DIARY: I’m only a punter but...

Marcus (let us call him) started out at CDP in the 70s, with Fay and Derek and Salman (and everyone else claiming ownership of ‘go to work on an egg’), where he won a D&AD for some charity ad the average dustman could have written in half the time (and produced for a fraction of the cost). Now, at the fag end of his career, he works for one of the duller multinationals turning out the occasional exquisitely-tuned piece of copy, plus the occasional short poem or word-picture (for Marcus is an artiste, my dear, for whom advertising is merely a sideline). Marcus won’t touch any brief unless it’s 60-second telly or colour DPS, with a production budget the size of the national debt. He couldn’t give a stuff about the effectiveness (vulgar word) of any of the work he does, only whether it looks good. In fact, Marcus holds that all consumers are morons, for whom he is doing a considerable favour by penning the odd ad...not that he knows a damn thing about consumers (or anything except Puligny Montrachet), never having entrusted his Armani-clad backside to a bus seat or walked round a supermarket in his fat, idle life. Not having been visited by an original idea for 20 years, Marcus relies on browsing through back issues of the book, modifying and recycling anything he can get away with, confident that nobody will notice once Gerard’s done his stuff behind the lens and weeks have been spent in ruinously expensive retouching, thus ensuring that the final product looks gloriously moody as a proof but is wholly unreproducible in the Observer. A tireless professional, Marcus’s habitual air is one of priestly fatigue, in spite of working (I use the term loosely) a three- hour day and knocking off altogether most Fridays and Mondays to get to and from the cottage. You thought these dinosaurs had been weeded out in the recession? Up to a point, old love, but there are still plenty infesting the larger creative departments, using up valuable floor space and preventing decent creatives from earning a living. Trouble is, they’ve still got the contacts, the harvest of all those years of awards dinners and lunches, and sharing each other’s villas in France. And there’s nothing you can do about it, ’til they all bugger off and retire.

Marcus (let us call him) started out at CDP in the 70s, with Fay and

Derek and Salman (and everyone else claiming ownership of ‘go to work on

an egg’), where he won a D&AD for some charity ad the average dustman

could have written in half the time (and produced for a fraction of the

cost). Now, at the fag end of his career, he works for one of the duller

multinationals turning out the occasional exquisitely-tuned piece of

copy, plus the occasional short poem or word-picture (for Marcus is an

artiste, my dear, for whom advertising is merely a sideline). Marcus

won’t touch any brief unless it’s 60-second telly or colour DPS, with a

production budget the size of the national debt. He couldn’t give a

stuff about the effectiveness (vulgar word) of any of the work he does,

only whether it looks good. In fact, Marcus holds that all consumers are

morons, for whom he is doing a considerable favour by penning the odd

ad...not that he knows a damn thing about consumers (or anything except

Puligny Montrachet), never having entrusted his Armani-clad backside to

a bus seat or walked round a supermarket in his fat, idle life. Not

having been visited by an original idea for 20 years, Marcus relies on

browsing through back issues of the book, modifying and recycling

anything he can get away with, confident that nobody will notice once

Gerard’s done his stuff behind the lens and weeks have been spent in

ruinously expensive retouching, thus ensuring that the final product

looks gloriously moody as a proof but is wholly unreproducible in the

Observer. A tireless professional, Marcus’s habitual air is one of

priestly fatigue, in spite of working (I use the term loosely) a three-

hour day and knocking off altogether most Fridays and Mondays to get to

and from the cottage. You thought these dinosaurs had been weeded out in

the recession? Up to a point, old love, but there are still plenty

infesting the larger creative departments, using up valuable floor space

and preventing decent creatives from earning a living. Trouble is,

they’ve still got the contacts, the harvest of all those years of awards

dinners and lunches, and sharing each other’s villas in France. And

there’s nothing you can do about it, ’til they all bugger off and

retire.



Fancy a rant? Send your 400 words to Stefano Hatfield.



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