Nobody likes talking about money, certainly not if they are British and female. The only time we get vocal about it is when we are wrestling to pay the bill. Not to shirk it, to pay it. Then it’s flying limbs, waving debit cards and battling with the waiter. Hilarious.
We beauty editors are lucky enough to get discounts or complimentary treatments/cuts/colour at many different salons. In the early noughties (I know I’m like a stuck record, but context is useful right?) I had, literally hundreds of discount cards, most of them a 100% discount. Why were given these small rectangles of joy? To coax us to visit, which encourages us to build a relationship with the staff and the brand, and get ideas when we are there.
Now, of course there’s social media too. We talk about our visit, and our followers see it, along with our industry colleagues. I might put a salon treatment on Insta and then an editor at a newspaper will pick and commission a piece.
I know at many salons they are reconsidering the system. I understand: Covid has impacted the beauty industry massively, and some salons simply can’t afford to have their chairs packed with non paying customers. As a journalist you have to respect that your use to brands and salons will wax and wane, but this undoubtedly has a sting, so requires delicate handling by PRs, and grown up thinking by the hack.
We can navigate it with grace, I’m certain.