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BBC The Apprentice – Lording it in the boardroom Episode 4

11 Apr

Lets look at The Apprentice episode on Wednesday 3rd April.  The potential apprentices are telephoned early in the morning, around 6:00 am, which immediately shows that Lord Sugar is a man who is up at the crack of dawn and has sorted the world out before we’ve had our Frosties. I say Lord Sugar, it’s actually his assistant who is supposedly at her desk. She announces that she is phoning from the Lords office and then says Lord Sugar wants to meet with them at a certain location soon. Yawn, double yawn, triple yawn. Ditch all that ancient crap please. The only thing that cuts it in business is how big was your last success, how long ago was it and can you repeat it? Lord Sugar indeed!

They then meet with Lord Sugar and he says that they are to manufacture a new condiment. Lord Sugar has found them people who can assist them and who can buy from them. Free advertising on the BBC. Big audience thank you very much.

The teams are juggled because the ladies haven’t performed too well so far. A lady then leads the boys and the one of the boys who joins the ladies leads the ladies. They work through the task and report to the Lord in his “boardroom”.

This task is won by the ladies lead by a man. They get to drive Porsches at Silverstone as a prize, again free advertising for Porsche and Silverstone.

The losing team have to explain why they lost. They lost because they didn’t sell enough product. This is because they didn’t make enough product. One of the chaps was in charge of production and he failed. He complains that the lady doing the leading hadn’t pointed out to him that the product was aimed at the mass market. At no point does anyone, including the Lord point out that no matter the target market segment the more product you make the more you sell the more profit you make. Simple business sense.

Another chap is taken to task because he was in charge of sales to wholesale and he didn’t sell a whole lot. At this point no one pointed out that the guy wasn’t a sales person and shouldn’t have been put in charge of a sales team. He is obviously a manufacturing project manager with little in the way of a sales persona.

The project leader lady is taken to task because she claimed in her CV that she could “manipulate men” although she didn’t seem to have used this trait for the task. At this point no one pointed out that if a man had claimed that he could manipulate women he wouldn’t have made it through the selection process to get on TV.

Further gems included misspelling Bellissimo that was one teams name for their “condiment”. They were shocked when the potential purchaser (another advertisement free on the BBC) pointed out the miss spelling, Belissimo. The person that Lord Sugar wants would have immediately said that the spelling was meant as it would help brand identity, no one said that though.

We also had the winning team turn up at the same potential reseller with no product to taste. Lord sugar should have stopped them from going back once they had product. I’m pretty confidant that in real life business they would not have been allowed a second bit at the cherry. In fact I’m sure they would have been shown the door as soon as it became apparent that they had no product to taste.

The bottom line  – the failed salesman was “fired”. The manufacturing guy should have been fired if the task was really about identifying the person who did the worst job. He may have additional strengths, which Lord Sugar can see however, time will tell.

It is entertainment. The winning person may gain an opportunity at the end of the day but I can’t see Lord Sugar throwing his money at anything, unless he is in full control.

Just keep repeating, it is just entertainment! It is just entertainment! It is just entertainment!

Tune in again for next weeks episode.

Other episodes –

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 3

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 5

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 6

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 7

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 8

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 9

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 10

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 11

BBC – The Apprentice 2012 – Episode 12

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