This rant is about the wide-eyed hypocrisy of our business. It will be
the first article I’ve read which puts into print what everyone in
advertising knows but no-one will admit.
We all know what the major attraction of posters is. The sector is
pretty well unregulated. So when you have an idea that you know most
magazines or newspapers won’t print, or that is going to be a no-no with
the Advertising Standards Authority, you put it on as many posters as
No problem there. No problem when there is the expected, indeed
intended, public outcry. That’s all great free publicity. The campaign
stays up for its planned run, after which you can say ‘oops, sorry’.
Lots of coverage of agency spokesperson saying how astonished he or she
was about the uproar caused by the poster (full description then
follows, together with large picture of the offending item in national
So who’s kidding who? We all know the ASA, though dogged and well-
meaning, is toothless. Those who want to be regulated are. Those who
The Disclosure poster with a couple having it off against a wall? We’ll
put that on Adshels. Perfect for kids and grannies catching the bus. (Oh
damn, I’ve gone and sold more videos of Disclosure.)
I’ve just done this great new poster myself, actually.
It reads, ‘Advertising regulation - it’s a load of bollocks’. It’ll be
going up all over the country shortly. And I’ll express my deep regret
for the offence caused to the advertising industry exactly two weeks
after it first appears.
Unless I’m vetted first, of course.
Send your rant to the Diary Editor, 174 Hammersmith Road, London W6 7JP