Just when you thought it was safe to come out …

You have too much crap to read already, right? So when you didn’t see a word from me, you sighed with relief.

But with one bound, I’m back. From Cuba, actually

Two of my partners and I went to do a seminar there – for some people from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. More about that later, because we had a little holiday in Havana first, which explains the picture at the top of this piece.

Frankly, you need a holiday after flying with Air France, especially via Paris. You think Heathrow is a mess? Try Charles De Gaulle. Getting from one terminal to another is a nightmare – not helped by the total indifference of one or two of the staff. I was amazed nobody attacked one of them.

I love France – owned property there for years – but it puzzles me how the French can run such good railways, which deservedly make a profit, but an airline so bad it deserves to lose even more money than it does.

One reason must be that, in a bizarre and absurd rejection of national tradition, they serve some of the worst food I have had on a scheduled flight – at any rate one from a reasonably civilised country.

Maybe their rock-hard rolls were thoughtfully preparing us for the gastronomic challenges of Cuba, which has many delights – especially the people – but a pretty basic cuisine.

Were you struck by the children and the dramatic backdrop in the picture? Well that shot was taken in one of the most interesting streets I have ever seen. It’s in a very poor part of Havana, and has been turned into a complete work of art by an artist called Salvador Gonsalves, whom we met.

A lovely man – if you’re interested in art, google him.

Right now he is painting a mural in Turin – and I’ll tell you more about how we met him soon, and why his visit to Turin prevented us from buying a painting we liked.

About the Author


<p>In 2003, the Chartered Institute of Marketing named Drayton one of 50 living individuals who have shaped today’s marketing.</p>
<p>He has worked in 55 countries with many of the world’s greatest brands. These include American Express, Audi, Bentley, British Airways, Cisco, Columbia Business School, Deutsche Post, Ford, IBM, McKinsey, Mercedes, Microsoft, Nestle, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Unilever, Visa and Volkswagen.</p>
<p>Drayton has helped sell everything from Airbus planes to Peppa Pig. His book, Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing, out in 17 languages, has been the UK’s best seller on the subject every year since 1982. He has also run his own businesses in the U.K., Portugal and Malaysia.</p>
<p>He was a main board member of the Ogilvy Group, a founding member of the Superbrands Organisation, one of the first eight Honorary Fellows of the Institute of Direct Marketing and one of the first three people named to the Hall of Fame of the Direct Marketing Association of India. He has also been given Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Caples Organisation in New York and Early To Rise in Florida.</p>


  1. hey its tara, here is the website i was talking about where i made the extra summer cash………. the website is here

  2. stu

    Oh Drayton – if only I’d heeded your advice. Just back from a trip with AirFrance in which they completely ruined everything – all done at Charles De Gaulle. People say budget lines are bad, but I’d rather pay less money for competent low quality than paying through the nose for incompetent rudeness!!

  3. Don’t underestimate Alitalia. When my partner took a flight back home at Christmas their girl said on the phone, “You realise we will lose your luggage.”

    Not, “maybe” or “there’s a chance.” Just, “we will”.

    Now that’s genuine commitment. Of course, they didn’t lose it. You can’t even depend on their incompetence.

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