Book Review | QR Codes Kill Kittens

Title: QR Codes Kill Kittens – How to Alienate Customers, Dishearten Employees, and Drive Your Business into the Ground
Author: Scott Stratten
Year: 2013
Publisher: Wiley
Pages: 196
Topics Covered: QR Codes, Social Media

If you’ve read one of Scott Stratten’s previous books, you know that not only is he a marketing guru but also a stand-up comic within the pages of his books. I think this is why so many people love him and his writing style. In his third book, QR Codes Kill Kittens, Scott brings you a short little picture book that is informative as it is funny.

Before you think that Scott is against QR codes, let me tell you that he’s not. He believes that QR codes if used correctly are great. What this book is about are examples of people who break QR codes and use them incorrectly. You can definitely finish this book in an hour but it will take you longer that because 1. You’ll be laughing so much and showing anyone you can what you’ve just seen and 2. You’ll be on the floor laughing.

This book makes for a great Christmas gift so pick it up and put it in a stocking or two this holiday season. It also makes for a good story time book with your kids. I read it to my little girl and she seemed to love it.

Story Time

So do yourself a favour and pick up this book. You will laugh so hard your stomach will hurt. I’ve warned you. But through the humour you’ll definitely learn. Scott is teaching us all a valuable lesson that even transcends QR codes. His message is simple – please, please, please, before you use technology…THINK.

If you have time, scan the following QR code to read more about Scott:


If you are reading this on a desktop or laptop and trying to scan this code, don’t. I’m kidding…this was a joke.
If you are reading this on a mobile device, and you even thought of scanning this code, this is the exact reason why you need to buy this book. Go now…buy it. Please.



*Wiley graciously provided me with a copy of this book to review.


  1. Let me start by saying I’m a colleague of Jonathan’s at The Home Depot – so we have full disclosure (can you tell I’ve been reading the new rules of marketing and PR).

    Love the review style and I also love how you’re combining early literacy habits PLUS your passion of marketing books.

    Looks like I’ll need to pick this up. From your review it sounds like this is a case of marketers getting wrapped up in a shiny new tactical ‘toy’, abusing it and ruining it for strategic marketers use. I’m intrigued to know your prediction on duration of this tactic – will it be around in 5 years?

    • Thanks Craig! I think QR codes will be extinct in a couple years because of RFID (Radio-frequency identification). Why scan something when you can just hover your phone over an object or sign and get the same experience or even a better one. Android phones already offer this…now we just need Apple to get on-board for mass adoption.

  2. My biggest QR Code pet-peeve is when a QR Code leads to a web experience that is not designed for a mobile device. For example – “scan this code to sign up for our mailing list…” …which links to a form on a page that is crazy hard to use on my phone or iPad — arrg!

    I heard Scott speak at a conference once — he was very good! I’d make an effort to see him again.

    Thanks for the review Jonathan.


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