In the wake of the recent scandal (although it may only be referred to as a scandal if you happen to be in the UK!) of the awarding of the FIFA World Cup to Russia and Qatar. The argument goes: unless you were a bidding party prepared to 'buy' influence, you stood about as much chance of landing the World Cup in your nation as being nominated to stage the world's first outer galactic Olympics. But the question one have to ask, is 'buying' influence really so bad? Don't we all – as business owners – buy influence in one way or another? In real terms, if company A) has a marketing budget of £1m and above and company B) has a marketing budget of £25 per year, theoretically company A) can buy a LOT more influence amongst consumers or businesses. A lot was made about the technical merits of each bid, with the English bid coming out on top. That would be the English bid that received just TWO of the votes. Again though, technical merits are NOT a deal breaker in many real life examples. Technically, there's very little difference between a pair of Nike trainers or a pair of no branded sports shoes from the supermarket. But the price difference and the sheer volume of sales don't reward 'technical meritocracy'. Now it's only right that I caveat this article by saying that buying influence illegally is – obviously – illegal. A no, no. Not fair play. Buy buying influence per se? Well, that just seems like sound business sense. What say you?