Hypebot Writer Blacklisted By NAMM After Critical Review: Robin Davey Responds

I posted a critical review of NAMM 2012 on Hypebot a couple of days ago and was met with this response by NAMMs Director of Marketing and Communications, Scott Robertson.

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“I know someone's name who isn't going to make next year's badge list.” he continued “If it helps, about 96,000 people had a really great time at the NAMM Show. …And then there's you. Way to swim against the stream!”

One would think that an organization such as NAMM would have a far more professional approach to dealing with negative reviews than the childish and callow response that Mr. Robertson displayed.

Indeed other non-NAMM affiliates did give thoughtful responses to my article, pledging their support for the event. Any PR person worthy of their position would realize that, if people are making your case for you, then their word is far more likely to be effective than that of an employee, or indeed the Head of Marketing and Communications.

In responding in the manner he did, Mr. Robertson also confirmed the assumption I made in my article, that NAMM is a purveyor of an old school elitist attitude. How more elitist can you be then banning those who dare criticize the organization?

It is this spoilt and passé approach that I felt an overwhelming sense of during my attendance of the show, and it is very interesting that it obviously continues up through the ranks. The prepubescent “backslappery” attitude exuded by Robertson makes the shambolic and incoherent nature of the actual show floor even clearer. It seems like there is very little A&R involved, meaning stall holders appear to be shoved in which ever corner they are given.

Would the violins departments really be happy being placed next to the drums? Or the accordion booth be over the moon at its woefully disjointed positioning in the entrance hall alongside Roland and Boss? I would love to be more specific as to which manufacturer this was, but the floor plan provided on their website seemingly omits them from the show floor, and is as confusing to navigate as the show itself.

Mr Robertson I am sure enjoys his comfortable status as one of the NAMM elite, hobnobbing with all the famous and respected musicians that the show attracts. He probably thinks that I am not famous or influential enough to charm with his NAMM expense accounts and all access passes. And of this I am very grateful, because it is not positions of power that I look for when choosing my socializing circles.

I am all too aware that those who look for friends in high places fail to realize that someone who looks down on you is not your friend.

Is it lonely at the Top Mr Robertson?

Robin Davey is an Independent Musician, Writer and Award Winning Filmmaker. Follow him on Twitter @mr_robin_davey

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  1. NAMM is kind of right. What’s the point, Robin?
    Really, how can you critique “instrument manufacturers” and artists?
    Why bother?

  2. NAMM says on its website that Scott Robertson… “is responsible for communicating NAMM’s vision and message to its Members as well as other audiences in order to help the organization reach its strategic objective of unifying, leading and strengthening the global music products industry, while creating more active music makers”
    I critiqued the show??? Don’t see your point.
    So no one should be critical, what is this North Korea?

  3. the only childish response is yours pal, why would you even want to go back NAMM if you felt the way you did, stay home. You critiqued the show, he critiqued your review.

  4. He didn’t critique my review he blacklisted me, this is not about me, this about an organization responding to criticism by restricting access as to not allow people to criticize. I think that is very telling of how they handle their affairs.

  5. There are many ways to handle criticism. You can take the feedback and make positive changes or you can be defensive and show off how big and powerful you are. NAMM should be more professional than that.

  6. Wow, really guys? NAMM was right? Robin is childish? You blowing Robertson in the elevator later, too? Robin’s articles here are HIS opinion, and not only did he provide some constructive criticism for what should be a professional organization, but he did it in a professional and polite manner. Sure, he might’ve used some colorful language to do so, and this only made the article more interesting to read.
    Robin’s absolutely right. What the NAMM representatives should do in response is reflect on how they can improve the show, not blacklist the people who express their opinions about it. Robin’s not the only person to feel this way about the show, either. Officials should be concerned that attendees feel this way and should work to address the issues presented.
    Finally, as a PR and Marketing professional I can say that Robertson’s response is exactly the wrong way to communicate with the public. He is first and foremost a representative of NAMM, and should be more respectful of others. A real professional would respond along the lines of, “Interesting points, Robin, we’ll definitely take this into account when we’re organizing next year’s show.” But he would apparently rather pull a stunt like this, as if he were kicking a kid out his treehouse.

