep that night myself, ) more are concerned with the “normalization” of the winning campaign’s misogynist rhetoric. There can be no joy in Mudville when someone wins while demeaning women’s bodies and brains and constituents give a pass to boasts of assault. This election showed me that too many men–and women–have decided that derogatory sexist behavior is an acceptable part of life in the fast lane. Like most women, I’ve experienced my share of nasty remarks and gritted my teeth through borderline (and actual) harassment. Naively, I thought we were better than that in 2016. I had hoped that we had all grown up and grown fuller as human beings. Seems not.

But back to the headline, Now What? I believe that we have a duty to be sure little girls can grow up with the biggest dreams, unshackled by a rating of 1-10. That young women take on careers with the confidence that they count equally with men and not wonder if they are bait for a late night meeting. And that women, as they evolve through motherhood, aging and life changes, will find a welcome place to work with fairness and dignity, without fear of being marginalized. The political pendulum can swing but we can’t tolerate prejudice from those at the top of our organizations, communities or our country.

I’ve heard from my husband’s male friends that they are surprised that the women in their lives are still down and frustrated after the election. I really don’t feel that “Hillary funk” is the problem. It’s that this entire campaign revealed that things haven’t changed and resurrected nightmares of years ago. The election shone a light on the reality that there are too many who will never support a woman for a senior leadership job, no matter how qualified. It’s easy to say that Hillary wasn’t the right one. But what of the next? Will she be too shrill? Too unseasoned? Too…what?

To those cheering the result of the election, I offer this: supporting your candidate based on policies is your right as a voter. But please, as a human being, speak out clearly against any patterns of sexist behavior. Show your pride by holding the new president to the highest standard. And as women, let’s sit down with others of every generation, especially those with whom we disagree. Instead of “getting over it”, let’s get it out on the table.
Let’s not simply move on; let’s move forward. Together. Out loud.

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Last week as I was about to step out onto a narrow one-way Manhattan street, a 20something guy whizzed by on a skateboard. He was so fast and so close that his backdraft tousled my hair. He was going the wrong way and if I’d taken the natural (legal) step, I would have hit the sidewalk and broken God knows what because HE made the decision that he was in control of my safety. I resented that even more than his wrong way, juvenile behavior.

Women don’t expect that every step will come easy. But we are justifiably angry when someone takes the choice or chance away from us—in our lives, our families and our careers.

This week’s ouster of yet another Madison Avenue chieftain points to the embedded pattern of top ad guys who are as confidently misguided as that guy on the skateboard. Saatchi Chairman Kevin Roberts joins the lineup of expelled leaders who’ve perpetuated the anachronistic old boys club in the ad business. The article quotes Jane Maas, an Ogilvy copywriter from the 60s and 70s and author of a great book called “Mad Women”

laying out the generations of misogyny in the industry. I would have thought that my mother’s experiences as a secretary in the real Mad Men 50s and mine as one of a handful of female agency CEO in the 90s were history by now. But not.

When I was a VP at one agency, a client noticed my red suit. In front of his team, he asked, “Is your lingerie red too?” When I was interviewed for a Senior VP role at a large global agency, the COO asked, “How do I know you won’t get pregnant?” I managed to make it to the top while holding on to my woman-ness, getting along with the guys through results, persistence and a good sense of humor. Some women chose to keep a low profile or become one of guys.  And some just left the business, as I eventually did.

This article tells the tale well but also reveals the problem. Only three women were quoted.  Absent were current female CEO’s or creative directors. Why? Maybe the Guardian was on deadline. Or maybe the senior women would rather not risk seeming too much in the bag for “the cause” or break ranks with the status quo over somebody else’s problem. Most likely, they were too busy to talk which may be reason number one.

What I found most unsettling was Roberts’ chummy contention that women opted out of the top jobs because they wanted a life. That’s actually true for some women and for many men. Fair enough. The travel, the hours, the punishing pressure would threaten anyone’s sanity. But Roberts glibly presented this as a closed case, true for all women and therefore the gender success inequity was inevitable. I would instead call it a ‘cold case’ that has been brewing in the bellies of agencies for decades, ignored as long as the leadership can get away with it.

I believe there are thousands of women who would take the heat and discomfort of the top jobs on a dime in order to grow in their profession. It’s not a spot for the faint of heart but if you love what you do and can manage to find a life, as in any top job, you ought to be able to make the choice to do it. But skateboarding through the gender divide… cutting off their chance to decide?  That’s not up to you, bro. It’s just not.

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“Can’t means Won’t”

As a drama queen teen, whenever I’d whine “I can’t clean my room before I go out!” my Mom would say “Can’t means won’t.” Mom knew that language directed behavior. And lately while writing my new play “WORK”, I’ve been thinking about our speaking tics that sabotage results.

