Thursday, 18 December 2008

Secret Santa

Do you like unsavoury things? (Mmmm yes please!)
Do you like pornography? (Gulp. God yes!)
Do you like mischief? (Yelp!)

Then SHHH!TV's Secret Santa gift generator is the answer to your devious little prayers. Send crap or unpleasant (virtual) gifts to friends, colleagues, enemies, ex-wives, spurned lovers or the girl who just won't look at you (look at me, damn you! LOOK. AT. ME!!!!) from the comfort and anonymity of the internet.

Apart from some crappy words by yours truly, SSSH!TV also features the incredible talents of a whole bunch of smashing people who are far, far, far more talented than me. They know who they are. So big well dones for doing such an excellent job of bringing Santa to life, and a big fat thanks for letting me play.

Chappy Histmas y'all

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Dinosaur Christmas

Ladies and gentlemen, by popular demand, I present to you my very own bid for Xmas No.1 2008; the haunting winter ballad... Dinosaur Christmas.

Taken from the 2000-and-something album, Please Santa, Don't Hurt Them, Dinosaur Christmas emerged from a very heavy night in the pub, and was recorded... erm, not long after.

Yes, that is me trying to sing. And yes it is very embarrassing. But having said that, my mate's kids fucking loved it. It's amazing what you can do with a laptop, a synthesiser and a bottle of scotch...

So, headphones on children. Now. Are you ready? Good. Then we'll begin...

Terrifying Concepts

There must be someone you've always fancied having in your book, right. Sony? Nike, maybe? Everyone'd love to work on some big, cool, GLOBAL account, wouldn't they?

Well, let me tell you: they don't come much bigger, cooler or - er- global than Lockheed Martin Space Systems. With billion dollar budgets, international clients, and cutting-edge (literally) out-of-this-world products, Lockheed are the dog's bollocks, cat's pyjamas and wasp's tits all rolled into one great big pyjamaed bollock. With tits.

For instance, just take a look at this promo video for their Multiple Kill Vehicle MKV-L. It's... erm... well... See what you think. I'm guessing they made it look completely shit to confound enemies or something... maybe..? I mean it doesn't really look like a washing-up bottle with a couple of cans of Lynx taped to it, in real life. Oh, and the music's spot-on - I mean, nothing says "interstellar death machine" better than squirting 80's Midi-farts over some old CNN

I don't know which is more terrifying: the notion of the weapon itself, or the total indifference with which it's promoted.

Scary shit.

They should've done it like the Bodyform ad, shouldn't they.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Farm Cops

I once pitched a TV show to Channel 4. It was called Moon Salon, and involved a crew of intergalactic beauty therapists visiting ugly aliens in space. The crew themselves were various, impossible aliens and had an array of equally impossible techniques for beautifying their (also impossible) clients. For instance, one of the aliens was a meant to be a famous pop-star, so the crew were really excited to have them coming on board for a treatment. But when we finally meet the star, we see he's nothing but a vast (ie. fucking enormous) brown cube with a tiny little face at one end. The whole thing was so impossible to do, we actually visualised it as a puppet show.

In fact, the whole point of Moon Salon was that - like all successful TV shows - it was A) completely unrealistic, and B) ever so slightly fascist. It was intended as a culmination of everything that was overblown and ridiculous about American TV...

And now, I've just come up with a show that does exactly the same for British TV!

Yep, Farm Cops, brings together the Sunday night, morphine-drip nostalgia of Heartbeat/Last Of The Summer Wine, with the crap, ITV shit-grit of Taggart/Cracker. Oh, and with all the cute farm animals, rolling countryside and Land Rovers, there's a whiff of the Howards Way lifestyle porn about it as well.

The action centres around DCI Paul "Digger" Moss. He had it all: family, career, the lot. But one day it all went wrong. We dont' know how or why, but he's haunted by it - whatever "it" is. We know his wife died giving birth to his only son, Dan (who's gay, just so we tick the equal opps. box). Digger gave up his career to become a potato farmer in East Sussex. He lives a modest life; keeps himself to hiself. He is friends with Mellissa, who runs an organic farm-shop and supplies her with potatoes. They fancy eachother really badly and every week we expect them to fuck, but they never do. Digger is true to his dead wife (except during a Xmas special which will get massive ratings). Each episode sees Digger faced with 2 kinds of adversity: 1) a local crime to solve (this could be everything from a murder, pony rustling, land disputes with gypsies, fly-tipping) and 2) trouble at the farm (this could be the rising cost of organic pesticides/pink diesel, finding a supplier for a machine part, a union dispute over Polish labour).

Not only will Farm Cops be must-see TV with sexy farm-hands and Range Rover Sports, it'll also be a poignant commentary on contemporary rural affairs.

And it'll be just as fucking shite as everything else on telly.

Sunday, 14 December 2008


Did you watch it then - the X-Factor finalists sodomising that poor Leonard Cohen song?

I don't know which was worse: JLS's creepy, plastic harmonies, or Alexandra's fucking weird, demonic mellisma. Could've been worse though. I mean, they had the hysterical, inappropriate choir and those shit "messiah on a budget" roman candles, but at least they didn't use the pan-pipes. That would've been a little too far up the bum even for Cowell's insane standards.

Mind you, looking at that picture... "See this," he's saying; "See this, Scott Walker. Next year I'm shoving this right up your fucking arsehole. If I say it's pop, it's fucking pop, ok."

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Good Will To All Men

Thanks goes to one of Santa's elves for letting me know that TBWA/Manchester's 2008 Christmas card is available now.

I wouldn't normally mention something like that here, but I'm "reliably" informed that practically all of TBWA/Manchester's clients read this blog for some weird reason. (I know - it sounds like something delusional a paranoid person would say, but it really is actually properly true!)

So. If you're one of TBWA/Manchester's clients, but haven't yet received your official TBWA/Manchester 08 Christmas card, drop us a line and I'll ask the elves to make sure you're on the list. Oh, and thanks for reading this year. I hope all the swearing and pictures of cocks continues to be of significance to your business in 2009.

Merry Christmas everybody.

And, yes. That does include you.

ABOVE: Client hospitality

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Sublime Vs. Ridiculous

Seems to be a lot of us ad-slags shitting on about Charlie Brooker's (excellent, I thought) Screenwipe advertising special, last week.

Top of people's Denials List ("No, no, it's just not like that!") is the show's assertion that advertising is mostly about pillaging YouTube and the internet for stuff to knick.

So, here's two reasons why we shouldn't pilfer off t'interweb:

1) An example of what YouTube is mostly filled with
2) An example of what the internet is mostly filled with

One is sublime and one is ridiculous. Although I'm not sure which way round they are.



There. Now anyone who can make an ad out of either of those wins a packet of custard creams.

And yes, that is who you think it is.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Missing Post

For the benefit of Pieman and any other observant readers out there, here's the link I seem to have deleted like a shambling, cack-handed oaf:

Click on the "About"button and there's some rather lovely words for you to read, you big word loving readers you. Nice.

Oh, and here's the picture of a Hulk.

Glad we sorted that out.


Hello Santa. What's that in your sack - a glut of rubbish Christmas adverts? Whoopee! Just what we get every year.

Now, let's see which is your favourite. Is it Lowe's Christmas-on-prozac, maudlin-athon John Lewis campaign? Or TBWA's blink-and-you'll-miss-it 39p Co-Op clementines (or is that McCann's Aldi entry?) Maybe you're a fan of Richard Hammond's don't-spare-the-huskies cacky Crimbo Morrison's style (doesn't Denise Van Outen look like a white Chinese lady), or perhaps you've been enchanted by Katona Vs. Nolan's "Who ate all the pies!? They were my fucking pies anyway!" buffet wars for Iceland.

Up until now, my No.1 Christmas "comm" has been M&S's chilling "they were never seen alive again" backstory-to-a-slasher-movie, Take That and co. trapped in a country house gubbins (it's the grainy handheld footage that does it; gives it that real John Carpenter "this was all that was left" forboding). But last night it was blown clean out of the water by this: the Littlewood's Direct commercial.

For those of you haven't seen it, it's a brave and startlingly original piece of work , almost as if Peter Greenaway had been asked to direct a Disney film. It's also pant-pissingly (genuinely) funny. It starts off pretentiously, then goes fucking bonkers, then ends with a totally hysterical flourish. This is WCRS making Fallon look positively heavy-handed.

Oh, and that cat must be destined for great things.

Friday, 21 November 2008

How Deep Is The Mainstream?

