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

Proprietary Shit … As Seen In Your Agency
August 2, 2007, 7:26 am
Filed under: Comment


I love agencies ‘proprietary tools’.

I love the way they can say they have them with a straight face.

OK … so some agencies have invested [and continue to invest] millions and millions of dollars into the creation of systems that can truly aid [note the word aid, NOT solve] the marketing and communication process … but more often than not, all they really do is put a name to common sense.

So above we have McCann’s proprietary DEMAND CHAIN tool.

Lets have a look at it shall we …






Oooooh, that sounds so fancy pants … but hang on, let me have a closer look.


DEMAND STRATEGY sounds awfully like ‘STRATEGY’

DEMAND IDEA sounds awfully like ‘CORE IDEA’

ENGAGEMENT PLAN sounds awfully like ‘MEDIA PLAN’ … which if it is worth its salt, would also include BRAND EXPERIENCE’ in its formulation.

So hang on … basically what McCann are flogging is the same as everyone else has been thinking/doing for the last 40 years except they have the word DEMAND infront of it.

I’m sure McCann’s will claim that putting the word DEMAND infront of everything makes all the difference, but just like the poor guy who got stiffed in the ad above – we know it doesn’t really … and this is the problem with our industry, we’re so fucking desperate to feel valuable and important, we spend time and money on developing terms and processes that quite often, contribute no significant difference to the output at all.

Don’t get me wrong … systems and processes are vital … but when your whole ‘selling point’ is exactly the same as 99% of all the other agencies out there [except expressed with even less imagination and flair], then you have to question who falls for this shit. I know … I know … alot of people fall for it … but that’s a rant for another day.

vlog production flow 

Look I have no problem with people saying they have a ‘tool’ or a ‘system’ [fuck, we have loads of them] but when they say its ‘propriety’ when it’s basically common behaviour/practice, it makes me ill.

Diageo – the alcohol mob – have the gold medal for wank because one of their ‘proprietary tools’ [part of their DWEEB process – don’t ask] is entitled … are you ready for it … the WHY tool.

And can you imagine what it is?

Yep, you simply keep asking WHY in an attempt to try and get a better understanding of what it really causing/affecting an outcome.

For fucks sake … if you need a tool to remind you taking answers on face value isn’t the best thing to do – then you’re in need of a right good smacking. Especially if you have the audacity to call yourself a planner.

[If you meet a planner who says they do all their thinking thanks to their ‘proprietary tools’, kick them in the head and tell them to read this then go here and here]

Happy Faces

While process … systems … management flow [etc] are all incredibly important, if they don’t generate a more positive output and result for the client [and consumer], then it’s all been in vain … and when a company like McCann claims to achieve great results for clients when the majority of what they do is the same as has always been done, my view is that their involvement has had minimum impact on the end result and as such, should be recompensed accordingly.

I have huge respect for the W&K’s, Mother’s and Crispin’s of this world [plus their clients who appreciate they have a vital role to play in achieving success] because they are continually trying to move things forward for clients, consumers and society as a whole.

Unlike the ‘bigger networks’, they don’t have ‘proprietary tools’ plus they celebrate those boring things like imagination, collaboration and bravery … and yet interms of impact [both from their clients perspective and their own] their level of success has left the multinationals firmly in the shade.

While some people claim they are self-indulgent and not focused on the business goals of the client, I would say that is bollocks … no one gives an agency money just because they want a nice ‘ad’ … and while there has been the odd occasion where you could question the solution they’ve come up with [which admittedly is still too ‘traditional media’ reliant for my liking], when you compare that to the cliché-driven waffle that EURO happily put out for Nurofen, I would say they earn every penny they get.

121 Comments so far
Leave a comment

management consultants in fucking shitty ad agency clothing. i just wish your trur anger side came out in this post, its still too fucking mild for my liking but maybe you shot your bolt on the last few days efforts. i fucking hate demand chain marketing and i fucking loath mccann especially as i can never spell their fucking shitty name properly. fuckers every last one of them.

