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Thursday, October 27, 2005 

He's on a roll!

You want to see a senior marketer go ballistic on a grey Thursday morning in Johannesburg? Dare to criticize the copy of the new ad campaign he is proposing. Why the peanut asked me for my opinion in the first place is beyond me, because it seems he did not want it anyway. The funniest thing about giving him my perspective is that he felt the need to vehemently defend his and force it down my throat as if I had agreed to perform fellatio. (Spare me the downright embarrassment!) . Most people I know, simply do not appreciate an opinion radically different to their own. I don’t, at least not when the option to disagree with me is not an option at all. Or perhaps it had to do with the questions I asked, “Is that not misleading to the consumer?” What exactly do you mean by the phrase… “, “Can you substantiate that claim?” There is simply no real integrity left in the marketing industry anymore. Greed has taken care of that. Ok… perhaps that is a sweeping generalisation, if ever there was one, but I am using it in the context of this morning’s incident. The ability to utter words or use a keyboard to type words on a computer screen does not make one intelligent. Hell, my 5 year old niece can do that too, and although her ideas can put a smile on my face, they still remain nothing more than the cute little notions of a 5 year old. Capice!? If our thoughts and opinions cannot hold up to a little criticism, then how sound was the reasoning behind it in the first place? Of course; I am the biggest hypocrite of them all. When it comes to this profession, I can and I will... LIE. I too succumb to the pressures of big business. Increase market share, increase volume share, increase net revenue, increase gross margin, increase, increase, fucking increase! I know what it is like to bend the rules, to reserve the use of certain words and images and play on their ambiguity when the occasion calls for it. I know how to navigate the ether between right and and wrong and how to stay just inside the boundaries. However, I'd like to think that I am not entirely without a backbone; that I have managed to evolve beyond the single-celled amoeba. When something is blatantly misleading and used entirely out of context, I would like to believe that there is enough integrity and honesty left in me to do the right thing. I do not mince my words, and regardless of what is going on in behind the scenes, there is no excuse for lies and poor execution. I am on a bridge-burning spree it seems. I have a few torches left in the bottom drawer of my desk, if you’d care to join me. I feel like torching the playground!

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