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We mentioned the other day (in a slow-off-the-mark kind of way) that Matt Beaumont has written a sequel to the much-loved book E. A few weeks back I was lucky enough to meet the E Man for a coffee. So a proper feature/interview is coming soon. But for now here is a little book report on the long-awaited sequel.

There are some great little quirky details in the ad agency, Meerkat 360, many of which were slightly inspired by Matt's time working at M&C Saatchi, where he is still working now.- The creative departments have their own beach huts to retreat to. These actually exist at M&C. - There is an in-house clown at the creatives' disposal. This, Matt says, was inspired by the day Graham Fink sent an e-mail around the agency to announce a new resident musician. This was the trigger in Beaumont's mind for "what is the most ridiculous thing you can hire for the creatives?" So that's how he ended up with a hairdresser and a clown. - There is a musician, Yossi Mendoza, who performs a "Jinglonia" - a "reinterpretation of classic advertising jingles, the life-enriching ... musical vignettes that remain embedded deep in our psyches". On the billing is "A finger of fudge", "It's the Milky Bar Kid" and other hits. I wish this would happen in real life.

There are other gem-like moments, such as when he crosses into real life by writing about the real people working at Transworld Publishers who become embroiled in one of the storylines. (Although they weren't too happy about their cameos, apparently!)

Anyway, all in all it's a great sequel, well worth a read. It's also worth checking out the "meerkats" at and first, just to acquaint yourself with the characters. Beaumont wrote the copy himself. And he reckons the designer took inspiration from Glue's website. But I can't see much similarity.

Beaumont has said the reason he waited so long to do a sequel was that he was waiting for things to change enough for it to be interesting. Ten years on, the technology is unrecognisable. And he's made the most of those changes. It's fun (and a bit scary) to imagine what another sequel would be like, should there be an E in 2020.

Lolly and Nat,


Like everyone else, I went through the Stages of Blogging. Trepidation at the first post, pride when something had arrived on the internet, happiness at finding other people reading, delight when it turned out to be a really interesting community, disillusionment at trolling and horrible comments and the realisation that blogging's just like everywhere else - there are bad people there. And, thinking back, I had the same experience with usenet and CompuServe forums.

And now, the whole country's having it. Facebook has got millions of people doing social internet stuff and they're going to go through the same stages of blogging. It started with privacy, it's Moat now, it'll be grieving and trolls and pranks and everything else soon.

And we'll fall a bit out of love, but we'll keep using it for what it's good at, and stop doing what worries us.

The added dimension now is that Facebook isn't confined to a technocratic elite. It's added swathes of people who've previously not had much public voice. And lots of them think Moatey is a legend.

Broadly, I think this is a good thing. It's good to know what people think, even if you don't approve. We should be disappointed and disgusted by this sort of thing, but, hopefully, soon, we'll stop being surprised.


A big-name executive creative director is brought into a large, network ad agency to shake up the creative department.

On his first day, he gathers the creative department together to give them a rousing speech, and a taste of his uncompromising new regime.

He stands in front of the group of slouching creatives and asks if anyone there is a has-been hack, and if they are, they should stand now.

After an interminable period of silence, a creative in his early thirties slowly gets to his feet. The executive creative director asks the chap if he really feels that he is a has-been hack.

The creative replies: "No, I just felt sorry for you standing there all by yourself."