The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

My Name’s Robert: Come In My Cupboard And Meet My Skeletons.
January 12, 2007, 9:53 am
Filed under: Comment

 + Bed bedroom closet + Thanks!

OK … OK … so I can’t delay it any longer, it’s time to lose all my credibility [what there was of it] and answer the questions I’ve been set.

For those who don’t know what I am talking about, may I suggest you click here

Anyway, before I commit career suicide, I‘d like to give special mention to both Rob Mortimer and Northern Planner for encouraging people NOT to ask questions – well, not to ask me any more than 10 questions so that the evil ‘gems’ that had already been posted stood a greater chance of having to be answered. You clever, vicious bastards.

I have to say that my stupid ‘offer’ was rather popular as according to my blog data, it achieved one of the highest page impressions I’ve ever had … however unfortunately [or fortunately: depending on whose ‘side’ you’re on] it would seem Rob and Northern’s influence is very powerful, because despite me begging for questions, the actual number put forward remained low.

Finally, I’d also like to stop the mummers of me being a ‘cheat’! 

OK, so I was tagged by 4 people [late entry being Luca] which by ‘tagging rules’ means I should post 20 pieces of information about myself – however by ‘evolving’ [ahem] the whole concept [not to mention the fact the people I nominated have basically ignored my requests for more info] I am going to stick with only answering 10 questions and if you don’t like it, you can stick it up your arse and smoke it! [See, the stress of this has driven me bonkers!]

Alright, lets get on with it and look at how many questions actually ‘got through’ the Question Police.

1. How much do you earn? 

2. If you could say one thing to Andy then erase his memory so he won’t kill you, what would it be?

3. What is the most wrong you have ever been about a campaign/planning?

4. Back in 1996, did you sleep with Amber?

5. What is the worst mistake you have ever made in a pitch?

6. Have ever had sex in our office?

7. What I’d like to know is whether you have ever cheated on a girlfriend/wife?

8. Just in case, have you ever fancied a client?

9. Who is the worst boss/co worker you’ve ever had, why did you hate them and at what agency?

10. What single event from your working life are you most disgusted with yourself about?

11. Which client have you hated dealing with the most; both as an organisation and as an individual?

12. What do you love/hate/miss/enjoy the most about your life including what you are most proud and disgusted about achieving?

Now even though I once only got 2% in a maths test, I count TWELVE questions which means [Thank The Lord] I can ignore 2 of them. 

After some consideration, I am going to ‘pass’ on number 1 [Sorry Billy, but I do admire your style] … as well as give a wide berth to number 12 – mainly because there’s a nasty chance I might be ending up working with them again! Eek!

OK … here we go … lets enter the darkest, ugliest pits of my mind and give you voyeuristic gits your fix. [In some areas, I have purposely chosen to NOT highlight names, clients or agencies for reasons of taste /tact / potential legal ramifications]

1. If you could say one thing to Andy then erase his memory before he kills you, what would it be?

I slept with his sister. [He actually knows about this but quickly consigned it to the deepest, darkest part of his mind so that he wouldn’t murder me]

2. What is the most wrong you have ever been about a campaign/planning?

We pitched for SINGER Sewing Machines – a famous brand that was seeing huge sales decline over the last few years – and their newly appointed Marketing Director [a very funky and ambitious individual] mandated we had to come back with something fresh, interesting and differentiated from the category.

So after weeks of going through data and research [as well as quite a few ’tissue meetings’ with the client] we decided upon a rather pragmatic strategy of targeting the Transsexual / Gay & Lesbian Community. [The line was ‘Makes Clothes Fit For A Queen’]

Zoom forward a few weeks to the day of the pitch.

As we walk in, the first thing we are told is that the Marketing Director is ‘no more’.


Obviously that worried us but we were reassured the company backed the process and was very interested to hear/see what we had come up with.

Within seconds of starting the meeting, I knew we were doomed.

Their committee were all about 100 years old and still living in Victorian times [they thought my Frank Sidebottom T-shirt was a characature of the famous ukulele playing George Formby] so as we hurtled towards the unveiling of our grand strategy, I was crapping my pants in fear!

To cut a short story even shorter, the moment we told them who we felt could unlock their sales potential, they went into a blind fury and ordered us to leave …  shouting that we didn’t understand them, their consumer, their heritage or their values.  

To be fair, they were probably right … but it all made sense at the time.  [PS: Because we had been chucked out before we were able to show them any of the work … the creative who did the campaign went on for weeks that he could have saved the pitch if he’d been allowed to show some of the ads. Fool!]

