Media: A moment with Marquis

I don't laugh at Grumpy Old Men. I nod furiously, and grumpily, in agreement with every syllable they utter. Some of my grumps about advertising and media stuff include:

What's your favourite internet ad? No, I can't either. Funny, isn't it, when more than £1 billion is spent on advertising in our sexiest new medium, that the ads are so staggeringly unmemorable? Someone sort that out, would you?

Customer helplines. How ironically named! And how bored, incomprehensible and dismissive are 99 per cent of the androids who, after expensive minutes of hanging on the line, finally deign to answer your query. Get a grip.

BBC political correctness ... what is it with Auntie? The head of TV news was interviewed by Ray Snoddy the other day about whether newsreader Fiona Bruce should be allowed to wear her cross necklace on screen. He managed to be hand-wringingly right-on and repulsively intolerant in the same few sentences: I want my licence fee refunded - or that man transferred to Kabul.

Good luck Peta Buscombe, the new head of the Advertising Association. You'll need it. The political consensus that advertising self- regulates effectively seems to be breaking down. Even the glossy, policy-free new Tory Party thinks advertising to children is a mortal sin and, of course, control-freak Labour has its finger itching on the legislative trigger. Sock it to 'em Peta.

Apcoa car parks - "The World of Parking", according to its website. Apcoa's idea of good customer service? A parking ticket machine that breaks down and ... ah, but you can pay by mobile phone ... only there's a 20p "convenience charge" for the privilege. Convenient for them but not for me ...

People in ads who find low prices incredible. Don't be soppy. It's not the real world - no-one finds prices "incredibly" cheap. Incredibly expensive, yes.

The communications business has plenty to make you grumpy, though it's not in the same league as politics or religion or English football for irritation, and at least it conducts itself with a shred of decorum.

If this happens to be the first time you have strayed into this particular grumpy zone - hello. And goodbye. Because I'm afraid we won't have the pleasure. After nearly 100 "Moments", this grumpy old man is stomping off into the distance, muttering and grumbling. If you've been here before, well, you only have yourself to blame - but I hope you've enjoyed these ramblings even the tiniest bit as much as I've enjoyed writing them. Grrrrrr ...


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