Comment by andy@cynic

theres another proprietry tool mccanns have, talking fucking shit. i am fucking fuming. well done rob, its making me feel good but the wifes in for a shit night.

Comment by andy@cynic

When one of my posts makes Andy that angry, I truly think my job has been done.

Well Andy – cop a load of this.

To the person who sent me an [as much as it can be] anonymous email stating I am a c*** because Mccann piss all over cynic interms of clients, offices, employees and profit levels – I’d simply like to say that ‘scale’ doesn’t always relate to talent, ingenuity or intelligence because if you follow that logic, Mariah Carey is the greatest and most adored musical artist of the generation – and we all know that’s Queen.

Actually I like that … Mccaan’s are the Mariah Carey of advertising, hahahaha!

Now why don’t you fuck off and come back to me when you have a valid viewpoint rather than just throwing childish insults behind the veil of secrecy.

I am always open to criticsim and viewpoints but if you are going to throw shit at me, I’ll fucking call you on it and implying intelligence and talent is only measurable by scale and money – well you are [1] probably American and [2] an American who votes Bush.

I do hope your naughty email gets you the kudos you wanted from your colleagues but your boss is waiting for his cock to be sucked, so rush along or he might be angry at you.

Mcann’s is no better or worse than any number of major networks – and I do know it has the power to do the odd bit of great thinking and work – mainly because you have seduced a few truly talented people to work there. However if you honestly believe you can hold a candle to the likes of Mother, W&K and Crispin’s interms of ingenuity, bravery and impact then you are very, very mistaken.

Sure you beat them hands down on suit-wearing, management-consultantesque, corporate-wank-talking … but I think they’ll let you have that.

Oh and a huuuuuuuuuuuuge congratulations on reminding me how many small minded, insecure, never-had-a-viewpoint-of-their-own people are still in advertising … you re-energised my anger and committment to try and make some change.

Hope you have a great day.

Love Robert.

Comment by Rob

This place is abundant with such warmth.

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

Another great post Rob, you are on a roll but your response to the idiot who emailed you is much better. Not as good as Age’s seminal comment of yesterday, but great all the same.

Word of warning to whoever wrote to Rob: Don’t mess, he is a doberman on steroids when provoked.

Comment by Pete

What do you mean Fred, isn’t hell supposed to be cosy and warm?

Comment by Rob

You’re the one in control of the thermostat so you tell me.

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

Yeah Fred … keep the illusion of being a nice guy why don’t you.

We both know the truth though don’t we … or do I have to remind you with the words: FLOODED TOILET and LONG PUBIC HAIR.

I rest my case …

Comment by Rob

Shame by association, eh Rob? I don’t know what you’re talking about. Ha!

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

BAH! What bollocks!

It doesn’t matter what this anonymous punk says because his words are washed over by the fact that he’s a faceless coward!

Nice post, but ever nicer come-back Rob.


Comment by Age

I’ve always liked you Age, but I’m beginning to think Jill should be worried about my feelings towards you!

Comment by Rob

Yeah, Mr anonymous…own up, and have a proper debate.

We’d all like a friendly chat. Honest.

And Fred – having a liaison with the local plumber is nothing to be ashamed of. 😀

Comment by Will

Now I am really, really angry.
White hot rage.
Ready to pick a fight with a small guy.
It’s fine to disagree, but when you haven’t the courage to say who you are. No sir.
And for what it’s worth, the more you sella process, the more utterly average you truly are.
Rob may be, ahem, honest, and opinionated, but it’s up there to be argued with. We all know who he is. And he also happens to be one of the most generous people I’ve never met.

Comment by NP

I’m on it NP. I’m on it.

Comment by Marcus

Still angry.

Comment by NP


Comment by Marcus

From now on, please direct all hate mail to this address:

Comment by Marcus

Did I miss something??

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I love the way NP didn’t mention Robert in terms of his intelligence, that’s very funny which is more than can be said for the email he received.

I know he isn’t bothered by it, he’s a big boy who believes if you “give it” you have to be able to “take it” but as opinionated as he is, it’s always based on depth and bredth of views so whilst he is open to others not agreeing with what he says, if you talk without substance, depth or purpose, he’ll go after you like a fat boy chases donuts.

