Tag Archives: human behaviour

Employment Support Allowance (ESA) disgrace

Writing these blog posts, it is impossible to predict who will read them or where they might lead.

Thus it is a pleasant surprise that my most retweeted and liked post has been Disability Living Allowance (DLA) Disgrace - especially as I would be the first to admit that I am no expert in the murky confusion of the social security market.

I say a ‘pleasant surprise’ because the interest generated by this post would seem to support my overarching thesis – specifically that the understanding of human behaviour and creativity of our world-beating advertising agencies could be better employed to improve society as a whole.

Please park this thought while I tell you that it is a golden rule of marketing that any money spent on promoting a product or service must, if nothing else, generate more income than the cost of creating and transmitting it.  Read more on Employment Support Allowance (ESA) disgrace…

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…

What Sir Alex Ferguson could learn from David Ogilvy

Who am I to add to the extraordinary volume of news articles about the sacking of David Moyes as manager of the Manchester United football team? On the Telegraph website alone there have been over 60 articles on this subject in the four days 22-24 April.

David Moyes predecessor, Sir Alex Ferguson, is universally acknowledged to have been a master of his craft.

However, as someone who is not ‘a football man’, my abiding image of Sir Alex Ferguson is of him, after a game, gobbing a huge wad of chewing gum onto the revered Old Trafford turf before strutting into a post-match interview to complain about the ref. Couth? Not. Read more on What Sir Alex Ferguson could learn from David Ogilvy…

How people like Maria Miller compound their own problems

One of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me was a teacher at my children’s school. On discussing their potential careers, he told me:

‘Your children don’t have to worry about their career choices, Hugh. They’ll be fine. They’ve got your values.’

I replied that, while I appreciated him telling me this, the difficulty my children would face would be how to identify the contrasting values of other people they might come across in the big, wide world.

In my career, I have been unfortunate enough to encounter people with rather a warped view, shall we say, of the difference between right and wrong.  Read more on How people like Maria Miller compound their own problems…

If you can whistle, you’re not tone deaf

My late father’s only sister, my Aunt Hetty, died last month.

My earliest memories of her are of Kenya and a different world. For the first 17 years of my life, ‘home’ was Hong Kong where I was born. From the age of nine, I was sent away from home to a godforsaken Roman Catholic boarding school near a maggot factory in Nottinghamshire. Not the happiest days of my life. In fact, the most miserable.

One summer, my father announced that rather than fly straight from Hong Kong to school in England, he had arranged for me to stop off in Kenya on the way. As you do. I was fifteen. Read more on If you can whistle, you’re not tone deaf…

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…

A master class in the art of chairing a meeting

Lord Kingsdown died last month. He was best known as Chairman of the NatWest and then Governor of the Bank of England. I knew him as Robin Leigh-Pemberton and through playing cricket on the private ground at his estate in Kent.

They were happy days and a throwback in time.

Driving into the estate, and through a field to park in the long grass surrounding the ground; changing in the musty warmth of the ‘pavilion’ which, with no running water, was not much more than a shed; ambling slowly to the wicket to inspect the pitch; buffet lunch washed down with pints of freshly delivered Shepherd Neame (in the garage); and all in an air of genteel civility and the polite behaviour that Robin himself personified. Read more on A master class in the art of chairing a meeting…

The difference between a product and a service

In my last post, I shared my experience of pouring hundreds of cans of beer down the drain in Vietnam due the high level of care Heineken take to ensure that every can of their lager meets their strict quality standards.

I mentioned several more of my favourite brands that, presumably, are managed in the same way: Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, Weetabix, Marmite, Heinz Baked Beans, Guinness, Laphroaig.

I am sure you have your favourites too.

Brands like this are known in the trade as Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) – and the CV of anyone who is anyone in marketing is strengthened by FMCG experience. Read more on The difference between a product and a service…

Household energy: what gas and electricity suppliers must learn from the oil companies

Here we are again.

Great Britain, I can report, has descended to the yaboo politics of yesteryear. Inept career politicians, none of whom have ever managed a business, biff-baff each other with naïve and unrealistic ‘policies’ to the detriment of us all – especially the old and needy.

Biff. Last week the Conservative-led Coalition government privatised the Royal Mail, a move which runs the risk of devastating rural communities and which, with a bit of forethought, was completely unnecessary.

Read more on Household energy: what gas and electricity suppliers must learn from the oil companies…

Go Home vans: how the UK Government ignored the most basic law of advertising

A Different Hat

The Rt Hon Theresa May, Secretary of State for the Home Office has announced that she wishes to create a ‘hostile environment‘ for illegal migrants to Britain. But early attempts to do this run the risk of alienating those of us who have every right to be here.

In July, the Home Office, led by Ms May, launched an advertising campaign against illegal immigrants to the UK. The chosen message was as follows: Read more on Go Home vans: how the UK Government ignored the most basic law of advertising…

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