“The idea is red!”

I couldn’t believe he said it. We were talking to a group of designers and we were talking about the Economist ads of yesteryear. Gone, but not forgotten.

This jumped up little yahoo said these words to me and my art director as if he had just unfolded the secrets of the universe.

“No”, we replied. “The idea is that the Economist gives you all the information you need to succeed.”

“So, what’s the red all about?” By that time I was seeing red and was ready to see the colour of his blood on my fists. My art director steered me away where I could douse my wrists in cold water and not go into meltdown.

I never forgot that day because very few people understand a real advertising idea. They say something about technology now. Or ‘colours’. Or brand guidelines.

These days, the general populace doesn’t like ads and use ad-blockers to stop them online. Technology is cancelling out technological ads – you’ve got to enjoy the irony.

One of the great things about the ads of old was that they entertained or informed. I knew I wanted Timberland boots because they told me how well-made they were.

I knew I wanted to play with Lego because the ads were fun and showed that you could use your imagination to build anything.

You used to read long copy because it was peppered with useful nuggets of information. There were grand and bold images you couldn’t find in a stock shot library.

Sometimes, 3 minutes of advertising was better than the programmes themselves. Now it’s a toss-up which is worse.

I’m not sure if the age of ideas that doesn’t involve a whizzy piece of tech will ever come back, but I still like to pick up the pen and have a laugh.

 

WWTDD?

Clearly, ‘what would Tyler Durden do’ is a rhetorical message. Tyler’s the anti-hero from Fight Club played by Brad Pitt. He hit the nail on the head with his speech about us being the flotsam and jetsam of society.

Unless something changes, young people will still be out of jobs, old people will die lonely in their freezing houses, mental health patients will still wander the streets and countless families will stay on the breadline.

Now, billions of pounds have been found to train elite forces and buy jets to defend our shores against terrorists but our people are dying one hope at a time. We are wasting our lives in front of televisions that keep us docile. People keep going to jobs that sap their will to live, for a pittance.

The only good thing that has happened is that some money is going in to the NHS. But what will happen to it/ Will it be used to treat the sick and needy or will it go to commission studies to identify problems that will never be resolved?

So, what would Tyler Durden do? Probably hide a message in some text – say the first letter of every paragraph he wrote. But I wouldn’t do such a thing.

 

The building has left Saatchi & Saatchi

I think it was 1996 when the likes of Charles and Maurice Saatchi left 80 Charlotte Street with Paul Arden and Jeremy Sinclair  in tow.

I remember how I felt. It had been my dream to work there and after 6 years my heroes were leaving. I had worked with Mr Arden and Jeremy and to be fair I thought Jeremy was the better of the two but I wondered what would happen.

Inevitably the money men took over – one of the main reasons the top people left – and two years later I picked up my redundancy and went to work at Saatchi and Saatchi on exorbitant freelance rates  – I know, go figure.

Now 80 Charlotte Street is to be torn down and turned into shops, offices and flats and I really don’t know how to feel about that. After all, it’s just a building.

But it’s where I met some of the most amazing, funny, talented creative people I shall ever know. And this is before technology took over creative.

The building will be rubble but the people and the legendary parties will live on forever.

 

“Start a blog,” they said. “You’ll get it all out of your system.”

At first I thought ‘what a great idea’. I mean, there’s nothing I like more than getting a virgin piece of paper, then despoiling it with my evil thoughts.

Then I realised, I am actually editing out all the noxious thoughts that go whizzing around my brain.

Take, for example, my dealings with a gentleman who shall remain nameless. He has to remain nameless because if he ever finds out, there is going to be bad feeling that will go on forever.

And I can’t really comment on the situation because the said gentleman will recognise the scenario and bad feeling yada-yada-yoda.

So, the money and time I have invested in this blog is really to no avail. I’m in a middle of a rant, about a rant I can’t have because somewhere down the line I will hurt someone’s feelings and it will make my situation worse than if I had just shut my gob and got on with things… and breathe!

Thanks a lot f*ckstick for recommending I start a blog – and in this case I don’t care if you read it or not.

“You’re not really a team player!” “I am, I just don’t want to work on Team F*ck-up.”

There’s always one of these mindless drones. They regurgitate business phrases when it suits them to sound important, or in an attempt to motivate the people under them.

I find these people believe in the corporate mantra. They are enthusiastic but that doesn’t really compensate for the fact that they don’t know what they’re doing.

