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 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’, let me explain. Commodore James Walter Thompson was the founder of modern advertising - turning [...]

Ad Nauseum? The 12 Deadly Sins of Advertising

Unbelievably, this August marked 25 years since I started my career as a lowly graduate trainee media buyer at J.Walter Thompson.  So to celebrate this milestone, I thought I’d compile the 12 Deadly Sins of Advertising, as no matter how ‘sophisticated’ our industry has become over the years, there are some crimes that just won’t go away... 1.  Pointless Corporate Ads.  Fire up the cliché generator and pick, in any order, sweeping shots of rainforests, [...]

Lessons from the Old School

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been lucky enough to attend several incredibly interesting and diverse events - from a Marketing Society talk by Andrew Cracknell (one of the original, English, Mad Men), through to an event that showcased the very latest in marketing innovations from around the world (the ‘Seek’ event, hosted by Essence Digital). And what struck me most was this; advertising may well have turned into a ‘brave new world’ of digitised, [...]

Survival Of The Fittest? Don’t Make Me Laugh!

The horsemeat scandal and an aggressive piece by Mark Ritson in Marketing Week (Kill the Weak: It's the Marketing Way) has again highlighted exactly what’s wrong with modern business practice.  A basic lack of responsibility and morality which has enabled companies to build and abuse extraordinary levels of power. I know Ritson loves to court controversy, but this time he’s stepped over the line.  His ridiculous assertion, when we are knee deep in another breach [...]

Merry Christmas Adverts!

'Tis the season to be jolly, so this month - in the great tradition of Campaign’s ‘Private View’ – the MarketingMog has been reviewing the annual crop of retailer Christmas adverts and wondering if any themes have emerged in this depth-of-recession year… First up, John Lewis. The MarketingMog is pretty cynical about these annual schmaltz-fests from a team that seem a little too interested in their own PR, but ‘The Snowman's Journey’ is a definite improvement on last year’s ‘Seven’ inspired [...]

White Wine For The Lady…

In the wise words of Al Murray's pub landlord, "white wine for the lady, beer for the gentleman... them's the rules.  And where would we be if we didn't have rules?" (Answer: France!). Here in the UK, Molson Coors have pulled their Animée ‘lady beer’ after just one year.  Good. In last week’s Marketing, WCRS Planning Director Matt Willifer argued that Animée was a “brave launch by an admirably innovative company” (?) but suggested that [...]

RIP Orange. A Eulogy.

So yesterday, ‘Everything Everywhere’ started their about-turn on the promise that it was never going to be a customer-facing brand, by announcing the launch of “4EE”. Apparently, “it’s designed to ‘sit alongside’ Orange and T-Mobile in the cities offering 4G coverage”. To sit alongside while they work out how to phase them out, no doubt. My fellow ex-Orange colleagues and I are appalled that this is happening.  But I’m not surprised.  The Orange brand has [...]

Trust me, I’m an honest marketer

If brands were honest... Marketing magazine recently carried an interesting piece entitled ‘Face it, your consumers hate you’ which talked about rising consumer distrust of advertising and marketing.  It quoted a survey by the brand agency Promise, which found “consumers are ready to assume the worst about brands, and have fallen out of love with them.” I’m not surprised.  Back in February, I posted a blog arguing the case for a return to [...]

A Groupon Grumble. Why suppliers are missing a trick

Much has been written about the incredible success of Groupon; named by Forbes magazine as “the fastest growing company, ever”, and valued at $13bn with 83m subscribers in 43 countries. Eye-watering numbers achieved in just 3 years, for sure – although not without acres of accompanying column inches bemoaning the shoddy way Groupon treats some of its suppliers, and the shoddy way some suppliers treat their customers (without any recourse from Groupon). But putting all [...]