[DANGER!!! Rant-o-Saurus Rex In Road. WARNING!! Bile Hazard Ahead]

Here's some amateur sociology/psychology based on a number of personal (is there any other kind?) obervations by me, Prof. Angry from the University of I'Llbethirtysoon.

As reported here not very long ago, Irony was brutally killed off by Fallon London in a self-induced epi-fit of mediocrity that was as painfully narcissistic as it was crowd-pleasingly shallow. Likewise, I've also mentioned around here that the serpent of advertising doesn't just swallow it's own tail, it often sucks it's own cock too.

And so with Irony laid to rest, and popular culture locked in a cycle of auto-fellating self-reference, is it any wonder that (for example) we now have a class of people over the age of 7 who genuinely, seriously, and un-ironically believe that Girls Aloud are serious, credible artists.

It seems the gap between high and low cultures, popular and sub cultures has never been so narrow. In fact, it's largely evaporated completely over the last 10 years. Even goths, the last bastions of a conspicuous (if somewhat pathetic) "alternative", have been reduced to burbling uncontroversially about how controversial and peripheral they still are. But the periphery barely exists anymore. The media is so flabby and pervaisive, that almost everything is mainstream. Everything is "normal" because the media inevitably normalises everything that's exceptional. Don't believe me? Just watch the news. Death, murder, war, bum-rape, foreigners; different, new, evil, nasty, extraordinary events and atrocities drizzle over us every day. Time was when the internet was a fucking feast of the exotic and the apocryphal. It was weird and dangerous and full of lunatics. Now it's just full of wikis and lists. Web 2.0, as a fuctioning object, aint much more than a German kunnstkabinett - a cabinet of curiosities. Or rather, it's many millions of cabinets for many millions of users, to fill up with holiday snaps and home videos... and ill-considered contentions like these...

And then there's Facebook: the world's biggest, naffest popularity contest come data-capture form. You can practically hear the wind blowing through it, it's so hollow. With a billion and one "wacky" people all being "wacky" to eachother, not one of them ever stands out. And when everyone is (trying to be) different, everyone is ultimately the same; chaos and homogeniety are interchangeable.

So maybe that's where I've been going wrong - I've been following the old signs and the signifiers. I was enjoying Girls Aloud for the chaos of choosing which one I'd like to fuck. But because Irony is dead I'm meant to take them seriously instead. And since everyone else wants to fuck them too, we all just agree, homogenously, that they're a very serious band indeed.

The Magical Wishing Wog - Part II

Hello children.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Good. Then I'll begin...

Once upon a time, there was a politically incorrect author named Enid Blyton.

Here's one of her books in which some children meet their German friends:

Last week, I decided it would be fun to write a politically incorrect children's story for Christmas, and serialise it in the run-up.

So. As promised, here's part two of The Magical Wishing Wog.

(Here's the story so far...)

Chalky peered into the grey light before him, desperately expecting to see some snow and chocolate or something like that. But instead there was nothing but an old, brown bedroom.
Pippa raced in, laughing.
“Haha, it's just Colonel Grandfather’s shit old bedroom. And you thought it’d be full of Christmas. Oh, Chalky, you fat hopeless idiot!”
Chalky sulked. “Shut up, Pippa. You thought it as well. Come on, let’s find that glove and get back.”
The bedroom was large and airy; south-facing, with an attractive view of the campanile and a duck pond. It was hard not to notice the balcony which, with the addition of some patio furniture, would be an ideal place to serve breakfast. The two children went to either ends of the room and began rifling through their grandfather’s personal affects. A hideous stench of age engulfed them. Everything seemed frail and brittle, and yet commanded respect.
“Pippa,” whispered Chalky, “what do you think this is?” and pointed towards a horrible, faded ornament of a bear selling balloons.
“I’m not sure,” she said.
“Could it be majolica, you think?”
“Oh, most certainly. Just look at that glaze.”
Chalky tilted his head to see. “Hmm, yes. And have you seen this chest?” Pippa reached inside her dirndl and pulled out a small pair of half-moon spectacles.
“Good Lord,” she said.
“Isn’t it exquisite?”
“That really is something.”
“I’d go as far as to say it’s probably the best example of japanning I’ve ever seen,” said Chalky, running his finger over the lacquer. Neither of them could believe their eyes. “Shall we inspect the construction?”
“Oh, yes,” ballooned Pippa. “I’d love to see inside a piece of this quality.”
The children pulled on their white felt gloves that they always carried lest in the presence of great and delicate antiquity. Pippa went so far as to earth herself on a nearby radiator, dispensing any surplus static-electricity which she knew would attract dust to the surface and fittings of the chest. Then, with a deft twist, Chalky deftly twisted the small brass key on the front of the absolutely amazing and breathtaking box. It made a pinging noise.
“Brace one end, would you. Lift on three,” ordered the corpulent young boy. Pippa moved to the end of the chest and grasped the corners of the lid. Chalky stared back at her, all steely and professional. Together they lifted the lid, which creaked a very small amount.
“What’s that?” spat Pippa.
Inside the chest they could see a large bundle or parcel. It filled the chest almost entirely and, swaddled in a heavy grey tarpaulin, smelt of stale bed clothes. Chalky gave it a kick with his massive foot.
“Whatcha doin, there!?” came a strange, angry voice. The children looked at each other and the whole chest suddenly came alive. The canvassy parcel flapped apart and a figure emerged. Recoiling in horror, Chalky and Pippa gasped and gulped for there before them, standing in the chest, was a very angry negro. Chalky was so frightened he breached his tweeds, whilst his sister’s face betrayed a cacophonous geometry of emotions, fluctuating wildly from fear to guilt, to rage and surprise to fear again. Finally and suddenly, this fruit machine of expressions landed on understanding and paid-out in full (figuratively speaking.)
“I don’t believe it,” yelped, Pippa. “I never thought it was true.”
Chalky stood by the radiator, drying the piss off his trousers. “What are you talking about?” he muttered.
“Who would’ve thought,” she continued. “After all these years, we’ve found it. Lying there, in the chest at the foot of grandpapa’s bed, is The Magical Wishing Wog.”
The negro eyed them both suspiciously. “Ya damn fool. I aint grantin’ ya no wish today,” he bristled, folding his arms over his naked, sagging body.
“Chalky! Pippa!” came a stern, sudden voice.
“Oh no, it’s Miss. Quosp. Colonel Grandfather’s glove!” trembled Chalky. “We’ve forgotten. Whatever are we to do, Pippa?”
“Crikey! Quick,” she said to the negro. “Do you know where my grandfather keeps his falconry glove?”
“Sure I do,” he stabbed. “Its in d’ drawer, o’er there. W’ere ‘talways is.”
Chalky, damp and shambling, plunged his hand into the drawer and retrieved the glove. “It’s here!”
“Good,” said the negro. “Now take ya damn fancy gauntlet and leave me alone.”
“Oh, thank you,” gushed Pippa. “You really are the Wishing Wog.” And with that, the children scampered and squelched out of the room and back down the stairs.

“Do you have it then?” said Miss. Quosp, a little bit overbearingly, screwing the lid back on a bottle of gin.
“Here it is,” chirruped Chalky, handing it over. “Splendid,” belched the maid, holding the glove up to the light. She turned it over in the air and the children noticed it had the word BITCH written across its cuff in rhinestones. “That’s the ticket. Now then,” she continued, “I don’t have time to air and press this glove, because the pair of you are late. However, I have informed your grandfather of the situation in anticipation of your arrival. You will notice your outdoor wear – Mackintosh, galoshes and so forth – have been laid out for you. Once in this garb, you are to take the glove and liase with your grandfather on the south field at once, where he is currently entertaining his guests, Lord Gnosher the Arch-Marquis of Leicester, The Duke of Doncaster and the extremely mysterious Professor Rafferty of the Royal Society." Like a camp fish, Chalky gulped.

To be continued...

Monday, 17 November 2008

Is it just me..?

Did anyone else watch the latest mimsying fucking M&S Xmas ad and think it was gonna turn into some kind of Funny Games-style siege..?

Just imagine: Twiggy pinned to the wall by Gary Barlow as Mark Owen strangles Lilly Cole with a pair of stockings; meanwhile Jason Orange mockingly strums/sings Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time.

Go on, watch it again and see if you can see it...

Yeah? No?

Oh, well. Maybe it's just me...

Dead Grandmother

CREATIVE DIRECTOR: This Kingsmill ad, it's nearly there. But, I think it just needs know... to lift it?



CREATIVE DIRECTOR: I mean, all this "good times" stuff is great...

ACCOUNT MANAGER: But the client's worried that that might exclude the "bad times"...


