The overarching theme of this blog is to show that better use of the skills and creativity of the UK advertising and communications sector would benefit society as a whole as well as business.
But even I admit that, with all the creativity in the world, none of us could stop the floods which have dominated our media landscape – even if, as our austere Prime Minister said, ‘money is no object’.
However, one doesn’t get the impression that the relevant parties were communicating very effectively with each other: Read more on How a Formula One racing car designer could help repel the floods…
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…
What is it about the national debt that I am not getting?
Please forgive me for not being an economist but, when you owe loads of money, you can’t keep up with the repayments and you plunge deeper and deeper into the doo-doo, there comes a time when you go to your creditors and say:
‘Hey guys, hard as I try, I can’t pay you this money and, if we go on like this, I ain’t never going to repay it. Let’s work it out.’
Please forgive me for not being an economist but, back in the day, some Third World countries did this and, rightly, the banks who held the debt recognised the reality of the situation and wrote the money off. It was called ‘unpayable debt‘.
So who owns our national debt today? And at what point is it ‘unpayable’? Read more on National debt: who do we owe?…
So now we are here in another New Year and, in the UK, the savagery of social welfare cuts continues to slice through our society.
We have had:
06 January: ‘Soldiers, nurses and teachers hit by benefit curbs’
07 January: ‘Benefit cuts will see more children taken into care’
09 January: ‘Pensioners could face universal benefit cuts after election’
13 January: ‘Benefit cuts threaten women’s refuge services’
14 January: ‘Benefit cuts: reforms will leave disabled people ghettoised and excluded’
Happy New Year from the British Government! Read more on Benefit cuts: a call to mobilise the disabled…
Sir Nicholas Hytner, has directed ‘The History Boys’, ‘Warhorse’, ‘One Man Two Guv’nors’ and more at the National Theatre . He understands how people think and act. In a recent TV profile, he said this about acting:
‘The ones who make it are the ones who know how little they know.’
Past and present colleagues will read this and smile for, in business and in life, the following has been a recurring mantra of mine:
‘You know what you know. You know what you don’t know. But what if you don’t know what you don’t know?’
Read more on When you don’t know what you don’t know…
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?…
If, as discussed last week, the Eurozone is a mish-mash of politics and economics, then the banking crisis is even more of a hot potato.
On the one hand, the word ‘bank’ comes fraught with vitriol. On the other, we seem prepared to alienate anyone to save our precious ‘financial services’ industry. How can financial services be good but banks bad? Aren’t banks financial services? To make things more complicated, are all banks bad or just some of them?
Again brutal simplicity of thought is required. Indeed, such is the mess the banks have caused, we need innovation. We must think the unthinkable. We must be creative. Read more on A creative insight into the Banking crisis…
It is legitimate to discuss political parties as brands. After three weeks of party Conferences, the Liberal Democrats, Labour and Conservative parties have shown the world their wares and their performance has been open to debate (sic).
I understand the Party conferences were so overcome by lobbyists and commercial interests that, last week, the Prime Minister was talking to a half-empty hall. Open debate indeed.
Surely the management of the economy, and the good of the people, is fundamentally important to marketing and the marketing services businesses? In a strong economy, consumers spend more money and hence oil the wheels of the economy, which encourages people to spend more. One follows the other. Everybody is better off. Read more on Catch-22 of a rotten political system…
Two weeks ago, I argued that 2010 has been a world-changing year.
Now, by ‘crowning’ Mark Zuckerberg Person of the Year, I am pleased to report that Time magazine appears to agree with me. How opinion forming is that? “This honour is awarded to the figure deemed to have had the most influence on world events that year – not necessarily in a positive way. Both Hitler and Stalin have won in the past”.
Read more on Social Media 2010 Legacy 3 – Work and Play…
I already had Transparency and Privacy down as a discussion point but the recent torrent of media comment about Wikileaks has left me completely out of my depth.
The implications are just so immense.
After all, how can the following Wikileak, plucked at random from the ‘Enemy Action’ file of 130,781 documents out of the total 466,743 documents in ‘Iran & Afghan War
Logs Explorer’, make any sense to a simple soul like me?
“KAF-1BDE -S3 REPORTS: SUMMIT 09 B CO ELEMENT SALUTE REPORT AS FOLLOWS: S- 3-4 PAX, A- SMALL ARMS FIRE, L-IVO 42 SWB 3910 1617, U-UNK, T-0415Z, E-AK-47. 0448Z ENEMY ELEMENTS BROKEN CONTACT. 0442Z AIR QRF PREPOSITIONED TO ORGUN-E. 0550Z UPDATE SUMMIT 09 B CO ELEMENT HAS REGAINED CONTACT. SALUTE REPORT AS FOLLOWS: S-3-4 PAX, A-SMALL ARMS FIRE, L-IVO 42 SWB 3902 1627, U-UNK, T-0540Z, E-AK-47. 0620Z UNIT IS NO LONGER IN CONTACT. REPORTING INDICATES POSSIBLY 3X SUSPECTED ACM''S WERE KIA.” Read more on Social Media 2010 Legacy 2 – Privacy and Transparency…