I am looking to see where this goes, especially as we think we know who the naughty boy who did it may be.

I wonder if anyone else realises how Mafia like this blog is. Attack one of us and you have all of us to answer to. Except me, I’m a wimp with 3 beautiful daughters.

Comment by George

You simply don’t fuck with the sausage crew.

Comment by Marcus

I think “Mafia” sounds a bit more menacing than “Sausage” Marcus, but I understand what you mean.

Comment by George

bloody planner.

Comment by Marcus

When I said I didnt like M+C Saatchi, someone anonymously called me a (look away now Mrs C) cunt. 🙁

Im sure these agencies have people whose sole job is to big them up when people slag it off.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I just hope that the person who send Rob that email, pops over to my blog to give me some stick. I’m in the mood for it. Really I am. Come Mr Anon! Come over and give me some stick.

Dare you.

Comment by Marcus

I deeply love this blog. And as Andy, I think that your post was to mild. Your comment on the McCann crap was way better. And I am so bloody thankful that in my early days, when I was young, desperate and in need of money to pay my bills and the debts I owned my girlfriend the bloody McCann folks in Hamburg didn’t reply to my application as a copywriter. Looking back I was really desperate. And maybe drunken.
When reading this corporate toadiness I am quite thankful that our agency has only one tool, they tell the clients about. Common sense.

Comment by Seb

I thought it was odd that Mcann’s is about the only agency in the UK ive not really looked at applying to.

Maybe not so odd. Though I really hope that they arent all as bad as Mr anon.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

dear “see you next tuesday” 🙂

i would like to pass on my heartfelt thanks for insulting my colleague robert.

for months ive thought he was getting far too big for his boots what with his ideas, insights, opinions and encouragement and i am ecstatic that i have met someone who seems to be of the same opinion.

its an absolute bastard that one person can have so much insight and imagination because it kind of fucks up organisations like yours who know it takes at least 9 months of process and meetings to produce one thirty second piece of blandom and then another 9 months to evaluate whether it had any fucking impact on any aspect of the sales chain.

when i am on my death bed and looking back on my life, i too would like to think i worked in a multinational organisation, writing contact reports and documents that nobody read, attending meetings where i had nothing to say and going to christmas parties where people still dont know who i am despite being there 13 years. the only difference is you can safely say you will achieve that goal whereas ill have to be content with having put my neck on the line and trying to do something where i made a difference. but hey, you get paid well without any risk so who is the idiot really? yep, its me and im jealous.

jealous of your ability to know what youll be doing in 20 years from now. jealous you helped develop work for massive organisations even though most people only can remember the annoying as fuck “ding ding ding ding” of intel. jealous that you have a nice side parting. jealous you get an office with a door. jealous you have a big reception. jealous you have someone come in to water your plants. jealous you are able to feel youre a mover and a shaker even though you live in pleasantville. jealous you have a career path where if you work for another 45 years, you could become senior vice president to the senior vice president of client service (direct)

you have all the luck and success and yet you still are willing to look out for the little people who might be influenced by rob to stand up against mediocrity, help others and make things more interesting. thank fuck you are able to understand the negative ramifications that could have on us all so even though you hid behind a veil of secrecy, you did good for me, for us and for marketing in general and rather than be persecuted, you should be celebrated.

god bless the myopic. god bless the mediocre. god bless mcaan.

yours lovingly

andy and 60 cynicers (who all are now going to resign because youve made us realise were never going to be as big as you and so are destined to being failures in all aspects of our lives)

Comment by andy@cynic

I think my respect for Andy has just trebled.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

You have a way of putting things into real perspective don’t you Andy. Wonderfully written, especially the way you didn’t succumb to the youthful excitement of Will and Rob in literally writing the c word. Thumbs up.

Comment by George

i deserve no praise, all credit goes to our friend; the man with no name.

Comment by andy@cynic

Lets be fair, I was only quoting the word, not using it myself as such!