CREATIVE DIRECTOR: And Kingsmill's all about "all of the time" - good or bad.

ACCOUNT MANAGER: We thought maybe if you put a "bad time" in there, it'd - you know- balance it...


BROW-BEATEN, PISSED-OFF CREATIVE: Oh, what, like put a fucking dead gradmother in there or something..?

CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Brilliant! That's it.

ACCOUNT MANAGER: And planning's got some research figures - if we stick it in at 34 seconds, no one will notice it. The negative image, actually becomes a positive.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Shit-hot and gold! It's perfect: we'll cue the dead grandmother at 34 seconds into the ad then...

Friday, 14 November 2008

The Magic Wishing Wog - Part I

I know there's 5 weeks to go yet, but all the Christmas ads are making my Yule-gland itch. So....

Here's part one of my thrilling festive tribute to Enid Blyton and all that; a Dickensian pot-boiler set in the politically incorrect days of Empire (as in Queen Victoria, as opposed to the magazine. Obviously).

[insert drum roll and sleigh bells]

It was a dreary afternoon and throughout the house a dismal winter gloom sapped happiness and spontaneity from its inhabitants, slowly and surely reducing them, one by one, to nothing but an iron grey cinder of ennui.
"It doesn't feel like Christmas," said Pippa, gawping at rain through the leaded bay-window. "I'm so bored."
"Me too," sighed her brother, Chalky.
"I think my chakras need cleansing."
There was a pause as the children's melancholy pressed down even further. Things really were dreadful. Chalky put his hands in his pockets and rattled some change, then suddenly threw himself on the floor. Pippa looked down and saw her brother gently head-butting the herringbone parquetry.
“We need a plan, Chalky. Before we go mad.”
Miss. Quosp the maid came by. “Pippa,” she nudged, “What’s wrong with Chalky?”
“He’s ever so bloody bored, Miss. Quosp.” And with that, Pippa softly wept.
“Oh dear, oh dear. Whatever are we to do? You children really are bored. Come on. I’ve got an idea!” said the maid, optimistically. Pippa pointed at her brother.
“Look Miss. Quosp. He’s catatonic.”
“No, not yet he aint. Now come on. Help me get him off the floor.”
Chalky was a fat but frail child, often taken by fits and giddy spells. Hence, it was thought that the open country of his grandfather’s house would do him some good. Now, steadied on Miss. Quosp’s harsh but solid bosom, he tut-tutted himself for having scuffed his breeches.
“Now then you two,” barked Miss. Quosp, “how about I give you a little job to do?”
The children’s eyes exploded with delight. “Oh, yes please!” squeaked Pippa, who loved doing jobs even more than her fat and servile brother did.
“Very well. I shall give you a job to do. But there is one proviso,” she said pretentiously.
“Ohwhatyesanythingmiss,” oozed Chalky with a trot and a simper.
“The job I shall give you is only a small one. A very small one, in fact. Nevertheless, it is one that needs doing.” Pippa wretched and almost vomited she was so excited, whilst swallowing the sick made her belch. “As you will both know,” continued Miss. Quosp, “your grandfather is a very fastidious man. This afternoon he has an important falconry demonstration to attend. Do you understand?”
“Wmm,” whimpered Chalky.
“I want you both to go upstairs and fetch me your grandfather’s falconry glove so that I may press and air it in preparation for this afternoon.”
A look of hesitation crossed Chalky’s hideous face. “But… but where is it kept, Miss. Quosp – grandpa-papa’s falconing glove?”
“Why, Chalky. Amongst his personal affects, of course,” she sneered. “Now, come on. Run along and fetch what I asked for.”

It was a long way up the stairs to their Colonel Grandfather’s rooms. And it seemed even further for all the wonderful sights along the way. Up and down the staircases and halls, their Colonel Grandfather (as that was what they were told to address him as) had displayed all of the strange, unusual, odd, different and curious things he’d collected from his travels; things from all over the world and the globe.
“Look,” pointed Chalky. “A one-legged Chinaman.”
“Yes,” gasped his sister. “And there see – the world’s loudest trumpet…! And over there, look….”
The list of things seemed endless. Every corner and cranny was filled with wonder. They saw an electric horse and a rare type of grape; a beautiful spider and an old leather penis.
“How could we ever have been so bored?” said Pippa, gazing intently at a strange looking object. Underneath it was a brass plaque that read Hitler’s Breast, 1934. “To think all of this was just upstairs.”
“It… its magical,” quaked Chalky.
“Come on,” said Pippa, remembering their job. “Lets get that glove and then we can spend the rest of the day here.”
Chalky promptly agreed and the children toddled off down the hall, their eyes bulging like ripe puppies.
A flight of stairs and approximately 60 yards later, the children stopped dead in their tracks. A huge oak - or possibly teak – door lay before them. Flanked by two enormous Christmas trees, their Colonel Grandfather’s family crest glowered down from above the door. Chalky blinked his pig eyes, and mentally sketched the coat of arms. Later, he thought, he would consult his book of heraldry and, unbeknownst to him, spark off a lifelong interest in the genealogy of the English aristocracy. But for now, his puny child-mind trembled before the door, which stood tall and resolute before them. Leaning in closer, Pippa reached out and gasped. It seemed the door was covered in strange markings.
“It seems the door is covered in strange markings,” she said, violently.
“Those aren’t markings!” bellowed Chalky, and slapped his sister across the face with the back of his hand. She crumpled before the wainscoting. “Look!” he seethed. Seizing her hair and chin, he thrust her face against the door, making a knocking sound, a bit like a potato hitting some floorboards. “Carvings!”
Pippa winced, and rolled her eye towards the surface of the door. Sure enough, it was covered in carvings, albeit ones that were a bit more like engravings. Chalky let go of her and she stumbled backwards, putting the door into perspective. She could see a sleigh being driven by a fat, anthropomorphic robin and above it a turkey holding a candle. The entire door seemed to be covered in depictions of Christmas; an angel on a rocking horse waved at a snowman giving a tangerine to a nun, whilst elsewhere a boy in pyjamas poured a goose a drink.
“I wonder what’s on the other side of it?” croaked Pippa. “I’d climb the highest metaphor to find out!”
“Why, Christmas of course!” gushed Chalky. “Don’t you see! This is the door to Christmas. This is why we’ve been so bored, because Christmas is locked up, behind there!” he said, raving and consumed. “We’ve got to open it!”
“I bet its locked,” sniffed Pippa.
“Well, let’s find out.”
Arrogantly striding forth, Chalky gripped both the holly-shaped handle and his sister’s hand. Flicking her a final glance, he snapped the handle down and pushed the door away from him. To their morbid astonishment, the door swung unremarkably open and bounced slightly off an inside wall. “Wha…” went Pippa, slack-jawed and oafish. “….” But her words wouldn’t come. She was amazed. As was her brother.

To be continued...

A Blog Is For Life

Just paid a visit to my old pal Goldie. I'm pleased to say she's doing just fine.

Thanks to Angus for reminding me of her and for not calling the RSPCA.


Tuesday, 11 November 2008

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Friday, 7 November 2008

We're Hiring!

My client is an obscure and insignificant marketing agency, based in a remote and culturally isolated part of Yorkshire. The team specialise in providing junk-mail solutions to a range of faceless international clients and small businesses. Due to poor traffic management, my client is reluctantly considering expansion.

This is a unique opportunity for a writer to join a close-knit team of uncooperative designers and fat account handlers in a deeply unpleasant environment. Working closely with a letcherous and slightly sinister MD/CD, you will provide sales copy for a range of cheaply executed and ill- conceived flyers and thin catalogues. The ability to concentrate with Radio 1 on is essential.

With bleak premises on an industrial estate near a canal, this is an ideal position for a weary loner, or introvert.

Contact Lisa Cankles on 0113 666 or email

Oh Lord, Please Do Not Burn Us...

It's official: there is no God. If there were, I wouldn't be feeling as shit and ill as I do now. I'd be leaping around singing "hallelujah" (the Leonard Cohen version, obviously) and giving thanks.

But that'd be silly wouldn't it, all that dancing and singing. It's all just a bit -you know- weird isn't it, that "religious" stuff. A man in the sky with an indestructible son and a virgin mother? Ha! I mean, it's a crackin' yarn but we've got telly nowadays, haven't we. I guess it's a bit like the theatre is'nt it, "religion", or the opera - something that's a bit quaint and anachronistic that only repressed, pretentious people have an interest in. It's quite popular at the moment though "religion", because it gives people the sanctimony of hindsight when things goes wrong. Oh, and you can defer all responsibility to your Great Zargox in the sky or whatever the fuck he's called.

