Bill Zanker of Learning Annex Offers $1 Million to Paris Hilton to Teach Branding

I swore to myself I was not going to make any public comments about Paris Hilton.  I was sorely tempted to make some comments about Paris Hilton after watching her respond in Larry King’s interview.  But I thought to myself, what would be the point since I had very little good to say and the respect factor I would give her would rank very low.


Bill Zanker of The Learning Annex gave me a way to legitimately comment on Paris Hilton.

First off, I enjoyed the two times I attended the Learning Annex Real Estate events the last few years because of the headliners like Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Robert Kiyosaki, George Foreman, and Tony Robbins.  It was energetic, fun, and upbeat.  The first one I attended was in NYC in 2004 and the other one in Atlanta in 2006.   A lot of it was “salesy” and really catered to the mass market but I did manage to get my money’s worth out of it.  (It was relatively inexpensive as far as seminar events go.)

I commend Bill Zanker for being creative and getting some great reputable talent as headline speakers in the past.  But 26-year old, high-school dropout, GED-only, party girl, Paris Hilton as a speaker?  Are you kidding me?  She is going to teach us about business “branding?”  Does anyone expect me to believe she actually had the business smarts to develop her brand all by herself?  Oh sure, I am sure she is the CEO as she parties at night and stars in “The Simple Life”.  She is definitely what I would consider to be a “figurehead”, and certainly not the “meat and potatoes” management talent in charge of her various lines of products.  And having an opinion (especially hers) does not mean she provides any insights or leadership.

I give Bill Zanker incredible accolades for creating the Learning Annex and taking it where it is today.  I understand Bill has to find a new marketing “gimmick” and publicity angle but, jeez, Paris Hilton?  He just made his own event into a big joke.

If I take out the educational component, Bill’s move is a stroke of marketing genius.  It will draw in mobs of people.  But if Bill wants The Learning Annex’s Real Estate event to be taken seriously, I think he just tanked it badly.  I would not want to speak at that event (not that he was asking me mind you).

But I suppose it is more important to get huge numbers of people into the event with a circus than it is to do it in a more “straight” fashion.

As far as I am concerned, I will be staying far, far away.  The joke factor just went up tremendously by having Paris as a paid speaker.  Good grief.  It seems whether we like it or not, “we will always have Paris.”

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