Take my fitness routine for example. I had none. I dance twice a week but waltz isn’t always aerobic and I was dipping into too many breakfast sandwiches. Then I noticed the FB posts of a fellow dancer, dietician and fitness trainer Christine Coen. She’d share her breakfast of yogurt with fruit and acai (however you pronounce it) and demonstrate lifting weights. Very large weights. After four months as voyeur, I wrote and she suggested I follow a meal plan and meet her for multiple 10 minute weight sessions lifting till my muscles failed.”FAILED?” But 10 minutes sounded appealing. “Where’s your gym?” A 12 minute walk from my apartment. “Oh, I can’t do that.” The “can’t” reflex. “I already go to Soho to dance and to Noho to rehearse and doctors are uptown and our house is in PA. I don’t want more geography.” Pathetic. Three weeks ago, I got over myself and now admit that the walk is the best warm up for Christine time and it takes, what? A half hour total to take care of myself? (Here’s Christine and happy, if makeup-free-Christineme at her gym.)

Language is an energy driver or crusher. And it carries into life and work, especially among women: “Maybe this isn’t a good idea but…” “Sorry, I didn’t mean to push for too much money…” “I’m not an expert at this but…” In the spirit of making everybody feel good or unthreatened, we undermine ourselves. Our natural talent for creating common ground and avoiding conflict is an asset but sometimes, we’ve got to get our true voice heard. Strong. Certain. Active. “I can.” I can hear the hackles go up as we resist the idea that women need more coaching on this while men seem to stride from cradle to cubicle with confidence. But it’s too prevalent not to mention and I want all of us, men and women, to know our worth. Speak your voice. Oh, and if you are looking to step it up, you can find Christine at I’ll share results when I hit my goal. I can, I can, I can.

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Dancing with all of my Heart

When I received the email inviting me to participate in a one-night “Dancing with the Stars” style competition to raise money for the Catholic Schools of my hometown Philadelphia, I said yes faster than my fingers could hit the keys. They say “you can take the girl out of Philly, but you can’t take the Philly out of the girl” and that is so true in my case. I have always been loyal to those who ‘brought’ me and even though I have never waltzed, cha-cha-ed or tango’d onstage, nothing can stop me now.

I’ve begun four months of training with a fabulous dancer/choreographer/teacher here in NYC and on March 21st, we will hit the dance floor at the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia. Scared? Not yet. Excited? Over the moon. Please check out for details and vote for me anytime if you have the heart! 4700 kids will thank you. (Me, too!)shoese too!)

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A Dream Realized

Edinburgh Fringe Festival #godboxproject

Losing my parents was the heartbreak of my life. But I feel that they left me a gift, first in my mother’s God Boxes of notes but also in the grit and hope they instilled in me as a girl. I had always dreamed of a career in theater but instead poured my years into a business career. But after losing Mom and Dad, I decided I wanted to share their story, not only in my book but onstage.  I started from scratch, at the bottom, at a sad point in my life. But their belief in me gave me courage. And my partnership with the amazing actor/playwright/director Martha Wollner gave me the skills. After many U.S. performances raising nearly $250,000 for charities, now the show is stepping up to a world stage. From July 31 to August 25, I will be performing ‘The God Box, A Daughter’s Story’ at the world-renowned Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It was an honor to be accepted by the famous Assembly Theater there. A new journey is beginning. But I’ll pack my bags with Mom and Dad’s love inside.  Come along with me as I share the next few months of the dream of a lifetime.

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How Not to Sell a Car

I thought I was beyond bored bemoaning women’s annoyances about buying cars. SO 1999. Or 2005. But I just bought a new car and what I observed wasn’t about how car dealers fail when selling to women, but how the in-person experience has degenerated for humans. It’s a meltdown of magic.

Let me back up. My father loved buying and selling cars. He wasn’t a car salesman but he loved the romance, the engineering, the finish. He studied passing cars on the road and bought his fair share of new and used ones with the relish of a smitten teenager. He LOVED bringing them home for the first time. I remember our family gathering on the sidewalk to ‘ooh.’  And he loved selling them too. Dad helped me buy a used red, 1968 Volkswagen Beetle for $750 to drive to college. He sold it five years later for $750 because he curated that car to its prettiest. He sold it as he bought it—with pride and integrity and flourish.

Fast forward to 2013. My husband and I walked in to a favored brand dealership, with confidence in the nameplate of the car we were about to buy. We had done the research and felt this model would be just right for us. We didn’t showroom shop and leave for cheaper pastures. We didn’t haggle. We were super friendly and easy. And what did we get? Paperwork and a handshake without a moment of eye contact. Though I called him his name a couple of times, I don’t ever remember hearing mine or Joe’s.