3. Back in 1996, did you sleep with Amber?

Yes. Twice.

4. What is the worst mistake you have ever made in a pitch?

I was 22 … young, eager and about to meet my first seriously important potential client.

The Marketing Head of a major car manufacturer was doing a ‘morale tour’ of the UK and he said it would be better if I met him at one of the big dealerships he was visiting early in the morning.

Despite it being quite a distance, I got to the location with abit of time to spare … however, because it was early, I couldn’t get in via the main doors so walked around the back of the complex. 

As I turned the corner, I saw one of their guard dogs whining to be let in [no doubt to get warm as it was bloody freezing] so being a nice man, I opened the door for him and in he trotted.

Anyway, I met the client and he led me into a side office where we then talked about the campaign I/we wanted him to buy.

A few minutes later, we heard tremendous noises coming from an office down the hall and while I pressed on with the presentation, my potential client [not a man to mess with] shouted out for someone to give him an explanation as to what was going on.

In walks this weedy looking bloke who looked seriously ruffled.

“WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING OUT THERE?” asked the Marketing head [in a tone-of-voice that implied the wrong answer would result in dismissal]

“Errrrrm …” the young man replies, “… some ferocious dog has got in the office and is ripping up all our client files.”

It was at that exact moment that I looked around for a gun to shoot myself with.  I just knew it had to be the dog I had let in earlier … and so when the Marketing Director demanded to know how some dog had got into the premises, I had to come clean [if only for the fact I’d probably been caught on CCTV] and rather unsurprisingly, I was ‘advised’ to leave and never come back.

Thank God my boss thought it was all so ridiculous [till the invoice came for damages] he let me off with nothing more than a stern bollocking [which didn’t bother me as I’d had alot of those].

Oh, and then there was the time Andy replaced a laptop I was taking to a client meeting [this is back in the days when a laptop was a seriously rare piece of kit] with his sisters ‘My Petite Typewriter’ and a couple of books.

I can still see it now … opening the bag and instead of seeing a bulky laptop, there’s a bright blue and yellow typewriter in its place. I managed to bluff the meeting [obviously without the typewriter] but I went fucking mental when I got back to the agency.

5. Have ever had sex in our office?

Not in our office, but I have in other agencies. Let me clarify that. I have had the odd bit of ‘sex’ but only in offices of agencies I was working with at the time.

6. What I’d like to know is whether you have ever cheated on a girlfriend/wife?


7. Just in case, have you ever fancied a client?

Abso-bloody-lutely.  Who?  Quite a few actually, haha!

8. Who is the worst boss/co worker you’ve ever had, why did you hate them and at what agency?

It’s not an agency situation …. but without doubt, it’s the worst boss I’ve ever had.

Years ago, I was a session guitarist and was asked to play on the next single of one-hit-wonder ‘Jennifer Rush [The Power Of Love] 

Within seconds of me starting to play, she screamed through the talkback, that I was overwhelming her vocals. 

I pointed out I was actually doing the guitar solo, but she’d already made her mind up she hated me because within a few seconds – the studio door burst open, a hot cup of tea was thrown over me and one of my guitars was kicked over.

I naturally went abit mental and asked what the fuck was going on – to which she stormed out, only to be replaced by her manager who insisted I leave [for humiliating the star] and not expect payment.

To this day – if I ever hear anything from that bitch [which, lets be honest, is not very often] I tense up and start grinding my teeth.

Interms of agencyland … worst place I ever worked was PRINCIPALS in Australia. 

It wasn’t that they were a bad agency [infact they were/are very highly regarded] it’s just they were filled with conservative [and a couple of no-right-to-be arrogant] people who wanted to do conservative work for conservative clients using conservative channels. 

Oh, and I did get rather ‘famous’ [read: infamous] for sending out an email questioning the moral compass of an ex-CEO of mine who had happily sat back and watched good, decent people be retrenched while he was [allegedly] ripping off the company for hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. 

The email came to his attention – but because what I had written was true [it had many accusations of bad practice] … and he’d just started a new job … he quite sensibly decided to let it all go away. [My Dad would have been proud but it was abit hairy for a while and I did go and see a libel lawyer – which one of my clients paid for because they knew I was in the right!]

9. What single event from your working life are you most disgusted with yourself about?

OK this is absolutely disgraceful … and I should point out that I was a passive participant as well as very young and very new to the industry.

