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Thursday, 2 December 2010

The toughest copy job, assorted follies - and two offers: one bound to interest you

I don't know if familiarity breeds contempt, but when it comes to writing I find it breeds inertia. It's that same old, same old feeling.

I am usually pretty quick when it comes to pouring out the purple prose. But for four weeks I have been lugubriously striving to come up with an ad for a client whose business I know extremely well. Nothing had emerged from the swamplands of my mind so yesterday, in desperation, I called the most talented person I know. He happens to be an art director who knows lots of words and usually has good ideas.

I think my subconscious must have felt insulted by this abject capitulation, because this morning I woke up with a reasonable idea. I can't say your subconscious will always come to the rescue at the last minute, but mine usually will if I feed it with enough scraps - then leave it alone to stew for a few days.

In this case, I just went back to first principles. What is the real reason people buy this? What problem does it solve? Do I know someone who has tried it and liked it? And bingo, out popped something from the oven of desperation.

My friend Steve Harrison who always gets top marks at EADIM believes that all good advertising is just problem solution, and demonstrates it very entertainingly. You can see a bit of him half way down the excruciatingly long, long thin page directmarketingcourse.com.

As someone pointed out to me the other day this still features our last course, but we're planning next year, so if you want to save £701 and pay on easy terms, let me know. End of commercial.

The paper this morning has more than the usual amount of rubbish, starting with a picture of Cameron, Beckham and Prince William, described as Three Lions. If I ate breakfast I would have thrown up. They were pretending to be talking about the bid for the World Cup, though as we all know, it was just a photo-opportunity. Cameron would turn up for the opening of an envelope, Beckham is , I suspect, genuinely concerned, and William is being pushed into the limelight. (I liked the way he said his father should be given a go. Quite right. We survived George IV. What harm can Charles III possibly do?)

Re the soccer, what amazes me is that our lot seem to be spending their time cosying up to the people who have been taking bung to fix the results. Should Cameron concentrate on the country rather than this? Maybe it's better to keep him out of the way where he can't do any harm.

The best line so far in this whole thing was some Russian thug masquerading as a prime minister saying the event shouldn't come here because of the drunkenness. Sheer magic from someone whose country has the world's worst alcohol problem.

But this was impeccable logic compared with the howl yesterday from "outspoken" Republican Senator Mike Huckabee suggesting that Wikileaks' Julian Assange be executed for treason. Er, hello, you great thicko, the guy is Australian. Is the word "outspoken" code for totally ignorant?

On the Wikileaks, a wise man said that the task of the journalist is to reveal things those in power want kept secret. Is there any sane person who doesn't know what these leaks have confirmed - that the world is run by people you wouldn't trust for minute in private life?


Richard and Gary who have been sharing our squalid basement offices are leaving, so we have room for two or three more. The location is good, north of Soho. Chloe and Carol are nice - and I'm OK if you can stand foul language after lunch. Anyhow, I travel a fair bit.

If you have anything to do with the creative side of marketing it may suit you. I think it's £600 a month for a desk plus all the bad jokes you can stand. Write to me, Drayton@draytonbird.com.


I said I had one offer that is bound to interest you, and here's why. It involves free drinks, Christmas presents, a corner of Notting Hill - and something you may well remember fondly from your childhood. More tomorrow.

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