The art of lying

I remember watching a highly successful adman (dubbed “the Grocer” by the venerable Prouk*), phone wedged into the crook of his neck, tiny spanking Guccis resting on the marble desktop, barking into the phone while admiring the pink perfection of his manicured fist: “I’m thinkin’ TV, I’m thinkin’ three – no – four – yeah […]

To my everlasting disappointment I’m a very slow reader. Which means I get through a couple of books a month – perhaps three. Which leads to the following distressing piece of math: based on an optimistic 50 year run between school-leaving and the onset of senility, or an articulated lorry and assuming a generous 30 […]

Marketing should be the easiest gig going. Most people have wallets stuffed full of money, all of which they are going to – all of which they are bound and determined to spend (borne out by the pitiful savings rates in most developed economies). All we have to do is convince them to spend some […]

The irritating bit about the certitude of the advertising-is-dead, the-answer-is-awesomeness, canned-peas-are-an-experience, Facebook-is-fab, twitter-is-tops nouvelle vague is that there’s no real evidence to support the prognostications, theories, assured pronouncements from august symposia, and the information ‘broken telephone’ of the blog- and twitter-spheres. It simply hasn’t been around long enough for reliable data or examples in terms […]

Advertising without a net

The comforting thing about traditional media is that everyone knows the rules. TV ads are proscribed in length, no sweariness, no nudity, no poofters (not on the Superbowl at any rate); the space to be filled in the newspaper or magazine is fixed by the media buy and so on. And while we’re more than […]

The most interesting thing about McKim Advertising was that Anson McKim, the founder, was killed by a train owned by Canadian Pacific, his largest client. What was then Canada’s oldest agency was where I started in the business. The owners were a spectral group of very old, very grey and very rich men who ensconced […]

Philistine that I am I have to admit I haven’t exactly been jonesing for membership in the Alex Bogusky fan club. Attending one of the Olympian confabs of the Scali McCabe Sloves creative federation years ago, I was struck by Pat Fallon’s admission (not to be confused with being struck by Pat Fallon which was […]

Geoffrey James is a clod.

According to his bio on BNET, Geoffrey James “has sold and written hundreds of features, articles and columns for national publications including Wired, Men’s Health, Business 2.0, and… and… and…” … And according to me he’s just penned his last. Because it is codswallop. Which is the sort of grand pronouncement Geoff seems to favour. […]

The least distinctive aspect of the Winter Olympics is the fact that insane people will throw themselves off mountains or hurtle head first down spiraling ice chutes. They do so with monotonous regularity on a quadrennial basis, invariably with spectacular mountain scenery as the backdrop and a lot of powdery snow shooting up at the […]