One of the most dangerous phrases anyone can use is this one: “It’s a no-brainer.”

Three years ago, a radio ad saleswoman uttered it as she sought, in vain, to convince me to advise a client to shell out thousands of dollars for a promotional spot.

Immediately, the likelihood of my doing business with this individual went from slim to none. When someone refers to something as a “no-brainer,” they are being insulting and insensitively coercive. In essence, here is what they are communicating: “If you don’t agree with me, then that means you have no brain.”

How’s that for undermining any chance of a mutually respectful and symbiotic relationship?

Peter Shankman, a bright and personable PR guy whom I respect, pulled the no-brainer device today. In a message to his thousands of subscribers on Help A Reporter Out. Shankman began, “This advertiser is the biggest no-brainer in the history of Earth.”

Not only is it a no-brainer, but it’s the no-brainer that trumps all others. That’s certainly upping the ante, Peter.

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