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Monday, 1 March 2010

How would you like a new orgasmic illuminator?

They’re on sale round the corner. Really. I’m not kidding.

You probably thought all agitated, thinking I had sunk to flogging something you get in porn shops, didn't you?

But there’s a place round the corner from me on the Kings Road in Chelsea where they sell overpriced cosmetics, and that’s what it is. I don't know in what way it's better than the old orgasmic illuminator I've been using, but it made me think about the unfairness of life. To be honest, I don't care if my orgasms light up – I’m quite happy however they arrive - but some industries, like cosmetics get away with the most outrageous promises, and others can’t even tell the truth.

For instance the other day someone either died or was seriously injured (can’t remember which) as a result of some treatment they got from one of those Chinese herbal medicine places that have sprung up like toadstools all over the country.

However, the prosecution collapsed because there are no rules for these places. Why? If a doctor did anything like that he’d be in immediate trouble. Is there no law against fraud? Is there something special about these wily rogues that gives them immunity. Or is it, as I suspect, yet another case of one PC rule for all of us and another for anyone not actually born here?

I spend a lot of time writing stuff in the financial field, and you can’t get away with anything even vaguely suspect because of the ogre known as Compliance. Practically all large organisations have their Compliance departments, pullulating pools of negativism staffed by petty bureaucrats whose main task is to justify their existence.

They drive the good people in the marketing departments crazy. It generally takes far longer to get agreement from “compliance” than to write the copy and create the layout. Last year we did a job where two large organisations were doing a joint promotion. It never ran because after a month or two of wrangling the compliance departments couldn’t agree. We're doing one now that took me less than a day to write and has taken up weeks with silly questions.

In Shanghai they told me the Chinese compliance rules are very simple. “Work hard today or tomorrow there will be no work.”One explanation why their economy is growing and ours is shrinking.

There is no compliance on the internet, on which the messages never cease to amaze me. The latest scam is one that says the tax people have got a refund for you. Chance’d be a fine thing. My favourite message today is one that reads "this video from Tellman kicked me in the hiney!" Clearly aimed at the intellectual wing of the business fraternity. Any fool who falls for that deserves to get what's coming.

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