Which Who’s Who & Why?

Guess Who

Everyone knows Who’s Who: it’s “the definitive directory of everyone who’s anyone in Britain, and beyond, today”.

So imagine my surprise to receive a letter from Who’s Who. Why, they want to include me in Who’s Who of Britain’s Youngest Directors! Imagine!

Not that Who’s Who, obviously. How could one possibly make that mistake, eh?

No, this Who’s Who is published by Who’s Who Publications, not Oxford University Press.

Their strapline is “ad honorem de excellentia”. My rusty schoolboy latin understands this to translate approximately as “excellent ad revenue”.

And at £39 per copy, who can disagree? Their rigorous selection criteria include…

“[Young directors of businesses] where there has been an increase in net worth over the previous two years by at least £1,000.”

Read the letter and enjoy the full sales patter. Alas, the silver-embossed headed paper didn’t scan well.


The moral of this story? Splash out on the domains for your key products. WhosWho.co.uk is owned by Who’s Who Publications, not Oxford University Press.

Update: Some of *cough* “Britain’s business elite” are so delighted to be included in a prestigious Who’s Who Publications, er, publication that they brag about it.

Step forward…



  1. Gutted says

    I also received one of these letters, caused a mild rush of excitement for all of 2 seconds before I read the bit about “you will feature in our publication with only around 20,000 of these Young Guns”. Then I thought, “I thought Who’s Who was exclusive”, and also that they were unlikely to have such a ‘flash’ (cough) letterhead. A quick email to their office confirms they are not linked to this.

  2. says

    We have dozens of these in the U.S. and it is very common to see local businesses proudly display their “Top Marketing Award” plaques for all to see. And of course, sadly, they work to impress customers.

    At $100 per wall plaque, that’s a nice profit so we can expect more of these trophy programs. Sigh.

  3. says

    To be fair Nick Forbes is a councillor, not at MP. He fully deserves recognition however, having “recently arranged for a new grit bin to be installed on Vallum Way”.

    Tragically, rather than blubbing his way through, Perry Mills even takes the time to give an acceptance speech:

    “I sincerely hope that our existing and future clients will take comfort in learning of this notable achievement that Oaktree are a professional ‘bona-fide’ commercial enterprise.”

    Yes, I’m totally confident in the company now.

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