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As H.L Mencken put it:  “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” The widespread belief that “non-working” marketing expenditure should be sacrificed of the for good of “working” marketing expenditure is just such an answer, wrong. It perpetuates an elementary misunderstanding of how advertising works. Most importantly, I […]

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Adweek recently reported that General Millsis one of the latest advertisers to be subject to the outcries of the ad industry for their poor pitch practices. (Their latest pitch process, reportedly included 120 day payment terms for an unspecified number of brands, an unspecified length of contract and the dubious treatment of agencies’ intellectual property […]

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Many pitches have been postponed to later this year, so we can expect a bubble in the new business market. How will you ensure that the best agencies will accept your invitation to pitch? Intuition would tell you that the end of this year will be a feeding frenzy for agencies when all the pitches […]

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Einstein once sagely noted, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” As obvious as that might seem it is perhaps not so obvious to the marketing and advertising worlds, which appear to continue repeating their aggressive/defensive behaviour when they both wish for different and better […]

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My son is coming to the end of year five in his primary school, but like many in his year group he has already finished the year six curriculum. As a parent governor in the school I know the teachers quite well, so I asked my son’s teacher: “Why does the school push them so […]

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There’s a quote from Mark Twain at the beginning of the movie The Big Short that caught my attention yesterday. “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble; it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” Such profound insights aren’t uncommon with Twain (and I particularly favour his outlook on […]

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Without the help of Google, I have self-diagnosed a serious condition I describe as “simplicity fatigue”. More accurately perhaps, it could be described as the utter exhaustion caused by a phobia of lazy thinking. I suffer daily when I open links to the marketing and advertising press websites only to find lazy, binary and often […]

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There is an inextricable correlation between an ad agency’s talent and the value the agency can create for their clients. It’s the primary reason many of the older agencies had the names of their founders above the door or recognized by their initials. These figureheads like Bernbach, Ogilvy and Burnett were not just trying to […]

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Having had a taste of working from home full time, many office workers – clients and their agencies alike – are unsurprisingly reluctant to go back to the 5 day-week commute. Management have had little choice but to trust their employees and those of their agencies to do their work unsupervised – with little evidence […]

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There was a time when it was enough to have a reasonable non-vocational degree from a reasonable university to make it in the advertising business – because you could learn the rest on the job. You’d learn about advertising strategies and ways of working, you’d learn about marketing, and you’d pick the rest up through […]