About Sam Bridger

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So far Sam Bridger has created 65 blog entries.

The inconvenient truths

I recently watched a programme where a group of obese people shared their stories and sought to understand each other’s points of view whilst staying together in a house.  Amongst the group was a disruptive ‘body positive’ woman who literally closed her ears to the painful truths the group shared.  Not surprisingly, her business model was based on denying the significant medical evidence that obesity had a detrimental effect on health. Also not surprisingly, [...]

Authentic brand purpose? You bet it is

Gillette launched their new ‘The Best a Man Can be’ campaign yesterday and it’s brave and brilliant. Some have criticised the marketing wisdom of this and the overt display of ‘brand purpose’. It’s fair to say that brand purpose has been used and abused in recent years (see Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner fiasco for just one terrible example), but here it’s completely appropriate.  Ads for male grooming products have traditionally celebrated a mild form of toxic masculinity and sexism.  Something [...]

Wunderman Thompson? Am Really Wundering Why…

WPP's recent decision to merge the J.Walter Thompson brand into Wunderman, to create Wunderman Thompson, has prompted much consternation in the ad community – especially amongst alumni like me.  Discarding such amazing brand heritage is astonishing, particularly when that brand is synonymous with the invention of advertising, and doubly so when it's only four years since they reversed a previous decision to ditch the full name for the more ‘modern-sounding’ JWT, having realised it was [...]

M&S. The writing’s on the wall

It’s rare that I write a follow-up piece to a blog, but this one seems to be writing itself.  The willful deafness of M&S is a business-failure case study in the making. Back in July, I wrote a piece about how M&S were committing the cardinal sin of business, which is to ignore the views of their customers. It clearly touched a nerve, proving to be one of my most popular pieces and receiving [...]

Diversity + Inclusivity = Profit

Ah, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.  Unbelievably, it’s autumn already.  Always a funny time of year – the leaves may be going brown and the nights drawing in, but it’s also a time of new starts – back to school with a shiny new pencil case and a renewed enthusiasm. For much of this year, I’ve been recharging my mental batteries by taking some time out from the hurly burly of [...]

Time for a more level playing field

Last week, I went along to an agency-hosted panel discussion, which posed the provocative question, ‘Is the business of sport business as usual?’.  The event had a great line-up and was really well attended, but it's fair to say it didn’t go quite the way the agency had hoped.  A slightly unclear agenda was compounded by two avoidable errors; - the inclusion of a 'token woman' on the panel. This means absolutely no disrespect [...]

Can M&S turn things around? Only if they start listening

Poor old Marks & Sparks.  Rarely out of the news, although these days it’s more often gloom and doom in the business pages than a glowing piece in the fashion supplements. Their latest set of ‘disappointing’ results, which show food sales also starting to tank, triggered a further slew of premature obituaries.  In Marketing Week, Mark Ritson bases a piece on brand equity on M&S’s predicament.  He sounds the death knell, concluding that any [...]

Think the ‘Pink Princess’ culture is just harmless fun?

What do you see when you look at the picture above? (Let’s ignore the lipstick and blusher for a moment).  Sweet little girls in dress-up outfits?  Or the dangers represented by early gender stereotyping?  Sadly, there’s growing evidence that it should be more the latter than the former. It was recently reported that girls as young as six think that 'brilliance' is a male trait and that pay inequality starts in the pocket money years.  [...]

Kevin Roberts – Don’t Hate The Player, Hate The Game

So Publicis Groupe have suspended Saatchi’s chairman for claiming that the talented women who work in his agency reach a certain point in their careers when they actively turn down a promotion, as they “don't want to manage (the) business and people, (they) want to keep doing the work." Hmmm. In the interview, he also spoke about how ‘millennials’ (gah) want careers based on creativity and collaboration, and how the old rules of hierarchy and [...]

Live life online? How ‘unconcerned’ are you?

I recently posted a blog about how poor digital marketing practice risks damaging our industry.  With new legislation coming down the pipe, and both Apple and Microsoft recently facing down the US Government over data access, data privacy and protection is certainly a hot topic. At a recent, excellent, TMW Influence session, the panel explored the marketing challenge of Privacy vs. Personalisation, and some of the contradictions and confusions affecting both marketers and consumers. In 2012, [...]