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Beware, in this digital age, of the wrath of the people

WRATH:
1. strong, stern, or fierce anger; deeply resentful indignation; ire.
2. vengeance or punishment as the consequence of anger.

Snatching some early summer sun in Greece, I have been reading John Steinbeck’s seminal American novel, The Grapes of Wrath.

For those who do not know, it is the story of an agricultural 1930s American family – the Joads – who are driven from Oklahoma to California in search of work. As the Joads strive to survive, the book tracks their lives, and their world, disintegrating into chaos and despair.

Published in 1939, the people and the scenes in The Grapes of Wrath are, in every way, a world apart from modern Britain.

Or are they? Read more on Beware, in this digital age, of the wrath of the people…

Why things can only get worse in 2014

The dawn of a New Year is a looking forward to what is to come and for reflection, a time for taking stock.

There are two things we know will happen during 2014:

First, a relentless, inexorable, incessant and, I hope, respectful stream of ‘content’ will mark the centenary of the First World War. For me, with luck, this will include the development of film script I have written with WW1 themes – but Harvey Weinstein hasn’t called me yet and we are running out of time.

And we know that, with every day that passes, the nearer we are to the next General Election in May 2015. And the more our politicians will be looking to score points against each other.

We know this because it has started already. Read more on Why things can only get worse in 2014…

Branding: understanding the importance of trust

When I joined the advertising business, there was a new buzzword called ‘marketing’. Few knew what it meant. At Ogilvy & Mather, where my career was born, we had a guy – yes, one person in the whole agency – whose job was to explain this new concept to our clients.

Read more on Branding: understanding the importance of trust…

Do we face the apocalypse: or are we in it?

Last week, as part of a creative project with First World War themes, I was privileged to meet the writer Nicholas Mosley.

Before we met, I researched Mosley’s fascinating  life. I did not have time to read his eighteen novels, but I could read some autobiographical work, including his relaxed account of the incident which won him the MIlitary Cross in the Second World War. It seemed to be more force of circumstance than a considered act of bravery. Mosely said:

Read more on Do we face the apocalypse: or are we in it?…

Why can’t companies have ‘social’ as well as ‘limited’ liability?

It does get lonely, this blogging business.

My career has been in the much more collaborative world of marketing and advertising, where I am used to researching opinion, sharing knowledge, knocking around ideas, listening to other people’s thoughts and making innovative judgements based on the team view.

The over-arching theme of all my posts is that the talent and creativity in marketing and advertising could be better used for the benefit of society as a whole, rather than restricted to gorillas selling chocolate and meerkats insurance.

Thus it is frustrating, by definition of the medium, to be forced to progress, all on one’s own, from ‘insight’ to ‘strategy’ to ‘execution’ – and then find one is judged at the executional rather than strategic level (often by people who are even more sad and lonely than you are). Read more on Why can’t companies have ‘social’ as well as ‘limited’ liability?…

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