Sunday 16 December 2018

There's no such thing as a free gift ... even if Apple force you to take it

I'm always uneasy getting something for free. I don't mean being bought a nice lunch or getting a birthday present.

But getting gifts outside birthdays or Christmas, is unsettling.

I once accepted a big gift. Teeth! Four of them to be precise.

One day while I was presenting the Afternoon Show, a dentist was at home watching. The gaps in my teeth must have put him off his tea and bickies, because I got a call the following day asking if I would like to attend his dental surgery to discuss my gaps.

I went to the lovely Paul Redbond and six months later I had no gaps. Lovely crowns filled those voids.

Unfortunately, I left The Afternoon Show that summer. I felt terrible as no doubt he would have liked the indirect publicity. Instead, I recommended people to his surgery and have been going to him ever since, and paying him.


But to this day, it was like I never played my part in the free gift.

Free gifts come with a responsibility. You feel that you owe the giver something. And an unwanted free gift is even more confusing to the recipient.

When U2 hooked up with Apple, people around the world received a free gift. The band were given $100m for the album.

But the album was not for fans alone.iTune users were force fed the 11 tracks.

Some say if you don't like it just delete it. They say Apple is simply being clever in their marketing and, of course, U2 can do what they like with their music.

But this free gift generated quite a back lash and there are many people who are not happy with it.

That's a bit of a pity for U2, who "wanted to make a very personal try to figure out why we wanted to be in a band".

But their release wasn't about a free gift, it was about making lots and lots and lots of money.

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