Still, well done Andy.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I wonder how much Age’s brilliant comment yesterday influenced your post Andy.

Comment by George

you fuck. you think i did that purely because i felt intimidated by ages moment of glory. how fucking dare you. i love campbell like a brother. not a nice brother, but a brother all the same. now go back to bed and ill see you in a few hours.

Comment by andy@cynic

When you have 3 children, bed is something you see rarely Andy. See you later.

Comment by George

You can choose your friends but not your family Andy… we are all happy to shout at Andy, so we should be fair and praise his good moments!

Rob AND Andy on form, what a week 🙂

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I’m really disappointed with the “man with no name”. Hasn’t come over to give me some stick. Fuck, come on! Come over, there’s nothing to be afraid of, I’m just a gobby printer blog in Germany – not some big cheese adland chappy. I’ve even set you up and email. Come over.

Dare you.

Comment by Marcus

Jesus … what a lot has been going on while I’ve been bored out my mind in a meeting.

I am touched, shocked and humoured by all the comments but like George said, I am of the belief that if I give it out, I have to take it too.

To be honest, I find this all very funny so as nice as it is to be ‘protected’ by my blogmates, this is not a situation where it is needed – it’s a situation where we should all sit back and laugh – I know I am!

Ta though … means alot.

Comment by Rob

Bollocks to that Rob. I’m up for it again.

Comment by Marcus

YAYAYAY for Marcus and his bad temper!

Comment by Rob

There are 60 of you?

Comment by John Dodds

Second that yay!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Cry Havoc, and release the dogs of war.

Comment by Marcus

What do you mean John?

Comment by Rob

I think he is referring to:

“yours lovingly

andy and 60 cynicers”

Comment by Rob Mortimer

George – I haven’t sworn on this thread. Yet. That was another thread; I’m a reformed character.

Andy put it brilliantly.

Comment by Will

Oh, thanks Mr M … he’s referring to how many people are in cynic but if you didn’t work that out, I’m afraid, VERY AFRAID.

Comment by Rob

I know that patience is supposed to be a virtue, but there has been no hate mail action on my blog, which just pushes my anger barometer to vein bursting levels.

Comment by Marcus

Excuse me Mr Marcus, but I sent you an email expressing my hate at the cost of eggs these days!

Get your facts right before you rant on my blog!


Comment by Rob

Not you you daft knob. Mr Anonymous.

Comment by Marcus

Dont you just love that NOT being barraged by hate emails is making Muarcus furious 😀

Comment by Rob Mortimer

That Marcus, not Maracasacusus, as written above… *ahem*

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Oh this is brilliant. Rob I love your reply to ‘the stranger’.

The demand chain, dear god, I STILL have nightmares about it.

Comment by Angus

Of course I worked that out – having seen that the environment had prompted mild-mannered Emah to chopping her hair, I was just marvelling that 58 people were able to work in continuous close proximity to the raging creative anger (and apparent celebrity obsession) of the alpha cynics. It’s really quite encouraging.

Comment by John Dodds

Only the naughtiest cynics work with Andy [about 30 of them in NYC] … the rest of them [or the goody-2-shoes as we call them] are in the LA or Sydney offices – where life is much calmer without our constant arguing, ranting or star fucking.

If you are right and Emah chopped her hair because of the environment I have inadvertently created, then I am exceptionally upset because [1] I always thought I was the mild-mannered member of the team and [2] she actually doesn’t work for cynic – she’s part of a wonderful bunch we ‘inhereted’ when we sold our souls for 30 pieces of silver [not even gold] and did a joint venture with the Death Star of adland to try and make Asia-Pac ‘interesting’.

Unsuprisingly they find our ‘raging creative anger’ rather confronting and confusing … so it’s only a matter of time till me and my team are chucked out on our ears and we can return to the safety blanket of our mothership. That or Mccann ask us to help them develop the evolution of their DEMAND tool – GREATER DEMAND maybe?

[That’s got to be worth a few mill hasn’t it … and they’ll cream their knickers when we unveil their new proprietry tool: THE PARITY PROCESS]

Comment by Rob

Oh I see, the “sitting on the fence” dollar. Rob, that dollar sucks. That’s not a good dollar.