In advertising we used to be surrounded by these empty-headed buffoons. Thank God, most of them have gone. But there is still a smattering of them. Sadly, in today’s pc society I can’t really tell them what I think of them without a trip up to HR and a slap on the wrist.

Truth is, I am a team player, I do my bit, in fact I do more of my bit, but when someone infected with stupid wants to pass the stupid on to me I gently refuse on the grounds that I want to create a stupid firebreak and stop it from spreading

It is then that these people tell me ‘I am not a team player’. No, I am not a team player when it comes to stupid. Unfortunately, a lot of people are.

 

 

 

The end of the world? Finally!

So Turkey shot down a Russian jet. A small country brazenly shot down the jet of a world superpower. Years ago, my brain would have gone into overload and I would have lead-lined the cellar and stock-piled bottles of water and jars of honey – honey is the best thing for the aftermath of a nuclear war, apparently.

Today, after the seeing the news fixate on this I say, bring it on. There is too much news these days. After years of fretting about wars, famine, death and pestilence I have become immune. I’m overloaded with it.

Get on with it. The human race has beaten, bullied, starved and murdered one another for far too long. Wipe us out and let the dolphins take over.

Can you imagine what a world that would be. That is, until the Tuna Wars start.

 

Thank you! (What strange words are these.)

Two little words. They don’t cost anything but try and get them from someone walking around Canary Wharf ; they are as rare as rocking horse sh*t.

I wasn’t brought up well, I was thrown up in a northern town but my manners are impeccable compared to the morons walking around here.

Walk through a door and hold it open and the majority of people will walk through it without acknowledging your existence.

Some would rather carry on their mobile phone conversation than even nod in your direction.

My first year in London, I held a door open in Marks & Spencers in Oxford Street. The lady who I held it for called me a ‘sexist pig’. I immediately shoved the door closed in her face and walked off angry.

That was when I was young and angry, now I’m middle-aged and grumpy. When someone walks through without a ‘thank you’ I now shout “no, thank you” in my most sarcastic voice. Yeah, that shows them.

 

 

I have a drink problem; people still think I drink

5 years ago, I realised I wasn’t getting any younger. Which was strange because I am usually quite observant and feel I should have noticed this, much sooner.

So, I gave up smoking, cut drink right down to sometimes zero units of a alcohol a week and ate healthily.

I lost weight, I looked healthier and worse, I remember more things – with my brain that’s a constant barrage of rubbish and nonsense.

The trouble is, I have been classed as a ‘drinker’. I’m not talking a ‘couple of pints’ drinker. My past means I am a 10 pints a day drinker with maybe some takeaway food at the end just to add insult to injury.

Now, people seem to think that I go home and turn into a raging alcoholic. If I do someone a favour they offer to buy me a pint or two.

Even going to the cinema with a friend they suggest we ‘get a quick one in’.

At work, we have a drinks trolley to say ‘thank you’. A ‘free bar’. to say thank you. A Christmas party with ales aplenty to thank us for a good year. But then you get into trouble if you drink without their rubber stamp.

Truth is, I don’t really drink anymore. Which means I’m anti-social. I’m a recluse. Some even say I’m ‘gay’.

Now my drinking is confined to a night out with a friend now and again. None of this getting rounds stuff or waking up on the settee with one eye brow missing.

But people who knew me in my ‘thirsty’ phase still give me drinking comments – even in front of clients.

I suppose it’s ‘once a drinker, always a drinker’. But then I suppose it’s ‘once a pigeon-holing waste of space, always a pigeon-holing waste of space’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 days of silence. Not a minute more

I haven’t written anything about the Paris attacks because I haven’t really made my mind up about anything. I know it’s a complicated political situation. I know there are a lot of angles to come at this but I have finally come down to my conclusions.

The taking of human life is wrong. I hope they burn in hell for this travesty to mankind. But this isn’t just limited to the gunmen and bombers. Anyone who takes human life should face the penalty of law. If we react by taking human life, we are wrong too.

At first I thought they should be killed in the most horrible way possible. Now, with cold reason behind me, I wish for justice, for every crime.

Bring them in front of the courts if we can. When we have irrefutable proof, convict them. We should never react in anger or hate. That is their territory.

They may have just cause for hating the West. But to commit murder is barbarism. I weep for the families of the victims. But I would weep more if this act turned one good man or woman to vengeful violence.