One of the most worrying things about Campaign’s imminent departure from
cosmopolitan Lancaster Gate to the wilds of Hammersmith is the impending
demise of our relationship with our virtual media correspondents.
Norman and John - known to everyone but them as the ‘codgers’ - deserve
better. Over the years they have enlightened us with the trade’s view of
everything from our working hours (‘half-day is it, luv?’) and girlie
magazines to scratchcards and all manner of newspaper promotions.
Their considered view on most of these matters is that ‘they’re a real
pain, sir, make no mistake’. It’s not that they’re conservative or
anything and, true, they do kiss Campaign’s editorial assistant’s hand
every day and ply her with freebies, but they are modern men. Do Rupert
Murdoch and co realise the kind of hassle they put these poor, hard-
working souls through?
Particularly irksome are money-off tokens in Saturday papers and stunts
like boxed magazines or dual covers requiring a dual facia. Worst of
all, though, was this year’s Times’ freebie deal with Microsoft. The
codgers are not big on extra admin.
And does Campaign have an unblemished reputation? Not quite. The recent
liquid cover did not bring the comparisons with sperm stains that some
of our less gentlemanly readers made, but we were certainly viewed
askance when we nipped in for our supply of Twix bars that week.
But they were happy to take part in our tribute to Lancaster Gate. John
(left) took off his glasses and Steptoe gloves for the occasion, but the
famous coat and scarf remained - as they often do right through the
The advertising and media industry will miss them more than it knows.
How will Dominic Mills ever write another column now his muses have been