No, come to think of it, "religious" people are the worst people in the world with all their snotty finger-pointing, funny dancing, and shit music. Which is why it's great to see good old Scamp's offered to help out the atheists with their proposed London bus campaign. Not only did it need a bit of professional help because the original line was feeble, but I've had great fun all morning watching the comments section deteriorate into shitty, partisan squabbling.

Scamp's taking suggestions from the floor so if you fancy a fatwa on your head be sure to have your tuppence worth. It's a crackin' brief actually, but I'm just too misanthropic to be a proper humanist. My idea was to have two aliens in a spaceship, with Earth on a monitor in the background. One of the aliens is reading the Bible and saying "Aww, how cute they still believe this superstitious bullshit!" And the other one says, with a tentacle on the button "Ha ha, yes! Let's destroy them all!" Or a church with a dinosaur squeezed into it and it's head sticking out the bell-tower and it's tail hanging out the window and the line "Atheism: It's the dinosaur in the room"...

...Or a gravestone that says "R.I.P God - it's what He would've wanted" and post his obituary in all the newspapers: "God. Dawn of time - 2008. Metaphorical creator of the universe, worshipped by billions, died suddenly after a long battle with reason and logic. He leaves no family because he wasn't actually real, and will be commemorated with a lavish and outdated ritual, after which we can all get on with choosing a new Dr. fucking Who. "


Dear Mrs. Blogreader,

Please excuse John from blogging this morning as he is poorly sick with a bad cold and is very grumpy.

He will be blogging later today, but doctor says he needs to take it easy. Matron has put his wheelchair on the lawn with a blanket over his legs so he can take the air and cough into a hanky.

Hope it's not catching.

John's Mum

Friday, 31 October 2008

Creatives 0 - Management -1

This one's dedicated to the absolutely mind-rapingly stupid plight of Ross and Brand, victims of precisely the same sort of reactionary, bungalow-headed media cannibalism that let half of India know Britain had fallen to a fascist leader known as Jade Goody.

There. "Futile gestures" all round. Resignations, suspensions... a statement from the fucking PRIME MINISTER!!!?

As Frankie Boyle eloquently commented on the case of Jade Goody "If you dress a monkey up as a butler, don't complain when it starts shitting all over the carpet." The same is true of Ross and Brand ie. if you mic-up two gobshites in a room with a tape recorder, don't complain when they do something dumb.

So well done BBC for joining the cannibals in their hysteria. A bad creative decision compounded by a bad editorial decision upset precisely 2 people. But when the tabloids set their zombie minority on your switchboards you let them have exactly what they wanted, and offered your own people up to be eaten alive. Nice one. And by the time Ofcom and the trustees have finished bickering over how to cover their arses, Ross'll be pissing on you from C4's £Umpteen-billion digital vodcast moon channel.

What now then? Well, welcome to a brand new BBC that has roughly the same creative climate as East Germany once did. Look forward to 10,000 new episodes of 2 Pints of Lager and all new "Draconian Come Dancing."

(Tune in tomorrow for my Mail On Sunday world exclusive: "Was Diana's Hull Breached By Nazi Iceberg?")

Friday, 24 October 2008

The Church of Latter Day Planning

Us planners are always thinking. We have to. It keeps us fresh; alert and open to new possibilities. We have open minds. But also, open hearts. Much like Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ taught us to open our hearts to everyone and everything, and to embrace the world around us. He taught us never to judge, and to find the good in everything. That's what planning is all about - finding the goodness in brands, and sharing it with the world.

And in many ways, Jesus is very much like a brand, isn't he. His brand essence all around us - in our minds, and in our hearts. You could say Jesus is the ultimate brand. He's even got his own brand guidelines - The Bible.

It's no wonder all us planners like going to church. We love brands. But not as much as Jesus loves us.

Olympic Mascot

Just read they're tendering for the 2012 London Olympic mascot.

Thought I'd have a go...

Think I'll call him "Stilton".

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Words Are Shit

Here ------------> {click me} is a very long article about the lack of dialogue in advertising.

Here is a picture of
what I think of it -------------->

Now, what colour do you think illiteracy is?

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Lookalikes and Doppelgangers

Had a meeting with someone yesterday who thought I used to work at BJL.

This is the second time someone has said this to me.

So. If you've ever worked at BJL and look like me, then please get in touch. I've been sent from the future to kill you, and people keep blowing my cover.

Look out! It's Art!

Alert! Alert! It's Art, people! Art! Everybody get down!

I'm excited so I'll try and be brief.

Went to the Liverpool Biennial over the weekend. Most of it's shit. However, two things stood out.

1. David Blandy's meta-imaginary soul singer stuff - a presentation of objects pertaining to a fictional soul singer called Mingering Mike who's been made-up by an unknown outsider artist, but who in turn has actually been made-up by David Blandy. Cue lots of ropey, hand-drawn album sleeves and fun with postmodernism.

2. The Royal Art Lodge's "Garbage Day" installation which is the best thing I've seen in bloody ages.

The Lodge is a collective of Marcel Dzama and a couple of his mates. (Dzama's famous for his weird little water-colour figures of things like haunted trees chasing girls, and melting snowmen - some of which have even graced the odd album sleeve). Each installation is a series of individual panels that have been passed around, each artist adding their own elements of painting, drawing, collage, text. The effect is a bit like a comic book. Moving from panel to panel with snatches of surreal narrative and dialogue, you pass through this little world full of talking animals, ghosts, giants, meaningless diagrams, jokes, death and lots of frogs. It's beautiful, enchanting, hilarious, totally immersive, satisfying and like nothing else you've ever seen.

The pics I've culled are from their website - a flavour of what to expect, but doesn't do it any justice. Go to The (normally rubbish) Bluecoat Chambers and see for yoursef. I'm going again before it finishes.

*** Very good. Great seller. Would buy again.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Amusement de famille!

What colour's yours?

(Funny looking at that cover - I was telling someone just the other day how much their genitals looked like a topographical diagram of a river bed...)

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

dO ITT yurr sEllf

Tighten your fuckin' belts people. I have. I'm even using stock photography now, see.

Actually, no, that's a lie. Times aren't hard at all. I live in the country, which is where all the people who raped the banks in the first place scarpered off to in their Range Rover Sports. Everyone's minted in the country. Whilst us plebs get booted out of our homes by (probably) Polish bailiffs, the nouveau riche eat organic mignons in rural gastropubs bought with the change left over from their daughter's horse. (Or something like that, anyway. Not too sure about the bailiffs...) Any how, the point is life's still pretty much wholesome and healthy in the country. Especially this time of year when all the (moaning, miserly, fucking) farmers are selling their produce. Which so thus hence, of course, brings us to my picture of the little chalkboard sign.

The hand written chalkboard sign is a perennial feature of rural life and commerce. It's also the oldest and most authentic kind advertising there is. And whilst it effectively breaks all the rules by allowing the client to do their own marketing, it always succeeds because of its innate, inescapable honesty. It doesn't even matter what you write on it because it's very existence is so quintessentially charming, someone somewhere (in a Range Rover Sport) will always think "Oh, how lovely" even if Farmer Giles has scrawled "Fucked By Rats" on it, and is now sat weeping in a hayloft with an empty bottle of Bells and a loaded shotgun. No, you can advertise anything with a chalkboard - pies, potatoes, "Pony carrots", organic apples, logs, manure, heeler pups(!), (the ominous sounding) "Duck Eggs - 1Mile" and (my personal favourite) "Butchery Tearooms". You can even get a brand message in there if you want: there's a farmshop near my parents with a roadside sandwich board that has a list of fresh produce on one side, and a daily Bible reference (eg. "Matthew, 7:12") on the other. (The same place once wrote "I'm A Celery... Get Me Out Of Here!" to conincide with the TV show too. Now that's genius.)

Maybe during the financial shitstorm we should just give our clients a chalkboard and ask them to do some DIY marketing? Don't worry, we'd all still get paid though cos it was our cute idea in the first place, right?

Monday, 13 October 2008

The Shit Art Company Ltd.

It's the Frieze Art Fair in Regent's Park this week - the British art world's wankiest gangbang of the whole year. Why not come on down and catch a glimpse of the Emperor's New Clothes before Charles Saatchi buys them all up for Nigella Lawson to eat. Or why not just come and meet... me! That's right, I'll be there just outside the doors representing my very own gallery, The Shit Art Company Ltd.

