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Saturday, 20 September 2008

"If their brains were gunpowder they couldn't blow their noses"

As a lover of the well-turned phrase, I've always liked that one, but I'm just re-reading P. G. Wodehouse and being reminded just how funny he is.

He summed up one character's I. Q. thus: "Had his brain been constructed of silk, he would have been hard put to it to supply sufficient material to supply a canary with a pair of cami-knickers."

That being the case, the chap in question - one Archibald Mulliner - would probably been ideally suited as a senior marketing man in one of our dwindling number of banks.

This occurred to me when I saw, a few minutes ago, a commercial touting the mortgages offered by one of these lumbering behemoths - Natwest, to be exact. Is it possible that any of those responsible have their heads so firmly jammed up their arses that they don't know that people in this country are not exactly gagging for mortgages, or indeed anything else the banks have to offer.

Of course their advertising agency will a) be happy to make the money, and b) too idle or stupid to give them good advice; but don't they know that when you have demonstrated to all and sundry in the most spectacular fashion possible that you couldn't run a brothel on a troop train the wise course is to keep quiet until everyone's forgotten. God, what idiots.

Incidentally, a few years ago when I was handling American Express the head of their bank commented to me that he had never met so many stupid people as he found at the top of the U.K. banks.

And now that we're on the subject, I remember asking Robert Heller over lunch one day why he thought the banks were so useless at marketing. He said they should have stuck to what they were supposed to do - managing money. But of course the sad bastards can't even do that properly.

Mind you, they're all still up to their dirty tricks. Barclay's just ripped off one of my flastmates £44 for being £8 over her limit. They really have mastered the art of negative PR, haven't they? The way they behave their reputations must be at about the same level as paedophiles'. But more stupid.

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