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Friday, 2 January 2009

New Year Buffoonery

While the rest of you were no doubt making pious New Year resolutions, I was out doing what I do best: making a fool of myself.

(In case you're wondering, the picture being so blurred, I'm the one on the left. The one on the right, with the heavy beard, is not really my new best friend. It was a fancy dress party.)

Talking about fools, the recession has not quenched their enthusiasm in the wacky world of marketing.

A few months ago some halfwits in a meeting (probably devoted to brand values) decided it would be a really neat idea to take a venerable insurance firm that's been around for 211 years and change its name to something that sounds like a dodgy Swiss health tonic.

And so the country is plastered with hoardings and the television channels replete with commercials telling us that Norwich Union is about to become Aviva, as if anyone gives a shit. Nice one, boys. Are you friends with the idiots who decided to call the Royal Mail "Consignia"?

For that matter, does anyone (except the shareholders who subsidise this nonsense) give a shit about the ads that a bank called Santander is running saying "We are stronger. We are closer. We are Santander." These ads feature Lewis Hamilton, the well-known boy racer and financial wizard. They are what David Ogilvy called "flatulent puffery", and I call "kissing the chairman's fat posterior in public".

Talking of which, alas, I may never see the sequel I really recommend - "We are marooned so far up our own arse it will take an SAS search party to find us." However, as Santander has been buying lame British banks like there's no tomorrow, I have high hopes for a few announcements saying something like, "Er, we have financial indigestion and maybe we shouldn't have bought that lot of deadbeat tossers."

But enough of this badinage. Here is the 100% bad taste joke I promised before Christmas.

Vicar (checking into hotel): I hope the porn channel in my room is disabled."

Receptionist: "No, it's normal, you fucking pervert."

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