The Shit Art Company Ltd. was established this afternoon by me in my own head, and specialises in works that are completely shit, by people who are crap. The Shit Art Company Ltd. is a showcase for the most exciting and contemporary rubbish in the UK today. Whilst in no way an advocate of outsider art or art brut, The Shit Art Company Ltd. is dedicated to works which aren't so much untaught as misguided.

If you're a shit artist and would like your work to be represented, please contact me, the curator, at The Shit Art Company Ltd. via the comments section below.

Is This Cool?

Wow-wee, look! It's The Fonz - the coolest man on Earth.

Ahhh... those were the days; back when being cool was easy. All you needed was a toilet for an "office" and know the right place to hit a jukebox. It's not like that anymore though. No, nowadays you need a whole panel of people to tell you if you're cool or not...

What!? You mean you didn't read the UK Cool Brands supplement that flopped out of The Observer yesterday? You mean you didn't agonize over all that vague and arbitrary data, like The Time Line of Cool that tells us 007's 1964 Aston Martin DB5 is as culturally significant as the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? Jesus, man... But CoolBrands UK has put together a 30-strong panel of experts to work this shit out for us! Shame on you...

But -hey- what a panel it is! There's the usual suspects: Nicholas Roope of Poke and Patrick Burgoyne of Creative Review. But there's some unexpected heavyweights in there too, ie. cultural leviathan... June Sarpong! She might be a New Labour cumpot who looks like the remains of Tutenkhamun, but those T4 Sunday's with Vernon Kaye and Hollyoaks have put her up there with Lord Bragg and Alan Yentob. And if that weren't enough gravity and authority for you, they've even managed to harness the might of... Lauren Laverne, who -let's face it- is the new Norman Mailer.

So stop clicking your fingers at girls and going "Ehhhh" in the mirror. Get your out-dated arse over to CoolBrands UK and enjoy the shallowest, most pointless analysis of nothing, written in the shittest, most impractical font you've ever seen and be none the wiser as to what fuck "cool" might or might not be, although it's probably something to do with price.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

How's Your Weekend So Far?

No one's actually reading this right now are they? No. You're all busy chilling out, watching your Honeymoon In Vegas DVDs you got in the Daily Mail this morning, aren't you.

By God, we live well.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Help Fund Terrorism

Psst. Want to help fund a film about terrorism? Then go here and read on.

Seems Chris Morris' long-incubated jihadi project was finally turned down by the Beeb and even C4 (for fucksake) last month. And it's now up to his old mates at Warp Films to make it happen. Backing's in place but funding aint, so there's now an embryonic campaign to get Morris sympathisers to foot the bill.

All this seemed it might be a joke a first, but it could well turn out to be true after all (see below).

From: Funding Mentalist;

Dear Lion

At the moment the detonator’s going off and you’re part of it but until the effect has gone exponential, your mails are being sorted by one person so bear with me.

Many people have asked us exactly what the Four Lions project is. Clearly we can’t launch the film before its been shot, but I’ve pulled together a few paragraphs from the paperwork that’s been flying around. Its shameless hype but its accurate – unlike almost everything you will have read in the press. No one who has read the script could disagree with a word here.

In three years of research, Chris Morris has spoken to terrorism experts, imams, police, secret services and hundreds of Muslims. Even those who have trained and fought jihad report the frequency of farce. At training camps young jihadis argue about honey, cry for their mums, shoot each other’s feet off, chase snakes and get thrown out for smoking. A minute into his martyrdom video, a would-be bomber looks puzzled and says “what was the question again?” On millennium eve, five jihadis set out to ram a US warship. They slipped their boat into the water and carefully stacked it with explosives. It sank.Terrorist cells have the same group dynamics as stag parties and five a side football teams. There is conflict, friendship, misunderstanding and rivalry. Terrorism is about ideology, but it’s also about berks.

Four Lions is a funny, thrilling fictional story that illuminates modern British jihad with an insight beyond anything else in our culture. It plunges us beyond seeing these young men as unfathomably alien. It undermines the folly of just wishing them away or alienating the entire culture from which they emerge. It understands how terrorism relates to testosterone. It understands jihadis as human beings. And it understands human beings as innately ridiculous. As Spinal Tap understood heavy metal and Dr Strangelove the Cold War, Four Lions understands modern British jihadis.

As for your offer, we’re hoping to set up a one click pay scheme soon. We’ll let you know. Hope that helps

Deirdre Steed.
PS Please pass this on to ten more people.

Friday, 3 October 2008


Yet more outstanding work from London's finest.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Something Nice

No, really. Here's something nice for a change that isn't swearing or sarcastic.
Look at these bike racks designed by David Byrne.

Aren't they ace. Check out his (always good) web/blog/thing for the full story of how they got made. Ok, so being the front-man of one of the coolest bands ever probably helped, but it's good to see how people instinctively get behind a good idea. I'm not the biggest fan of municipal art but these just make the world a bit more fun.

And next week on BBC 4 we'll be talking to Peter Gabriel about his new range of speed cameras.

One For The Clients

Would you believe it, my new favourite agency Snatch have made a speech about the current economic uncertainly we all face...

Thursday, 25 September 2008

London Calling

Just seen some crackin' work over on Snatch's blog. A truly brilliant, brilliant agency. Every single piece of work just raises the bar even higher. Wow.

I bet it'd be great to work there. Maybe I should send 'em my portfolio..?

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

A Word From Our Leader

Hi there.

I'm Simian Gladtrees, Executive Creative Chairman of Snatch London, part of the WpPP/Bang network.

We're an awards ridden multi-dimensional brandvertising digi-plinarian and creative consultant consultancy.

Here at Snatch, we've always believed that effective advertising comes through communicating multi-platformed brand essences through a shifting lens of challengingly diverse network strategies. Only by scrutinsing the specific spectrum of our client's understanding can we commnicate the production of heavily tailored solution methods with the broadest possible pallette of synergies.

MyBook and FaceBlog have revolutionised the way that brands interfere with peoples lives. Advertising's no longer about speaking to consumers. It's about consuming the speaker through a whole range of transsubstantiated media gantries - mobile themed search-engines and wifi gestures; ambient networks and eugenics. In short: we need to feed the media pony.

Only by distressing the competition can we disquiet the market and successfully out-warp the future.

Simian Gladtrees ECC

Here's to the future.... The last one there's a bender!

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

R.I.P Irony

It was confirmed this morning that Irony, the loving friend of Jane Austen and godfather to postmodernism, has tragically died after a long battle with the advertising industry.

Irony first found fame whilst working in the theatre as a dramatic device, making acclaimed appearances in Sophocles' Oedipus The King (429 BC) and Shakespeare's Hamlet (1601). But it was Irony's innate and uncanny sense of timing that was to capture the public's imagination.

By the 18th and 19th century, Irony had become the darling of Western literature. But after a string of appearances in the light romantic comedies of Jane Austen, he found it increasingly difficult to be taken seriously. His career faultered and he began drinking heavily.

Despite this nosedive, Irony's reputation for innate truth through disparity of meaning nevertheless made him a natural choice for use in satire. A new generation of artists quickly made Irony their own and work came flooding in: novels, paintings, films, music and theatre, all wanted to collaborate with him. This was a new lease of life, and in the early 80's Irony was approached by the advertising industry to lend a touch of humour to their campaigns.

Whilst many of these collaborations were successful, Irony was increasingly hampered by the quality of the material he was asked to perform. His health and credibilty deteriorated and the 90's brought a string of health scares after singer Alanis Morrisette famously confused him with bad luck - a blow he never fully recovered from. Friends became concerned recently when he appeared as B.A Baracus in two separate TV campaigns simultaneously.

Irony is reported to have died peacefully at his home in Florida after Fallon London remixed their Cadbury's "Gorilla" ad with Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of The Heart - a song that was never really that funny in the first place.

Monday, 22 September 2008


I couldn't be bothered thinking of a title for this post, so I just made one up, ok? Good.

Right, I just wanted to say a few words about this man:

His name is Robert Hughes, and he's a full-time art critic and part-time hero of mine (I have other heroes unfortunately, so I had to cut his hours).

I first discovered Robert Hughes when I was a young A-Level art twat, and read his book, The Shock Of The New, which remains the definitive history and handbook to modern art. Hughes' formidable intellect and wit made a big impression on me, and I subsequently devoured his book American Visions and was glued to his TV series Beyond The Fatal Shore, a scathing but poignant history of his native Australia. Nowadays he looks like a completely fucked Albert Finney and I imagine he wreaks of port. But don't let that curmudgeonly scowl fool you. No, Robert Hughes is one of the coolest people on the planet in fact. He once caught the clap off Jimi Hendrix (via his wife I might add) and quipped that his VD lasted longer than Jimi's career.

