So here's what I've learned -
1. You can change your name as many times as you like, but you'll always be Biff Lowman.
The BaselWorld/Hour Universe team continue to have no compunction about putting their hands in the wallets of the brands that they still owe money to from their last shake down. This lack of shame is, well, pretty shameful. Speaking of shame, it is a shame that profiteers like this continue to operate without any sort of oversight to keep them honest. And the biggest shame? They'll keep right on doing it. To quote that other great commentator on the watch business, Bunk Moreland as played by Wendell Pierce on The Wire -
"That's some shameful shit".
2. As a journalist you will never be more popular with brands as you are when the brands are not popular with every other media outlet (particularly the ones they paid a LOT of money to for what is politely referred to as "exclusive partnerships").
Pay to Play is a sad reality, and with so many other "part-time lovers" out there, it's hard for a brand to keep enough money on hand to pay that exclusive media partner as often as they want to be paid for coverage. And suddenly, that "exclusive" partnership is worthless. And all of the media outlets that got snubbed by the brand the last few times around are now using that brand's press release as toilet paper in their virtual bathrooms.
As another commentator on the watch business, Billie Holiday, once mused -
"A stiff dick has no conscience". Long story short Mr and Ms Brand Owner, until you put more gas in the tank, that particular marketing vehicle is not moving.
3. When a brand or sales manager calls you "My friend" it still means "you f'ng asshole."