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When it comes to marketing, at least, Kevin O’Leary knows what he’s doing

Kevin O’Leary

Kevin O’LearyI know that you are probably expecting me to be critical of CTV’s decision to take Kevin O’Leary back, five years after he quit BNN to join Amanda Lang and the CBC. Quite frankly, I just can’t bring myself to do it. It wouldn’t be right, to be honest, as CTV is just displaying the natural tendency that we all have to let a talented marketer convince us to do something that might be against our better judgment. What Mr. O’Leary has taught Canada over the past decade isn’t about business or investing, but how to market yourself to the world in the face of tough odds, and that deserves acknowledgement and applause.

Hat tip. Clap.

Just imagine the challenge that Mr. O’Leary had to keep the “Decade of Daddy” rolling along to his financial satisfaction. The CBC recently lost the TV rights to NHL hockey and is undergoing massive budget cuts as a result. This left little in the kitty to pay KO for his contribution to Ms. Lang’s CBC show; he’s no longer doing these TV gigs solely to sell mutual funds or mortgages, since we know that at least two of Mr. O’Leary’s TV-generated start-ups are not working out as planned (see prior posts “RRSP season unkind to Kevin O’Leary’s fundraising hopes” June 5-13 and “Kevin O’Leary closes failed mortgage startup” Apr 14-14). The lack of budget at CBC put Mr. O’Leary’s agent in a tough spot. His client “gots to get paid.” There aren’t that many doors to knock on in Canada, and he was left to go back to the parent company of BNN (a specialty channel I love), which launched Mr. O’Leary on the unsuspecting Canadian public circa 2005, to see if they’d forgive and forget.

That’s where the salesmanship comes in.

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