If I hear the words ’great advertising’ once more, I’m gonna
It’s not just that advertising cannot support the weight of the
adjective ’great’ any more than a paper cup could sustain the
It’s more that, when you hear the phrase used to describe some latest
campaign or the new creative director’s vision for the future, you know
that an average talent is about to give full rein to its ordinariness in
a bout of mediocrity.
You must have been there: the creatives Lol and Spaz are excited.
They’ve just got the rough cut of their new film, which was based on an
idea by the creative director (which in turn was based on a moderately
successful campaign for another product two years ago).
The board account director, an otherwise decent, intelligent man, is
jubilant. The creative director allows himself a self-congratulatory
smirk. The ad runs to giggles, guffaws and finally a sycophantic round
of applause from all those present. ’This,’ he pronounces, ’is great
They look to you. What you saw wasn’t actually bad, maybe it was even
competent. But no more. A borrowed creative device with an amusing but
not strictly relevant joke at the end. Consumers see ads just like it
every day and forget them all. What can you say?
There’s nothing wrong with ordinary advertising. Most is and always will
be. It’s the delusion that nauseates and makes people in advertising
look like lying wankers to the rest of the world.
Send your rants to: Diary Editor, 174 Hammersmith Road, London W6 7JP.