Why product sampling is dead

The two dullest words in the world:

This morning on my journey into work, I was given a free little can of pop, a crappy plastic ticket wallet, an international SIM card and a voucher for a free dental checkup (not by the same people who gave me the fizzy drink, obviously). The drink tasted... kinda fruity? Maybe? A bit like bubblegum? Whatever it tasted like, I'm buggered if I can remember the brand. The ticket wallet will go unused; the SIM card went straight in the bin and I'm pretty sure the dental 'checkup' would just be an excuse to upsell me expensive treatments once I turned up. So, you know: thanks but no thanks.

Running the free crap gamut at a busy train station these days is a bit like walking through the 'entertainment district' of a cheap winter sun resort: "My friend! Come inside my restaurant! Sit! Sit! Very tasty, good price, free drink! Your wife, she very beautiful - I give you three camel!" It's annoying, it's a wee bit aggressive and, fundamentally, it's pointless. If something's such a good deal or such a great product, it probably doesn't require some guy grabbing my arm and dragging me towards it, or shoving a


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