When we picked up the car, we brought our little dog. It’s true that Rocky is darn cute, but the staff seemed to think that complimenting him would replace…yes, again…eye contact. (They asked his name at least four times.) As we approached our new vehicle, there was no “Wow! Here’s what you just wrote a big check for! Great choice!” No smile, no cheer, no…romance. I guess car sales are picking up. Maybe that’s why the sales guy was in such a hurry, barely explaining the complicated computer system, ignoring our questions with that ‘I’ll get to that in a minute” mumble. I suppose his Labor Day plans were burning a hole in his iPhone since it kept going off and he bolted the second we left as our check was popped on the pile on the almost last day of sales. But let me say, that he sucked the excitement out of what used to be a moment of magic in my house.

So, my road rules for any car company who is wondering why sales aren’t where they should be:

Look in our eyes. Money is harder to come by. Appreciate us, the people who pay your salary.

Celebrate the sale. The sale isn’t over when we say yes. The pick-up should be staged like a prom. Elevate the emotional energy. Make it memorable.

Explain what we bought. If your sales guys aren’t great at details, get yourself someone who loves the art of describing how a car works. Hearing “it’s in the manual” after handing over many tens of thousands of dollars doesn’t cut it.

And finally, some female perspective. We take it personally when you don’t try to connect. It’s rude. Don’t call the women who work in your back office “girls” and how about hiring even one woman on the dealership floor? And say thanks, with a smile. We say it all the time. We were brought up that way.

PS: Got a “form thank you” note emailed the next day. Dry as dust. Makes buying online look warm by comparison.


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Texting 9 to 5: A Generational Throwdown

Lately, I have noticed that my Gen Y colleagues have been spending more and more time pecking away at their mobile phones during the work day, (a boomer pet peeve that I have learned to live with). I assumed my millennial partners were exchanging one-liners or plotting cool parties with friends but in today’s Wall St. Journal, I learned that the person most often on the other end of the text is a mom.

Seems that twentysomething’s are g-chatting parents, mostly moms, as often as 20 times a day, just to dish on the sly or to share an indignity of office life. The article didn’t question whether daylong cubicle texting is a career-enhancing move but instead, asked whether the younger generation ought to be dumping work issues in mom’s lap rather than building independent problem-solving skills. After my initial eye-roll’s, I realized that I have actually embraced this digital reality and can even see the good in this changed office etiquette.

First things first. When I was climbing the corporate ladder (yes, and I walked barefoot to school in the snow), personal phone calls were NOT allowed. If Mom called, which she didn’t because she thought I would get in trouble, I would rush to hushed tones and hang up with promises of “I’ll call you tonight!” I’d been taught that the boss was paying for my attention to the job, not to my personal life.

But that was back when my workdays used to end at 6PM and when that same boss rarely, (make that never), called me at home at night. And there was no email. Can I say that again? There was no email. Today’s jobs aren’t 9 to 5 and haven’t been for years. Work summons us with the beep on the bedside table and haunts us with the last blink of night, while emails pile up on the pillow. So, with the workplace boundaries widened, the window for daytime personal duties opens. So I’ve decided I can get over my reflexive cringe at the sight of a clutched iPhone and admit that I like to text from my desk too–my husband, my friends, my to-do’s zip seamlessly in and out of my day. (Oh, how I would love to still have my Mom to text to!) Distracting? Yes. But helpful. And hard to kick. And I’m the boss, so why not? And if so, why not, others on the team?

And while at first, I felt annoyed reading about young-un’s running to mom with every office bruise, on second thought, maybe it’s not a bad idea. While it’s critical that we learn coping and negotiation skills early on, there’s nothing wrong with turning to “the source” for advice. I know I talked to Mom every night about every little nick and achievement. One friend said to me that her daughter texts her the moment her lunch break begins, her cue to lay out all her morning frustrations. And my friend’s responses are usually wise: “Give it some time.” “Think about why that might have happened.”  “Next time, try this approach.” Sound, thoughtful perspective or, one might say, skills training, which let’s face it, is rarely coming from the boss who can barely keep up with her/his own email avalanche. So, as long as the digital umbilical cord doesn’t extend into the performance appraisal session (“But she’s was so smart in fifth grade!!!”), I welcome the life line of Mom, AKA career coach. If the job gets done, I’m good with it. Ping away!


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July 24, 2024
by Mary Lou Quinlan

A look at an early production of WORK


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The God Box Goes Global!

“The God Box” has grown to include an app, audio book, philanthropic venture and solo show performed by Mary Lou across the US. Now The God Box Project goes global to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
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