Basically I went with an AD and a Creative [who will definitely remain nameless] to a meeting where we new the work we were about to present was going to be right-royally trashed.  What made it worse was that we knew it deserved to be trashed because we had buggered about for the week rather than get on with what we had to do.

As we were rather early, we sat outside the clients offices and planned our ‘argument’ for why the creative wasn’t going to be ‘quite right’ when someone mentioned how bollocked we were going to get. [He was right, this was like the 5th round of creative – and because they were horrible and kept changing their minds – our passion for them was growing weaker by the minute]

Anyway, just like those ‘Agony Aunt’ letters where someone say’s they went from talking to their partners brother/sister to screwing them [and they don’t know how it happened] … I found myself in a phonebox [this is before mobiles] listening to one of my colleagues put on an Irish accent [!?], claiming there was a bomb in the clients office. In seconds we heard an alarm go off and them saw hundreds of people streaming out of the building.

Of course the meeting got postponed [they were running out as we ‘pretended’ to be walking in] … and whilst it meant we got another week to make amends for the work we’d not done [which they still didn’t like] we all felt unbelievable guilt and disgust and vowed to never mention this terrible, dark, outrageous act again.

Despite this being almost 20 years ago, the thought of it still makes me feel sick and while I’ve not spoken to the other guys involved for at least a decade, I know they will feel the same. Infact, both of them left advertising soon after the ‘event’ and went to work in totally different industries. I’m not surprised … and I am just devastated that I didn’t put a stop to their daft idea when I had the chance. Sure, no one got hurt … but it was a bloody terrible thing to do.

10. What do you love/hate/miss/enjoy the most about your life including what you are most proud and disgusted about achieving?

Hmmmmn, maybe I should have counted this as 6 individual questions!

OK …

LOVE: A whole load of things … that my parents were bloody wonderful and believed and encouraged me in all I wanted to do. [Even when it was stupid!] That I have top friends. That I found Jill.  That I get paid to travel, meet people, use my head and work with talented souls. That I had the pleasure of working [albeit for a rather short time] with Michael Moore, Paul Britton and a couple of guys from VIZ. That I have met some amazing people – some for hours, some for years – who had a massive, positive influence in me ending up on the path I’m on. Helping others get ahead. [I know that sounds ‘Miss Worldish’, but it’s true because I know how lucky I am that some people believed in me when others didn’t/wouldn’t, so I try and do the same for others wherever and whenever  I can … people who want to get into the industry, people already within the industry or certain charitable organisations].Playing and listening to music. There’s lots of things really … I’m not always cynical.

HATE: That some people embrace mediocrity with a passion that should be made illegal and that others think themselves more highly than the masses based purely on their income level or quality of education.

MISS: My Dad [who died in ’99] and then my Mum [who is in England] and my nearest, dearest mates [who are in England, Australia and America].

ENJOY: Film [Especially Total Crap Movies, Doco’s & UK Television Series], Being With Mates, Odd Bit Of Gaming, Debating, Eating, Sleeping, Not Drinking Alcohol, Meeting The Weird And The Wonderful, Watching Forest. [Well, only when they are winning!] Actually, most of these things I LOVE doing, rather than enjoy doing, but I’m hoping no one is going to be too pedantic.

PROUD: That I live by what I believe in and that I’ve never smoked or taken drugs.

DISGUSTED: Of what I find funny – like the situation I detailed here – and the fact that I once looked like this [I’m the one on the far left!]


[There’s probably a lot of other things I could have talked about for question 12 … but my focus was so much on questions 1-9, that maybe my brain wasn’t working as effectively as it could/should. Sorry.]

There you go … that’s it … my cupboard is ‘bare’ so I hope you’re all happy now! 

Oh and to Mike who said this whole sorry episode could have a Cathartic effect on me. You were wrong, hahaha!

It’s not that bad really is it?  OK – there’s a few things that probably were best kept to myself [but I am only doing what I promised] but the fact of the matter is I’m just not interesting enough to cause huge dramas.

Anyway, if anyone who reads this blog still isn’t too disgusted to associate with me, then I may see you later – that is if I’ve not been ‘bumped off’ by certain individuals mentioned above, ha!

 Me. Looking deservedly ‘sheepish’.

55 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I can’t believe you actually were true to your word and answered the questions. Well done.
You slept with Amber? You lucky, lucky bastard and the person who caused that building evacuation (any clues?) was either a genius or satan himself.