Comment by Marcus

How is that sitting on the fence? You cheeky bastard – especially as you of all people know what we’ve been upto in the Death Star.

[Plus it helped fund Andy’s foray into a Howard Hughes spending spree like the fucking waste-of-cash Potent Pix and our illfated-but-it-seemed-like-a-good-idea-for-2-minutes SPEAKEASY]

Going to bed now … sulking [just like you are as Mr Anon has stayed that way and not let you ‘unmask’ him/her on your blog]

Comment by Robert


Comment by Marcus

fucker. potent was not a waste of money it was just ahead of its time. anyway i wont take financial insults from a man who bought a fucking robot dog and has done a post on rick astley. last time i protect you from annon fuckwits 🙂

Comment by andy@cynic

Andy you are a genius… but you already know that.

Comment by Hari

well, well, well – what an interesting post this turned out to be and a bit like coming home to a house full of screaming kids and no dinner after a day of work. i love this blog!

Comment by lauren

[…] future for an industry which is, slowly but surely, starting to buckle under the weight of its own nonsense but still hasn’t found a way to deal with the day-to-day business of flogging communications, […]

Pingback by Objective number 9. « The Ides of March

I love planners.

I love the way they blog and then leave comments on other planners blogs.
And then they read the comments other planners leave on their blogs and leave a comment on their blog saying thanks.

Honestly, you’re not a creative service, you’re an online AVON for internet flotsam.

My comment is self explanatory, so I’ve left the end bit out for all you frustrated creatives out there. It’s one thing to blog about a book you’ve read or a Seth Godin quote you’ve regurgitated, and quite another to create something new. I’d suggest the more needlessly raged filled among you should buy a sketch pad and try drawing, but then that’s planners for you. More interested in getting a pat on the head and being loud, than for being quiet and getting on with the creative work.

So let’s begin…

1. Ranting like teenaged myspacers against buzzword heavy proprietry tools you all helped invent is ______.

2. Profanity laden attacks against using big words to describe simple ideas, in a full page blog entry that could’ve easily been edited down to, “McCann’s new proprietary tool isn’t very new” is ______

3. Putting a funny ad written by a talented creative team into your blog entry is just a transparent attempt to look ______ by association, when in reality, you’re not very _____ at all.

4. We get it. W+K is everyone’s favorite agency. But they don’t make the work they do because they spend hours blogging about pet peeves. They just get about making great work. If you spent ____ time ranting and more time ____, perhaps you’d find yourself on their radar.

5. It’s easy to hate something. Why don’t you do something new? You’ve got a blog. Try writing about the things that inspire you and maybe the effect will be a little less pedestrian.(I was going to leave this one blank, but you all seem pretty pent up, so I thought I’d spell it out)

6. Your chosen profession is really little more than standing on the shoulders of giants and using common sense to apply it to your clients. For this reason alone, you should be wary of attacking anything as being “common sense”. Your whole job is common sense and yet you still manage to ____ it up .

I look forward to seeing this entry deleted. You guys have such one sided opinins I’d be surprised to find you had the capacity for new ideas. Fancy that, a planner who doesn’t like ideas.

Always the same ten names on every blog. It’s like the Kapa Kapa Pi girls and their College fraternity. Where do you find the time?

Ben Haversham.
Portland, Oregon.

Comment by Ben Haversham

Errm. I’m not a planner.

Comment by marcusbrown

Rob, please leave the above comment up.

How someone can so spectacularly miss the point is pretty amazing.

I’m quite tempted to answer the questions one by one, but I’ll say this instead:

Why do you think this is an angry blog? It’s angry because it wants to change the way we view the world, the way agencies behave and the way people create things.

I’d be pretty damned worried if Rob just regarded this as his sole output. No, it’s just a forum to point out what gets his goat. Nothing more – I would have thought building an agency network is considerably more important to him.

And finally, sometimes – just sometimes – things which inspire you also make you angry, and make you want to change the world.

