Unsigned Chrimbo cards: bad for corporations, bad for the planet

Despite the credit crunch, the corporate Christmas card is alive and well. I got two from Japan today. Both from Shimano.

Shimano Christmas card - Yoshizo and Ikuko

There’s a pop-up with two roadies from Shimano chairmen Yoshizo and Ikuko Shimano, or there’s a product placement card from Yozo Shimano.

Shimano Christmas card - Yozo

In the fullness of time I’ll upload images of all the corporate Christmas cards I get and we can all vote on the cheeriest and the cheesiest, but for now, here’s a vote on which of the two Shimano cards you prefer. Neither were signed, both came with the same database-driven address labels. (Sorry, there’s no answers 4 or 5, it’s my first time with Polldaddy and I screwed up).

Over on BikeBiz.com I’ve campaigned against unsigned corporate Christmas cards since 1999. I like personalised ones – even if the image is trying to sell me stuff – but database cards aren’t terribly clever.

To its credit, Shimano Europe took my bah humbug complaints to heart and, in 2000, cancelled its Christmas card budget. The money – many thousands of Euros – was funnelled into good causes instead. Cycling ones, of course. And, along with two other European cycle trade mag editors, I was a judge in how this cash got spent. It always went on youth cycling projects.

Commentators such as Chris Brogan aren’t big fans of corporate ‘holiday cards’. He blogs about alternative ways of showing care.