Comment by Pete

I’ve been robbed and emotionally savaged.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Jesus Christ Rob, top marks for letting those demons out. Maybe I’m strange, but I think they enhance your reputation rather than undermine it. I’d forgotten about the infamous C.E.O. email episode but you forgot to mention your Jerry Maguire letter when you you left BAM. Your father would have been so proud if it wasn’t advertising people you were protecting and defending 🙂
The sewing machine story is absolute legend and I wish I had been there to see it. Thumbs up mate, but I still wish you had answered the salary question.

Comment by Ian Holmes

Wonderful yet rather disturbing post dear Robert. May I also express my gratitude for not mentioning the incident in Barcelona.

Comment by Mr W. Green

Thank you for answering my question Robert. I knew that would be the case, you are a good boy; though it seems that is only a recent occurance.

Comment by Jenny Bryant


Comment by George

I’m not proud of some of the things I’ve detailed, I’m just [stupidly] keeping my end of the deal up.

Wayne, your ‘bowel-release at a client dinner’ secret is safe with me [Oops!] and as for my ‘Jerry Maguire’ letter – believe it or not, I’d forgotten all about that. I still stand by what I wrote to this day – though I don’t know if I’d execute my grievences in quite the same way, ha!

Comment by Rob

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. Fuck!

Comment by George

george, i have never agreed with you so much in my life.
ive experienced a plethora of emotions reading this; from jealousy about amber (how ?), contentment for not shagging in our office, envy because of your principals, joy for the attacking dog story and relief for not detailing some of the other “interesting” stories you could have mentioned.
i know i should write more but i cant and i dont know if it is because its late or because i am shellshocked. yes i do, its because im shellshocked.
id like to go on record and state that when i give out my five bits of information, they will be nothing like the ones written here. i am both proud, ashamed and impressed.

Comment by andy@cynic

Only you could be impressed with someone who has just broadcast some of his deep and dark ‘secrets’.

So that’s how Billy got his job eh!

Comment by Rob

Christ that was entertaining.
Rob, you are officially the coolest guy I (don’t) know.
Can someone email me a pic of “Amber”?
hehehe… just kidding, but seriously, can you?

Comment by Age

Amber was, quite frankly, a superbabe of superbabes and I am [still] as shocked as Andy is now that something ‘happened’ between us.

I’ve not seen or heard from her for over 10 years and given she was about 10 years older than me, I probably wouldn’t want to see what she looks like now, ha! Mind you, if she was to see a photo of what I look like today, I think she’d be the one more upset, haha.

NB: Jill, if you are reading this post and have not packed up your belongings and left our home, please note I didn’t know you existed AND you are far more wonderful in every way.

Comment by Rob

Did cynic develop the ultimate pheromone, because it is the only explanation I can come up with as to why Andy, George and you all have had (and are having) relationships with absolutely stunning women.

I am trying to work out if you being with Amber and now Jill is more amazing than Andy having being engaged and married to a harem of beautiful ladies. It’s so confusing. Lets face it, you’ve both fallen out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.

Comment by Pete

Not suggesting that Andy’s past ‘relationships’ were because of this … but I would like to draw your attention to the fact he is seriously rich and has only been engaged/married to New York and LA women.

I know that means it is more amazing that I’ve attracted the odd beautiful lady into my life, but hey, call me lucky [or them stupid!]

Comment by Rob


Sex, no drugs, rock and roll (well, Jennifer Rush)…

Thats a legendary post all right, well done on answering the big questions and not wussing out!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Balls of steel is all I can say.What scares me is the stuff you’ve left out.
By the way,how do you think Amber would describe you?

Comment by Northern Planner

I think Amber would have described Rob as definitely having balls of steel but maybe not in the same sense you were talking about Northern Planner.

And Robert, yes, your hypothesis on how / why Andy has done so well with the ladies is probably right, I mean what other possible reason could their be.

Comment by Pete

And I know there is shit loads of stuff left out so if he stupidly does this again, we should come together and decide the questions rather than blitzgrieg him independently.

Comment by Pete

fuck you pete, its my wit, charm and intelligence that gets the hot chicks.

Comment by andy@cynic

I note you didn’t say it was your sexual prowess Andy.

I must admit, I do sit and wonder just why so many intelligent and beautiful women have fallen for the multi-millionaire Andy.

Comment by Rob

sticks and stones dear rob, sticks and stones. and i note you have to rely on old loaded magazine humour to try and put me down. but it was funny so i will let you off for now.

Comment by andy@cynic

Subtle there Rob..!

I have an idea, Pete, if you do the same thing as this we’ll just ask you:

1. Tell us about when Rob…

2. Tell us about when Rob…

3. Did Rob…

Or maybe we should give him a break?

