Campaign prides itself on smelling a con a long way off. So how did we
fail to spot the whiff of fakery on that letter from Anthony Mirabel
about Andrew Cracknell being a model of civility who could rescue
advertising from the derision of the City and Fleet Street (Campaign, 13
September)? No excuses.
Perhaps we’d got wind of the latest media centralisation and were too
busy trying to whip up enthusiasm.
Watching pseudonymous writers scrabbling to outdo each other with their
sometimes witty, sometimes poisonous letters has become a new office
sport for us.
This week’s corker came from one Miss Bunty Beamish writing from La
Poule au Pot, a pricey but sleazy restaurant in Victoria favoured by
people conducting illicit affairs. Bunty wants to add another name to
the dwindling band of creative directors who do not feel that a passing
Liam Gallagher impression is a pre-requisite for the job. She is
referring, of course, to the ‘witty and erudite’ Gerry Moira, who can
not only ‘charm the nuts off a moving wildebeest at 40 yards, but is
also a major babe magnet’.
This offers us a chance to explain Campaign’s two-tier letters
structure. There are the I-did-it-first-I-wrote-it-first-I-art-directed-
it-he-pinched-my-idea sort, which we lump in with the PR-generated
drivel and anything to do with creative independents. Then there are the
more interesting sort, concerning foot stamping by Tony Brignull,
Richard Phillips and Paul Weiland plus anything from our new collection
of pseudonymous writers - Messrs Mirabel, Beamish, Fournier, Chestnut et
al. So now you know.
We believe that the letters page, far from being hijacked by clever-dick
copywriters as someone suggested last week, is a model for any business
magazine in making its industry seem a lot more interesting than it
really is. The only moral is, if a letter about somebody in advertising
seems too good to be true, it probably is.