Comment by Will

Congratulations Ben on so totally missing the point as to hit someone elses point on a blog far far away.

1. I dont recall Rob creating the Demand tool.
2. This isnt talking to a consumer, or talking to a client. This a personal blog, you know, where people write about what they feel personally. Does it matter if this is condensed down? Its not like this is how Rob C (or anyone else here) writes their presentations.
3. Yes. Advertising never ever tries to look good by association. And god forbid someone share something they like/dislike in aid of clarifying a point.
4. Ah yes. Because you know precisely how much time we spend working. I wondered where those time sheets went…
5. Try reading the rest of his blog. And the rest of ours. You will find hate and inspiration in roughly similar measures.
6. Common sense IS common sense. But there is a place for wild crazy madness.

I appreciate you have had to make a snap judgement on all of us based on probably a few reads of one or two blogs. But I think you will find the people here are absolutely open to new ideas when they are expressed well, and with just a little modicum of respect.

Do you talk to your clients like that when they tell you they dont like your new idea? I hope not.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I think you guys piggy back on the talent of creatives.

I think you have loud, obvious opinions on everything which is why blogging appeals to you.

I think your years of rearranging the clients brief to look like a new idea has left most of you with brain damage. This is why your replies are knee jerk emotional responses that don’t really say anything.

And I think you mistake venting your petty professional frustrations in tirades of profanity, for passionately wanting to change something you think is wrong.

If you want to be a copywriter, start writing. If not, I’m sure you’ll take the poor man’s version and continue blogging.

Comment by Ben Haversham

You see we have found the real truth here. You say we have one sided opinions and arent open to new ideas; when the real truth is that YOU have a one sided dislike of planners.

Considering half the people here arent even planners anyway it proves howmuch you want to fit your argument into an “anti planner” context.

As for writing, you will actually find that many of the people here are extremely good writers. But again, if you judge them based on their private unedited opinions instead of the finished product; and THEN factor in your one sided views its no wonder you cant see it.

You just remind of why Andy is so good. He dislikes planners but puts it so much more clearly, wittily, and infinitely more persuasively.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

More jetsam. More flotsam.
So okay, I won’t wade in too far.
Andy, if you don’t like these tools, offer a new, creative alternative. You can even borrow from something you’ve read. But don’t just sit there saying, “That’s crap, that’s crap, that’s crap”.

Marcus. Errrm, good. Short. And pointless. Glad your not a planner.

Rob M. Andy doesn’t say anything. He’s just angry and has a keyboard. This isn’t writing, it’s typing.

Ben H

P.S And Andy, please, please, please don’t offer “good ole fashioned common sense thinking” because it’s just something you guys like to say. Anyone can hate. Try creating something for once.

I hope this helps someone somewhere to grow

Comment by Ben Haversham

It’s tiresome isn’t it Ben? There’s this whole community out there constantly chipping away at the foundations of something you believe in and yes, probably love. It’s your craft after all. Damn it you went through hell it get where you are; done all the crap clients and spent hours burning the midnight oil trying to come up with that one fantastic claim – THE claim that would get you from the second to the third floor.

It was something you always had to fight for wasn’t it? And you were so proud of what you’d achieved. But then this community of loud mouthed proles moved in on the act and started questioning the rules and getting a little bit too much of your limelight. That’s them – there they are over there – just look at them with the profanity and cocky nature. Now they’re the ones getting all the attention in the industry press, now they’re the ones people think are interesting. Now they’re the one’s that are being considered creative.

And all the while you sit at your desk and toil away on some copy or a script and its good. It’s bloody good, but nobody’s going to take a damn bit of notice because it will get swallowed up in a brand debate that you feel you have no control over. You can feel the control slipping through your fingers and you look to your agency to get it back but you find that they are too busy trying to grab a piece of work to localise or trying to get themselves bought buy a larger network.

That’s them – there they are; sitting in there little groups taking your agency, your profession and tearing it to pieces.

But Ben, you may not like what we say, we may not like they way we say it, but until this ridiculous creative vs planner thing is dropped nothing will improve. Nothing will get better.