Anyway, Hughes was on TV last night for the first time in ages, condemning the current art market and the likes of that disgusting Damien Hirst auction. Needless to say it was fucking brilliant, so if you get chance, go and watch it again on the C4 website gubbins.

So there you go. Bob Hughes. Legend.

Got it?

A Holey Man


Friday, 19 September 2008

Things On My Desk

No. 1: Hitler in love.

Reasons To Be Cheerful

I'm in a right mood today. Luckily I can leave the Prozac on the shelf with the nooses, booze and pornography though. I've got a bit of Frank Zappa to cheer me up instead.

Ah, yes. Uncle Frank. He might be unfashionable, but he didn't care and neither do I. Here's a live version of Montana - everything you'll ever need in a song: daft lyrics, impossibly complicted music and a man called Napoleon Murphy-Brock on saxophone (which has to be the best rockstar name ever.) Check out the impossible vocal lines after the guitar solo.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Why No One Reads My Blog

This 'ere is Scamp's blog - the most popular advertising blog in the whole flippin world nearly. If your into ads and shit, it's where to hang out. It's got advice, opinions, insights. It's essential.

Oh, and it's completely biased towards above the line work. So if your precious enough to give a fuck about TV commercials and have cinematic pretentions, get your Michel Gondry loving ass over to Scamp's asap and join any number of febrile debates about greatest ever ads, directors and that kinda stuff. Personally, I didn't realise that that many people still cared about TV commericals, but that's obviously where I've been going wrong. I mean, I thought we were all meant to be new media digi-shit and anything in between. But no, received opinion is that big dumb TV ads are still the pinnacle of a creative's career.

But what the fuck do I know? Who am I again? Wake up and smell the Cadbury gorilla, John. Writing!? What dya think this is, the 1930's? Duh! No one fucking reads anything any more, mate. Has no one ever told you "we're visual beings*". People see petrol swirling on top of a puddle and think it's the telly these days. If you can't look at it or put your cock in it, no one's interested.

Fucking words, eh? Pah! You should be ashamed of yourself boy. Go and sit in the corner and wait for Scamp to track your link back and bollock you or something.

* Note to planners: this is known as "scopophila" - the love of looking. Put that in your Malcolm fucking Gladwell and smoke it.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

A Helping Hand(job)

Bang. Bang. Bang. Boom. It's the sound of young creatives smashing their heads against the doors of the industry and blowing their brains out in frustration because everyone, everywhere wants a job in the creative industries. Well, everywhere except for London that is.

London, you say? Exactly. It's that tiny cultural wasteland near some water just after Birmingham that makes Sunderland look like the Vatican. Nothing good ever comes out of it - there's no industry or money there. It's like Zimbabwe. I mean, if your train broke down in London you'd be fucking furious, right. There's no galleries or bookshops, music or museums, restaurants or theatres. It's a bog. Or at least it was. Just look at this in Brand Republic this morning:

"LONDON [it's in capitals cos you might'nt have heard of it]- Golden Square in Soho yesterday hosted hundreds of school children from around London as culture secretary Andy Burnham [must be good for an MP to go to all that way] and M&C Saatchi founder Maurice Saatchi launched an IPA initiative to encourage a wider range of people into the advertising and creative industries. [Blimey.]

"More than 200 pupils from secondary schools across London [now that's diversity!] were invited to spend the day inside M&C Saatchi and the various creative sector businesses around Golden Square, including Absolute Radio, Clear Channel and Paramount Pictures."

Well, fuck me. That's just what London's been crying out for isn't it: more people interested in twatty media jobs. Genius. I mean, if shithole London's famous for anything it's its lack of middle-class arts based job opportunities. But this "creativity awareness" initiative for the most unsophisticated place on Earth is a blinder. Surely Britain hasn't seen such philanthropy since they abolished slavery. Whatever next - higher wages for beautiful women?

Thanks Maurice Saatchi. Sounds like London might finally catch up with the rest of us, eh.

ABOVE: Jonanthan King lookalike Maurice Saatchi invited 200 school children into his office.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Vote Now!

Poll's are quite popular on blogs aren't they. A nice bit of the old "user generated content" goes a long way, and I've never done one yet. So...

Should Kelly Brook have shown her tits on the new Sky Plus commercial instead of just hopelessly pretending to have an opinion about it? (If you haven't seen it, Kell's little off-the-cuff "I like Sky by me age 4..." vox-pop is about as casual as gay rape. Oh, and it's as horrible to watch too).

So. Yes or no? You decide!


Answers on a soiled postcard to "I Like Tits,, The Internet".

Meet The Brands

Aww, brands, eh. They're like people aren't they. Some of 'em are your mates, but most of them are scum. Like university freshers, they all reckon their different, but they all talk the same (yawn) pretentious bollocks as each other.

Advertising planners get all moist about brand "narratives" and "stories" - about a brand having a past and a future - a personality that can be drawn and expanded upon. That way, when a brand finally corners you at a party or gets stuck in a lift with you, it actually has something to say for itself. Trouble is though, most brands are shit raconteurs.

Here's a quick test: Imagine ITV's "An Audience With... Sir. Peter Ustinov" but instead of Peter Ustinov, replace him with Brand X. Then ask yourself if you think Brand X will effortlessly charm and dazzle its assembled celebrity audience, or if you think it'll bore them to death with a shit anecdote about a half-price sale?

Tone of voice is one thing, but if your brand story's told by a complete wanker it doesn't matter what they say. I keep having nightmares about being trapped in a lift with the new Muller commerical; listening to a deranged, psychotically happy mother burbling on and on about her child's health. That's just fucking weird, man.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Random Sketch

I dunno, maybe Greenpeace could use this or something...

[Two teenage girls on the phone. Split screen]

- Hello?
- Hi babes. It's me.
- Hey you.
- Listen. Just a quick one. Just wondered if you were coming to The Precinct tonight? Mark's gonna be there. And he's bringing his mate... the sack of coal.
- Oh my god! The sack of coal!? He's gorgeous.
- I know. And apparently his mate said he really likes you.
- You're kidding!? No way. A sack of coal doesn't fancy me..?
- Why not?
- Oh god he's so fucking lush though.
- I know . Don't tell Debbie though.
- Why not?
- Well, cos she's been after a sack of coal for -like- ages.
- Debbie's a fucking slag. She'd never go out with a a sack of coal!
- So you coming out then?
- Fuck yeah. Oh, god what should I wear though?
- Anything as long as it's not white.
- Yeah, you're right. He's meant to be a right dirty bastard.

The Howling Fantods

Ha ha ho he ha!

So yesterday we established that humour doesn't belong in advertising. But if it did it might look a little bit like this...

Fan's of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest might recognise these automatically. (No? You mean I have to explain!? Oh, for fucksake...) A selection of ads put together by Wallace's fans, based/derived on/from his novel. If you haven't read Infinite Jest, then do so immediately you philistine fuck! Commercials play a massive part of it - for example much of the action takes place in November during the "Year Of The Depend Adult Undergarment".

Right. That's enough levity. Get back to your work. You can put Goldfrapp on for the clients but no fucking smiling, ok.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Public Service Information

For those of you too busy to read CERN's risk assessment of the Large Hadron Collider, try this useful and informative website.

Does Humour Belong In Advertising?

Well? Does it? Hm? Does it?

No, 'course it bloody doesn't. Advertising's about making as much money for your client as possible. It is a grave and sombre matter indeed. Terminal, in fact. Which explains why many agencies' premises have the look and feel of a children's ward; decorated with bright, friendly colours and soft, tactile furniture. We put up posters, and play our favourite music; we have toys and teddies at our desks to comfort us. And if there isn't a PS3 or sandpit in the agency there's almost certainly a football table. (We'll all be coming to work in our dressing gowns soon). And this is as much to keep us calm and comfortable as it is the clients. You think when people visit they want to see you anxious and distressed? No! They want to see you playing Halo 3 with the Creative Director.

- Will I be going home soon? I miss my friends.
- Oh, soon enough little Johnny. Soon enough. Just as soon as that artwork's healed.

So. The next time you see a Winnie The Pooh painted on the inside of a window, don't think "paediatric hospital", think "creative agency".

ABOVE: Agency life. Creatives and acount handlers working together.

BELOW: Crisis meeting between a client and creative director.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Look Whose Fat And In Court

Failed rockstar and self-loathing drunken cunt, Barry Belm, 42, pleaded guilty to assault at Preston Crown Court yesterday.

