DIARY: At the end of the day, winning business is a game of two halves ...

Question: what do agency people and footballers have in common?

Answer: they both say dull things when they've just won something.

In much the same way that the Michael Owens of this world will happily say "obviously, this trophy means a lot to the lads", ad people trot out their own cliches whenever they've landed new business. Here are the most common:

1. They're delighted to have won the business for Brand X.

2. Brand X is an excellent brand with a great heritage.

3. They're really excited to be given the chance to help brand X build its business/move forward/develop a new campaign.

Clemmow Hornby Inge's Sarah Gold and Bartle Bogle Hegarty's Nigel Bogle will now demonstrate: "Anchor is a brand with a great heritage. We are all really excited to be given the chance to be part of its future." Thank you, Sarah.

"We are delighted to be working on a brand which combines such a strong heritage with an innovative and forward-thinking approach." Thank you, Nigel.

One of the worst offenders in recent memory is Simon Toaldo, the joint managing director of Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper Partners.

A few months ago, his agency having just won the Travelodge account, he said: "This is an excellent win and a fascinating challenge. We look forward to working with Travelodge to build its brand and its business."

Two weeks later, having won a British Heart Foundation brief, he adjusted the template slightly and commented: "This is a superb win for us. We look forward to working with the British Heart Foundation to produce a campaign that will really make a difference."

A bit of honesty would be nice. Why don't agencies ever admit: "Phew, this win will just about keep the wolf from the door"? Or: "This is a real shithouse brand, but we can't be fussy in this climate"? Or even: "Well, it's money in the bank, but the idea of working my bollocks off to produce a hundred trade ads in a month makes me want to cry"?

We know it's unlikely. It would just be nice, that's all.


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