I kind of like your challenging tone, it’s full of the bitterness and rage of a spoilt child that suddenly, after years of taking has been put in the rather awkward position of having to defend for himself. What does concerns me, in fact it scares me, is that it’s made you myopic and dull.

If you’ve got better ideas then share them. Guide us Ben. Show us the way.

Comment by marcusbrown

Isnt it ironic (in the American sense) that Andy is actually a creative. He is angry, and he does have a keyboard, but he does often come up with some brilliant ideas and thinking.

If you read this blog more often youd find that we are all very keen on finding ways to better things that are crap. Look at Rob’s post on the homeless and how we can make a difference.

Or better still, look at the work that Rob and Andy do. The insights they find, that allows their creative teams to do really good work.

There is a reason why these two have done so well in life. Its being angry and putting it to use. I wish you’d do the same, as you seem like an intelligent guy who just isnt reading deep enough in us.

We are all growing, thats why we are here. We debate and counter each other. We disagree, we learn opposing viewpoints. So we grow.

I hope you do the same, then we can have a real debate on big ideas; instead of bickering over one of the least important posts Rob C has ever made.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

oh goody, finally someone who has an opinion and wants to start a riot. i like you ben, its just a pity you have missed the complete fucking point of this blog, rob and probably advertising as a whole. this place is not some sort of cult fan club, its for rob for fucks sake. sure we like how he thinks but when hes wrong none of us are to cautious to call him on it and thats why i know hell not mind your comments even if it comes across as you chucking childish stones. by the way, he has actually achieved quite a fucking lot thank you very much and not by post rationalising (though he is guilty of that sometimes 🙂 ) but by actually inspiring creatives to do work that actually works and makes a difference. by all means hate this blog ben, by all means hate rob, but either dont come back, get your facts right or seemingly have an opinion rather than just slag him off for what he thinks and how he expresses himself. oh and if all i do is swear, as you kindly point out, its because i take this blog in the manner it is meant so whats your excuse? by the way, do mcanns have an office in portland?

Comment by andy@cynic

one last thing, if you actually read this blog youd know campbell is very pro creative and even set up some shit blog because there was too much planner versus creative shit going on. i like your anger, just work on the content

Comment by andy@cynic

There are constructive ways to discuss things.
Marcus, for someone who’s starting an ideas company, you’d do well to temper your rants.
Planners aren’t chipping away at anything, (I hope), and if that’s the way you think, that’s really lame.
If there is a planner vs creative battle going on, I hope creatives win, because without us, I’m not sure what you’d do for a job.
And yeah, I know the business model that finds artists, designers and writers to create ads in an unstructured agency,
but again, you’ll still need creative writers, creative designers and creative people.
You’ll still be piggy backing on the talent of creatives.
And no amount of blogging or ranting or really, really long emotional comments is going to change that.
And Rob, yep, I like the idea of helping homeless people too.
But you do that by giving them a sense of pride and helping them to slowly re-enter society.
It also calls for more compassion than sitting at a computer and typing, “Please help me to help the homeless, I am ever so clever”
If you really wanted to help them, instead of getting the “big group over there” community pat on the head, you’d be talking with social workers, not wannebe advertising employees.

Is there anyone that can calmly counter these two point?

Comment by Ben Haversham

Actually, let’s stay on point.

You guys piggy back on the talent of creatives.
Ben is wrong because ________

Comment by Ben Haversham

“Piggy backing on the talent of creatives”

Oh for fucks sake. Are you 5 or something? Are you not aware of the concept of people working together. It doesnt matter how good a creative you are, if you havent got the strategy it wont work. If you cant get someone to convince the client, it wont work.

Thats lazy thinking, it self important thinking, its just stupid.

Secondly, if you actually looked, the whole concept of the Human2 project was to do EXACTLY what you said. Theres no point talking to social workers if you havent got a basic plan or idea worked out yet.

