Media: A Moment with Marquis

Let it never be said that I fail to bring you, the UK's advertising and media elite, the latest, the hottest, the most deliciously innovative media opportunities.

So pay attention please. It is just possible that last Saturday you failed to note World Toilet Day. Please don't fret - it is an annual event: there will be World Toilet Day 2006.

In fact you may wish to diary 19 November now because the World Toilet Expo and Forum will be staged in Bangkok, no less - a late-autumn media reccy to Thailand ... not the worst idea, is it?

The World Toilet Organisation has high hopes for Bangkok: "A stimulating platform for networking, sharing ideas and sourcing solutions and innovations for the improvement of toilet and hygiene standards."

You may mock, but it's not just advertising people who like to network.

Toilet people like to network too and one can only imagine the beer-fuelled banter in the post-Forum bar about seat-lifting etiquette and laughable toilet design.

I hope you're taking this seriously. You should. We spend three years of our lives in the WC. We pay 2,500 visits a year to the smallest room.

Think of the coverage potential: 100 per cent, presumably. Think of the frequency: six to eight visits a day on average. Think of the environment.

On second thoughts, don't.

Advertising in public loos is not new. But what about all those other toilets that are the focus of the WTO's mission? It could be immense.

We and the lavatory are a media opportunity on the brink.

I say "we" but almost half the world's population doesn't have access to a loo, which leads to all sorts of diseases and unpleasantness.

In Britain, we have Joseph Bazalgette and Thomas Crapper to thank for putting things to rights in the toilet department.

But the really odd thing about things like this is that they start as a joke and then turn into possibilities. I overheard someone on the train talking about World Toilet Day and nearly spat my tea across the carriage.

But really batty ideas have a habit of turning into slightly less batty ideas and then into quite interesting ones.

I suspect that, for certain brands, World Toilet Day might be just the job - if I may put it that way. It's not for me to suggest which brands, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if some advertiser or other isn't making something rather good out of this novel association, a mere 2,500 toilet visits from now.


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