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Good idea Rob, let me think about it.
As for giving him a break? Fuck that, he was an absolute terror when he was younger and he is directly responsible for many written warnings, relationship breakups, arguments, fights and resignations. God I miss working with him.

Comment by Pete

you can have him pete, ill courier him over now

Comment by andy@cynic

Whoever wrote the 2 questions that got him out of answering mine should get a smacking. I couldn’t give a shit about which client he hates (I could make a fair guess), it’s the moolah I wanted to know.

Comment by Billy Whizz

I might have been a bit hasty in that declaration

Comment by Pete

Haha, must have been a mad working environment. No wonder he has worked at so many places!

See Rob, people are reminicing about your crazy shenanigans! Maybe this has helped you, so how about another 10? 😉

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Sorry Billy!
If id have known I wouldnt have asked it!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Right folks, to get away from all this shame, I’m off to meet Salman Rushdie at his plastic surgery clinic.

If on Monday this blog is run by someone known as Roberta, it’s a pure coincidence, honest.

Comment by Rob

I’ll let you off. But only because you’re probably bigger than me and I don’t want my lovely face damaged too much.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Don’t become Roberta, Roberto, your cred is now at alarming heights.

Comment by Pete

Probably not actually, but ok.
Besides, I did my best to ensure the rest of the questions remained answered!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Yes, Robert was a fucking nightmare, but he got away with it because his energy and humour was infectious and brain was pretty good too. Despite pulling some “stunts” that would get 99.47% of people sacked, he never got fired and I know for a fact all his old bosses would love him back. He must have some really compromising photos of them, that’s all I can say.

Comment by Pete

Dear Robert, this “post” has shocked me. It is a side of you I have never seen and I would like to keep it that way. I don’t know how I will be able to look you in the eye next time I see you. Still, you are very brave for doing it and I still think underneath it all you are a special man. Good luck with the operation. Kx

Comment by Katerina

Sounds like he has the pics to bring down the whole of the ad industry then!

After reading this, I dread to think what these stunts were!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

suddenly i look a much nicer boss dont i k?

Comment by andy@cynic

it would take to long to detail them all, but pete covered the main issues he was responsible for.
james bond wasnt as dangerous as him back then, or as clever.
now is a different story though.

Comment by andy@cynic

I wouldn’t count your chickens on that Andy. What do you think K?

Comment by Billy Whizz

Time to get back to work guys. Good luck on the op Rob, know we love you and will see you soon.

Comment by George

Yes Boss.

Comment by Billy Whizz

wait till i get my hands on your creeping neck billy.
thanks for the entertainment and memories rob.

Comment by andy@cynic

Excellent. Really.

Comment by Marcus Brown

To paraphrase the old Seiko tagline, “Someday, all blog tagging will / should be this way”

Comment by Tim Wilkins

This is better than the next Harry Potter.
Or it could actually be the next Harry Potter.
Well it should be the next Harry Potter.

Comment by Ghost Of Christmas Past

Andy, I’ve just realised you haven’t past comment on Rob’s answer to question one.

Comment by Pete

are you that thick to have to ask why? and how the fuck did harry potter start getting mentioned in this post? someone needs a visit the aa and i dont mean the automotive association.

Comment by andy@cynic

Tut tut.

Comment by Ghost Of Christmas Past

You had hair Rob! HAIR!

Comment by Billy Whizz

Jesus … this is becoming the most commented post ever!

Yes, Billy, I once DID have hair – most people do at some point in their lives. And whoever ‘Ghost Of Christmas Past’ is, thank you [I think] for whatever you are trying to say.

Now to the cynic boys – can you please stop blogging and join me on the concall. Thank you.

Comment by Rob

I just wanted to leave the 50th comment.
Record? Congrats.

Comment by Age

Who the fuck is Amber? …

Comment by Jill

That’s why I love you Jill – stirring the pot to make everyone else think I’m an evil shit whose in loads of trouble at home!

Comment by Rob

Embarrassment, success, failure and sexual escapades, none of which apparently run as deeply as money…the one question you dodged.

Thanks for the entertainment. Classic. It may be a bit premature, but I’m already looking forward to reading your memoirs.

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

They’ll be banned by the Government – especially the Singaporean Government, who won’t let you cough without getting prior written permission!

Comment by Rob

[…] thought I had reached the depths of my cred when I did that bloody tagging thing … but no, there are whole new depths of hell to fall […]

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