Diary: Sir Alan handed supreme arbiter of advertising role

Not content with being the scourge of a band of would-be entrepreneurs in his hit BBC2 TV series The Apprentice, Sir Alan Sugar is now positioning himself as the nation's foremost critic of the bloated, self-orbiting world of advertising.

Viewers of last week's Room 101, the BBC series in which celebs are afforded the chance to rid the world of their pet hates, were treated to some vintage Sugar, rubbishing "creative" advertising and sticking the boot into the industry with some relish.

Keen readers will have spotted that Sugar, a self-confessed bullshitter who can spot a character with similar stripes from a mile off, has worked themes he first developed in an interview with Campaign earlier in the year into an altogether more concrete credo.

Advertising, it turns out, is crap.

Sugar talked the audience through an ad that, to him, epitomises the canker at the heart of the industry: the "cherry tart" spot from WCRS for 3. What, the gruff millionnaire asked, was all that about? Pretentious crap ...

Warming to his theme, he picked on WCRS's launch campaign for Orange as a prime example of arty-farty advertising that no-one understands. The only flaw in his argument - one that the show's presenter, Paul Merton, obviously felt it would be churlish to raise - was that the Orange campaign was massively successful. Never mind ... into Room 101 it went.


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