Campaign Diary: I’m only a punter but ..

If I hear the words ’great advertising’ once more, I’m gonna throw.

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

description ’profound’.

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.