Are agency personnel not being paid enough or are clients just
stingy? One suspects the latter.
Whatever the cause, the number of agency staffers appearing in their own
commercials is increasing at a frightening rate.
Over the past month, no less than four agencies have had to prostitute
their staff as a result of a measly production budget - and they’re just
the ones who’ve owned up to it.
Take Nancy Barnes, PR manager at BMP DDB. She had to strike a rather
seductive pose for Virginstudent.com under the headline: ’Fancy a
personal assistant?’ Her colleague, the creative Alan McCuish, was also
roped in and had to spend the afternoon perfecting a ’cheeky little
And what about Craik Jones? We know Rover is having problems but asking
an entire agency to squeeze its hairy arse into a Mini is surely beyond
the call of duty.
But Craik Jones, accepting that desperate times call for desperate
measures, rounded up its slimmest staff and stuffed them into the car in
exchange for a few beers and a bit of a grope on the back seat.
Meanwhile Indy Saha, one of Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters’ account
managers, found himself in a starring role for a Learndirect ad. To
disguise the fact that he was just a cheap substitute for a proper
actor, he was made to go through a casting session against fellow
account manager Ash Makkar.
Learndirect’s marketing director concluded Ash was ’too middle class’
but Saha, with his ’right common’ Sunderland accent, was perfect. His
sideburns had to go, however, as the client accused him of looking like
’the sort of guy who’d steal your hubcaps’.
(If Saha looks familiar it may be because he once asked Bob for a ’P’ on
the cult programme Blockbusters some years ago.)
But doing stuff on the cheap has its drawbacks as The Leith Agency has
discovered. Its latest campaign for Tennent’s lager is a pastiche of The
Sun’s ’Diedre’s Photo Casebook’. It features several members of the
agency staff airing their dirty linen in public on such topics as
affairs and sexual hang-ups.
The campaign is due to run for eight weeks but the agency is rapidly
running out of beautiful people. ’It’s true,’ claims the copywriter
Graham Doran. ’Most of us up here have a face like a box of frogs.’