Mr. Justice Yes said something like "Whilst I have not entirely ruled out a custodial sentence, it is likely Mr. Belm will spend much of the winter scraping the piss off public toilets with a razorblade and collecting frozen dogshit. Additionally, a stiff fine will doubtless encumber his family's Christmas this year- unless of course they all ask Santa to bring them some bits of litter and cold turds," he quipped.

Sentencing was adjourned until October, during which time Mr. Belm intends to write a very embarrassing song about his day in court, and dry fuck his weak-chinned hunchback (fish)wife a couple of times. In turn, Mrs. Belm intends to bore their parochial auto-peasant friends to death by talking about the injustice of it all, or until such time as the demons are finally beaten out of her cunt with a special stick.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Married To A Pornstar

- Hello darling.
- Hello darling.
- How's your day?
- I can barely walk.
- No? Oh, dear darling.
- (sigh) It's been non-stop cocks. All day.
- Glass of wine?
- Oh no thanks. I've been on fluids all day...
- Ah.
- What's for dinner?
- Sausages?
- I think I'll just have a bath. My arse feels like train's been through it.

Fwd: wasp and hornet nests

I found this is in my Inbox this morning. Go figure...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: alastair mackie <>
Date: Sun, Sep 7, 2008 at 7:55 PM
Subject: wasp and hornet nests

Dear Beekeepers,

I hope that you won't mind me contacting you out of the blue. I am an artist working in London, I come from a farm in Cornwall where we keep bees. I have recently made a piece of work out of paper collected from a wasp nest (see image attached). I have a solo show coming up in January next year and am working on a large scale wasp / hornet wood pulp project. Over the last twelve months I have collected approximately two hundred nests (all abandoned during the winter period).I am absolutely desperate to get hold of as much more material and as soon as possible and will be very happy to pay in order to do so.I understand that bee keepers are sometimes asked to deal with wasp and hornet nests. If you think that you can help me please do get in touch, or please do forward this on to anyone else.

Best regards - Alastair Mackie

(+44) 7818 0734XX

Friday, 5 September 2008

Lesbian Sunrise

Ever wanted to write your own blog-post but don't have your own blog to write it on? Well here's the answer you've been looking for.

Every week I'll be posting a title for you would-be blogsods to respond to. It's easy. Just read the title, get a computer keyboard and then use all of your imagination. That's right - all of it! Squeeze your imagination like a lemon over the pancake of my title.

So here we go. And your title is... "Lesbian Sunrise".

Thursday, 4 September 2008

To the fore(skin)

From The Drum's website this afternoon: a sneak preview of some "slightly daring" work from TBWA/Manchester...

'Robert Harwood-Matthews, CEO at TBWA\Manchester, commented; “Within a hugely competitive market, the creative had to be stunningly different, slightly daring and go against existing communication conventions to show how unique Skinbliss is. Collaborating with a fashion photographer to produce the campaign ensured it would give Imperial Leather an exclusive look and enable it to appeal to a new audience.”'

I think it's safe to say that hiring the fashion photographer -as opposed to a forensic or radiographer -was a wise (though slightly daring) move. And photographing an actual woman who has skin too -well... Stunningly different, indeed.

Advertising, eh. Where do they get these ka-ray-zee ideas from?

Saturday, 23 August 2008

A Good Book

I'm about to go on holiday, so here's a quick, poe-faced post about holiday reading.

Last time I was away I read Cosmos and Pornographia by Witold Gombrowicz. What can I say about them/him? Well, when I grow up I want to be as good as Gombrowicz. Not many writers make me go all serious and wanky, but Gombrowicz is one of 'em. This is serious, startling literature. Not heavyweight and hard-going, but intellectually rigorous and sooooooo rewarding as a result.

Go and read proper books you plebs. Be challenged and changed and edified. As a certain ad campaign recently "Come back interesting."

So read Gombrowicz. Now please.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Give The Future A Hug: 10 Groundbreaking Strategies

Working in advertising I worry all the time about the future of our precious industry. Thus, in order to sleep soundly at night and to stave off the kind of existential-meltdown everyone in advertising has roughly every 3 fucking minutes, I've drawn up a list of 10 groundbreaking strategies that'll ensure the future of our hallowed endeavours.

1. TV commericals you can actually punch
2. Swearing in sales letters (eg. "Fuck a duck Mrs. X, there's 50% off!" just to
make it more earthy)
3. No images of people. People are surrounded by people all day. People see
people in adverts and just think "Oh, fuck off."
4. Smaller type-faces. I had a headmaster who used to speak very quietly in
assemblies. The result was that everyone sat forward and listened. The same
rule applies to fonts.
5. "Helvetica Week" For one week of the year, all graphics and branding are
stripped away to just plain helvetica text on a white background.
6. Even more pretentious car adverts. The first agency to get a car ad on The
South Bank Show wins a team-building fun-day at the Sorbonne with Umberto Eco and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
7. Replace logos and brand guidelines with signature dishes and smells. What
does Hyundai's logo look like? I can't fuckin' remember. On the othter hand,
the smell of freshly baked bread is unforgettable. Or Natwest? The bank with
black and purple headers and footers on it's press or the bank that serves
wild mushroom risotto with rocket and permesan?
8. Children are really gullible and education is underfunded, so pay to advertise in schools.
9. Invent a secret advertising language to exclude people and create a "brand
10. Send a brand-cyborg from the future back in time and get them to seed our
destiny via Facebook.

PLEASE NOTE: The future is bright. The future is Orange. This does not affect your statutory rights.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Mongs of Praise

Ha-ho, it is I Sir Harry Seacombe, sent down by God to go blogging on a Sunday -ha-ho!- and to spread the joyful word of our lord Jesus Christ Almighty. So lift up your voice and sing as we march hand in hand along the (information-super)Highway. Ha-ho.

Sunday is the traditonal day of roast. According to the Bible "on the seventh day He roasted" whilst at Easter time He roasted from the dead, don't you know. Ha-ho!

This weeks edition of (information-super)Highway comes from the beautiful town of Chichester, famous of course for it's magnificent cathedral and also it's annual arts and theatre festival. I first came here in 1964, with Thora Hird. We were appearing in Pygmalion together. I have fond memories of us meeting Michael Aspel after the show and us all taking poppers in the cloister over by the arch. Thora was still continent in those days, but we all pissed ourselves that night. Ha-ha-ho.

And from the spire you can see the rolling hills of the South Downs - truly England's green and pleasant land... That reminds me of a song...

"I'm walking backwards for Christmas..."

Friday, 15 August 2008


A Cannibal Giving a White Man a Blowjob

Vanity, eh. It's knackering. All that preening, and primping, glancing in mirrors and sucking in your gut. Not to mention the early mornings to put all your botox on and shit or whatever... erm, yeah..? Well, anyway, I'm not vain in that way at all. But I am sickeningly vain in other ways.

I was speaking to the esteemed Creative Director of an esteemed agency yesterday (hello, Paul!) and we got talking about vanity projects - all those little creative sidelines that people have that inspire and inform their work. Whether it's a blog, or a band, or making t-shirts or anything, it's important to keep all that going, even though it's often hard to maintain the energy required to do them justice.

When I look back over the hard-drive of my PC, it's terrifying to see the number of half-baked, unfinished projects I've undertaken. Look:

This is the profile picture I made for a blog I was gonna write - a satire of a fundamentalist, jihad-preaching Imam. Somewhere, there'll be a Word document with the name I made-up for him on it as well as some sketches for posts. And that's just one idea out of 100's on the computer, not to mention the drawers full of notebooks and screwed-up bits of paper. You know how some women have cupboards full of shoes they'll probably never wear? Well, I have notebooks full of ideas I'll probably never use. Shocking.*

And on that note, I'll leave you with the most famous vanity project of all: the 1983 Bullseye Christmas tape.

(sorry can't embed this so you'll have to use the link)

*Hasn't this post gone all wanky and "plannery"? I'll make sure there's more swearing in the next post, and stop sounding like a fucking adult-learning lecturer or something.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Calm down dear. It's only a commercial.

Shit. I've just remembered this blog's meant to be about advertising.

Eh. No. -Hang on. No it's not. This blog's about me. Duh!

Oh, thank Christ for that. For a minute there I thought I was one of those ludicrous, poe-faced planning blogs that say things like "Just bought some shoes. Such a simple idea. If only more brands were as simple as shoes" or one of those tedious industry/agency blogs that has more comments than content (ie. fawning undergraduates asking for jobs).

