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 [...]

Sex only sells sex. Let’s hope the tide is turning in Cannes

Many years ago, I was driving through Rome, admiring the scenery, when I was suddenly confronted by the enormous billboard image of a naked, reclining woman. Perched proudly on her tanned bottom was… Let’s guess, shall we?  Some sunscreen?  Perfume, maybe?  An anti-cellulite gadget?   No.  A packet of pasta. I was a bit taken aback by the level of nudity on a 48 sheet, but more astonished that her bum was deemed to be [...]

Marketing’s not just dumbed down, it’s in need of some tough love

Great minds think alike. Mark Ritson’s article decrying the dumbing down of our discipline arrived in my inbox just as I was writing this piece. He’s absolutely right. The basics of good marketing practice haven’t changed despite the industry’s current obsession with the Emperor’s New Clothes, or all-that-is-digital. His recent piece on the ‘death’ of the sales funnel, is a prime example, and something I’ve been saying for a while now. It [...]

PR and Marketing. Time to Bury the Hatchet.

The November issue of Business MK featured a piece by the owner of a PR firm which was entitled “Good Cop, Bad Cop: Why PR and Marketing Must be Kept Distinct”.  It so exasperated me, I immediately wrote this reply to the paper… Painting two complementary disciplines of the communications industry as polar opposites is at best, utter nonsense, and at worst, damaging to the industry as a whole. The writer seemed so rooted in [...]

By | 2017-01-04T19:51:29+00:00 November 25th, 2014|Marketing Strategy, Advertising|0 Comments

Good News! There Are Only 3 Golden Rules for Pitching*

* But both sides must follow them... I was writing a follow-up to my Top Tips for Chemistry Meetings piece, talking to agency directors about New Business and their frustrations with the pitch process, when, in a spooky bit of timing, up popped a couple of client/agency surveys from the intermediary FindGood and ISBA. Clearly this topic remains high on everyone’s agenda (although I do agree with some of the the IPA's criticism of the [...]

RIP Orange, We Loved You. A Eulogy.

The future was bright... Now that EE have admitted they are 'phasing out' the Orange brand, I thought I'd repost this blog written in September 2012 - when EE were carefully denying any such plans. It's just unbelievably sad that corporate 'squabbles' and egos led to the demise of one of the most amazing, customer centric brands of the 20th century.... (Original Post 12/09/12). So yesterday, ‘Everything Everywhere’ started their about-turn on the [...]

What’s In A Name? Quite A Lot When That Name Is J. Walter Thompson…

There was a little bit of agency news this week that made me very, very happy.  Nine years after they dropped it, JWT is reinstating the name J. Walter Thompson. It’s been announced to mark the agency’s 150 year anniversary - the perfect time to celebrate the uniqueness of this once amazing agency. To those saying ‘so what? It’s just a name’, please let me enlighten you.  Mr (later Commodore) James Walter [...]

It’s not the weather, it’s not the ads. It’s the customer experience.

So here we are again.  Time for the annual ‘retailers post disappointing Xmas trading results’ headlines.  This year, I’m not looking at the correlation between their results and their ad campaigns, I’m having a think about the relationship between their results and the in-store experience. With retail sales overall up 5.3%, and some brands delivering up to 20-30% growth online, it shows just how badly the poor performers have done. Over at M&S (down 2.1%), [...]

Time to Rethink the Click Thru?

I recently attended a great ‘Mobile Marketing Breakfast Club’ hosted by my friends at Yodel Mobile, where we talked about the impact of Dual Screening (using a tablet or mobile to do something else whilst watching TV) and Second Screening (using a tablet or mobile to engage with the TV programme) and the fact that almost half of 18-34 year olds now say their mobile is their ‘most important’ screen (above laptops, tablets and TVs).   [...]