  7. Not nice is it Davey…Being blacklisted for criticism….boots on the other foot…the public (some of Hume pay your wages)are beginning to see you for what you are, Shallow, insecure, UN-sure of your limited talent, UN-able to except other peoples outlook of yourself…Need I go on?..No thought not, I’ll just wait for some of your diatribe to come back at me!
    Learn from criticism and except how Scott Robinson feels about ‘YOU’ and the way you tend to get up people’s noses!

  8. Robin, you are absolutely entitled to your opinion and should be allowed to express it. To me, this kind of falls under the “no such thing as bad press” banner. Do you think one single person is going to reconsider attending NAMM because of your article? Of course not. If you didn’t like the show, fine. I think blacklisting you from future shows is a little extreme.
    That said, I REALLY enjoyed the NAMM show, and would like to go back again. So please, powers-that-be, don’t blacklist me for endorsing freedom of speech.

  9. wrong way round Elissa…Like many successful companies and organisations NAMM don’t like to be harassed or verbally bullied!

  10. And being a first rate dab hand at being cantankerous, rude & dis-respectful you would know…right?
    or are you going to have me blocked ….again!

  11. Hey Robin,
    I’m sure there are plenty of people who would be more than happy to furnish you with a Badge for next year.
    I’ve been to NAMM 3 times, twice the badge had my name, once it didn’t. Companies and retailers always have extras. This isn’t going to the whitehouse, and last I checked they weren’t IDing at the door…
    I think you could make a pretty decent documentary on the whole shebang and let people really see what happens there.
    That said, I thought your original piece on the the show was spot on.

  12. What’s this? People whining because someone dared be critical of something they like? That’s not like people at all! Fans of bands, attendees of an event, supporters of a sports team, they’re all the same. I bet they’re all terrific at debates too.

  13. Arthur T, I hope you understand that any argument you make is significantly diminished by your inability to use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation.

  14. Hey Robin! it’s a dog critique dog world, you know that with Hypebot! and how it’s works is;
    Dear Mr NAMMs Director of Marketing and Communications & Topdog, Scott Robertson, I am writing in reference to Rodin Davey’s badge position being available in 2013…!
    Yours Bested Buddy,
    Cheeers! Gerry

  15. I thought it was a really well written article (the original one, except for maybe the cursing and use of language), and like any trade show, there’s going to be a million different things going on so to stand out, and everyone trying to grab your attention…maybe you need Bootsy Collins in a pink suit rockin’ out on stage to do so.
    Mr Robertson handled it in a very unprofessional manner. If I were him, I would have probably been insulted, yes, since I’m sure this is his baby, but I would have asked what could have been done to make it better, taken your input, perhaps asked for an apology on the abrasive language since it’s not really necessary to make a point, but bottom line being, inquire on how to make it better. He obviously responded quickly, and in an irrational manner. I’m sure he’ll get over it.
    Robin, I think it’s brave to be able to stand against the grain and make your point despite what the outcome might be. The truth shall prevail!

  16. This would all be very different if Robin pointed out some flaws and then gave helpful suggestions on how to improve. Too often writers fancy themselves as some sort of catalyst for administering criticism. I think that’s fine and dandy, but you can’t do that and expect to not get called out.
    Artists get bad reviews all the time, and rarely do they reach out and react to such words. This is a classic example of someone standing up and giving someone a taste of their own medicine. If you have zero problems criticizing something, make sure you are capable of handling the repercussions.
    Treat people with respect, you get respect. Robin could have taken a different approach.
    All that being said, lashing out irrationally wouldn’t have been my move if I was Robertson. Let people complain and give their opinions. If your aim is to contribute to the growth of the music industry, you should at least entertain suggestions. This could have been a robust piece of conversation. Instead it’s just turned into childish name calling.

  17. yet again, overwhelmingly negative response to another negative article from this guy. You sound like a fox news banshee, shrieking at everything you don’t like because you aren’t involved or it isn’t your idea. What’s ironic is, you expect people to like your work and bash everything else with your opinion, as if your opinion was somehow ordained from a higher power. ugh.

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