No, this blog's just about me saying exactly what I want, when I want. I said "nigger" the other day. And in the past I've even said "cunt" (although I say that a lot in real life too). I can say whatever the fucking flip I like. Cos I'm God here, right, yeah. Look. Here's a picture of some "Clown Porn".

What'dya make of that, eh? Eh? Eh!? Apparently LOADS of clients read my blog so they're gonna be really shocked to know that the people who make their advertising swear and have access to rude pictures. In fact, they're almost guaranteeed to take their business elsewhere. Because god forbid anything as conservative and demure as advertising should be tainted by something as radical and freethinking as the internet.

Oh my god. I've just shit my pants. Like, there's poo all over the place. Good job I'm not in the office. Or am I? As a reader you'll never know. As we speak I could be smearing my own shit all over the face of my creative director and weeing on your brief, laughing. Or I might just be working quietly at home, spinning you yarn to make you smile. Or think.

Sadly, our own industry is killing industry blogs due to a perceived conflict of interest. If you happen to run an advertising agency and feel that blogging poses a risk to your business, I suggest you go and work in an industry you actually understand. Or better still go and be a housewife, where you can while away your days being as hopeless and neurotic as you like. Clients no more read blogs like this than agencies turn work down because they don't fancy the job.

See, the brilliant thing about a blog is that anyone can set one up. It's easy. You don't have to get people to say things for you - you can say them yourself. It's about you speaking directly to your audience.

Don't agree? Then go get your own fucking audience instead of stealing mine, dickhead.

And the moral of the story? Well, calm down dear. It's only a blog. My penchant for queer-bashing and cattle mutilation is far, far worse than anything I could possibly say here about the industry.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Equal Opportunities

Apparently everyone reads my blog. Even clients. So in the interests of equality and inclusion, and in the hypocritical group-hug spirit of the Olympic Games, here's my little tribute to social diversity.

So. Sit back, forgive your enemies and put prejudice aside (but not so far aside as to exclude it altogether) and enjoy The Nigger Of Dibley.


LORD SHUFTY: Who the blazes could this be? It's gorn 8 oclock.


BRAIN: Lord Shufty? I'm Eleanor - your new nigger.

LORD SHUFTY: What! The new nigger you say? We weren't expecting you until Thursday. Well, you'd better come in. I'll have someone help you with your luggage. (HE RINGS A LITTLE BELL. A NEGRO FOOTMAN APPEARS). Ah, there you are Paddy. Would you be good enough to take this nigger's bag over to the ghetto.

PADDY: Certainly m'lud.


LORD SHUFTY: Good workers the Irish, eh? Anyway, do come through. I'll get you a drink.

BRAIN: Thank you m'lud.

LORD SHUFTY: So, how long have you been a nigger then? I must say I was a little disappointed to learn you were also a woman. Still, its the modern way I suppose.

BRAIN: I'm just flattered you chose me, m'lud. Being a giant brain and a woman can be a bit of a setback. But to get a job as a nigger in a place like Dibley is just a dream come true.

LORD SHUFTY: Good. Well, its nice to see a nigger with a positive attitude. Come on. I'll introduce you to my wife, Lady Andrew. I'm a bender and she's a pikey. You'll get on like a house on fire!

Friday, 8 August 2008

-Something for the weekend, sir?

-Oh, yes please.
-Might I suggest a sinister photograph, sir?
-Oh. Lovely. Thank you.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

ffwgjdbcwgogrsgo on touch it!!!! Ooo

this is the hundredth blog post what I have done. Typing it on 21st. Century paper on my iPod touch gubbins. Sound like a right spas don't I. Impossible not to mistype stuff. Now I know how Stephen Hawkins feels.

Mobile technology = immobile sounding literature

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

A Child's Story

I was speaking to my old chum Pieman yesterday. We were chewing over the industry fat, and it was exactly like the tramps in The Two Ronnies at one point. Except we were in a bar in Manchester, and not under a hedge...

Anyway. I was delighted to hear about his new kid's book. After penning a tale for his daughter, he called in a few favours, got the thing illustrated and now it's all poised for the publishers! So, nice one mate. He was beaming with excitement -bless him- and it does sound dead good. In fact, it made me wonder if I could write a child's story..? But the answer to that is no. Because I'm a fucking miserable arse and hate children.

However, once upon a time I did -indirectly- write a child's story for a job I was doing. I also happen to know two very talented and very, very frustrated designers who'll be reading this at work (hello ladies!) Maybe if they get a mo, they could illustrate my story?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the infamous... Tale Of The Virgin Sow

Once upon a time, there was a farmer called Mr.Neddy. Every morning he would set out early from his cottage to visit all the animals he kept on his farm. Mr. Neddy’s animals were his friends.

There was Anthony the horse, Stuart the bull, Julie the sheep, the two hens, Helen and Jane and Matthew the cockerel. But of all his animals, Mr.Neddy’s best friends were his two pigs, Wendy and Karl.

It was Spring time on the farm and all was well. The sun shone high in the sky and all the animals seemed happy. This was Mr.Neddy’s favourite time of year. After feeding and talking to his animals, he spent the day digging a hole. Then, after watching the sun go down he returned to his cottage for some well earned rest.

That night, he had a hearty meal and was just settling into his favourite armchair when there was a knock at the door. Grumbling to his feet, Mr. Neddy opened it, and to his surprise found Karl the pig standing nervously on his doorstep.

“Why, Karl,” he said. “It’s so late. What can I do for you?”
“I need to speak to you,” said Karl. “I don’t know what to do.”
“You’d better come in, my friend. You look awful.”

Inside the cottage, Karl sat down by the fireplace anxiously wringing his trotters.

“Can I get you drink?” asked Mr. Neddy.
“Thank you,” said the pig.
Mr. Neddy poured two large whiskies. “What’s all this about then, Karl?” he asked, handing his guest a generous tumbler of Scotch.
Karl lit a cigarette. “It’s Wendy. She won’t let me near her.”
“What do you mean?” said Mr. Neddy, puzzled.
“I mean, she won’t put out.”
“I see.” He paused. “Is this because of the miscarriage?”
“That’s just it, Mr. Neddy. There was no miscarriage. We made it up.”
“But... -Why?”
Karl stood up, turning his back as he spoke. His pride was shattered. “We knew you’d be disappointed. We had to be seen to be trying. ‘Truth is, we’ve never tried. She won’t let me. She’s closed up. Like a clam. I can’t go on like this, all the excuses, the lies. I need to know she loves me.”
Mr. Neddy sat back in his chair and took a thoughtful sip of his whisky. He stood up. “Karl,” he said, placing a hand on the pig’s shoulder, “I’m not disappointed in you. I understand. Don’t worry. I have an idea. Go back to bed and leave it to me.”
“But the sty! Wendy – she’s so cold,” he blubbed.
“I know, I know. But trust me. You go and sleep on it, and I’ll see you in the morning.”
Their eyes met in an exchange of trust. Karl bowed his head as if to say thank you and quietly, reluctantly trotted back to the sty.

That morning, Karl and Wendy awoke as usual. When Mr. Neddy came around with their feed, he had a knowing look in his eye.
“Good morning. And how are you this morning Karl?”
“As well as can be expected.”
“Jolly good. And you Wendy, how are you today? May I say look as radiant as ever?”
Wendy blushed. “Oh, thank you Mr. Neddy. I’m very well, thank you.”
“Splendid,” said the farmer. “You must excuse me for a moment, only I have some urgent business to attend to. I shall see you both later.”
And with that, Mr. Neddy disappeared behind the barn.

Karl looked at his feed but didn’t feel hungry. Trotting across the sty, he lay down in the sunshine and sighed, watching Wendy demurely crunching her breakfast. A few moments past, then, suddenly there was a sound; a noise that neither of the pigs had heard before. It was music, a wiry but infectious electric guitar. It had a groove. Then, a voice: “Very superstitious,” it sang, “Writing on the wall…” Karl lay confused. It continued, but Wendy was powerless. Her ears pricked up and she began to sway. She looked at Karl, now rising up on her hind legs, sashaying towards him she danced, her hips in time to the music. He was transfixed, hypnotised by this strange new ritual. Wendy jiggled around him smiling and slowly began to dance towards the sty, her eyes fixed on his. Karl followed her instinctively until the pair had vanished inside…

Later that day, Mr. Neddy walked past the pigsty to find Karl leaning over the fence, wistfully smoking a cigarette.
“Well?” asked the farmer.
“It worked.”
The farmer nodded with a hint of conceit and silently walked away.
“Wait!” said Karl. The farmer turned. “What was that music?”
“Stevie Wonder. The Talking Book L.P, 1972.”
"Well, it worked for Mrs. Neddy."