Thats the difference between us and you, we are happy to ask other people and learn from them. Whereas you clearly want to take all the credit for something that was planned by someone else, strategised by someone else, sold by someone else, and created with someone else.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

_____ “A creative idea rarely works without a good strategy and insight behind it. It also cannot work if no one sells it to the client.”

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I think you haven’t really understood what The Ides of March is Ben.

Comment by marcusbrown

Good points, albeit angrily made. but still, good points. But, I also think most creatives think strategically as it is, so it begs the question, what do you guys actually do?

I, write and design advertising content for clients.
You, ____ for clients.

Ben H.

P.S And what’s with all the swearing? Are we all really so angry, darn it?

Comment by Ben Haversham

[…] Ben Haversham Helping Ben Haversham understand The Ides of March. Ben – it’s not an advertising […]

Pingback by Helping Ben Haversham « The Ides of March

ben you sad fuck, rob wanted to help the homeless because he genuinely gives a damn its not to look clever and he is talking to social workers, religious groups, charities because he knows their help will be vital to make it happen. the reason he asked ad people to get involved because he wanted people who could think in different ways in an attempt to find a better solution which actually was about helping the homesless confidence because he knows how people tick better than most other fuckers i know. go on, admit it, youre angry at him because he fucked your mother didnt he? dont worry, hes not going to of been a stud. and for what it is worth, you get massive points for hoping creatives beat planners. if i had my way it would be with a hammer. keep angry

Comment by andy@cynic

And yeah, ok. I skimmed the homeless entry. My bad.
I’ll give you that one.

Comment by Ben Haversham

__ “Help to find a consumer insight that gives the creative a solid idea of what needs to be created; the target and what the ad needs to say. And really, should also back up the creative’s view when someone tries to water down a good piece of work because they are too scared to run something interesting”

Though im not a planner yet…

Yes we are when people write annoying things with little apparent respect for other peoples opinions. But as you calm down so will we.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

oh man, Andy, you’re like Ellis in Die Hard.

Planners, this guy is not a creative.
Tell them Andy,
tell them you’re not a creative.

Comment by Ben Haversham

The Andy and Rob show is worth sticking around for. The ad couple you might say.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

depends on your definition of creative ben. according to you, probably not.

Comment by andy@cynic

Oh Marcus, that’s mean spirited. You just spammed my personal email address to promote your website. Why don’t you direct people to this site so we can continue a discussion instead of just being nasty.

Comment by Ben Haversham

Still piggy backing on the talent of creatives.

Comment by Ben Haversham

Do you have any evidence for that?

Comment by Rob Mortimer

for someone who said this wasnt about creatives and planners youre doing a fucking good impression of it. i fucking hate most planners because most of them add nothing and claim everything but campbell isnt one of them becuse not only does he fight for creatives to be better, the fucker then takes it on to help sell it. come to nyc, ill buy you a beer, your anger is something we can cultivate.

Comment by andy@cynic

It’s the structure of the relationship. We create the work and you…insight something something. Rob, if a planner ever sold my work, I’d buy them a Mercedes Benz but it’s almost always an account man working alongside the creative. The insights I get are from popular culture. The brief I get from the account guys. And the planners…they do good work at a brand level, maybe, probably. But from brief to brief?

Comment by Ben Haversham

Actually Ben, it’s not your email address. It was just a pretty good way a catching your IP address.

Comment by marcusbrown

I think you must have worked with some rubbish planners…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Hello Ben …

First of all huge apologies for coming to this discussion late – been travelling and just got in.

Secondly, you’ve got me bang to rights.

I am a worthless piece of shit who lives in the shadows of anyone who has a business card with the word “CREATIVE” written on it in big bold letters.

Infact when you decide to stop piggybacking off whichever company you work and set up Haversham, please be sure to let me know as I’ll need to associate myself with whatever 30″ piece of wallpaper genius you produce.

OK … OK … I’m being an arse … you are as entitled to your opinion as I am and to be honest, I am quite chuffed you’ve written in because it’s caused a decent debate which needed to be had.

I do think you haven’t really got a good understanding of me because some of your comments just aren’t representative of who I am/what I do/what I believe – but I’m a big boy, I can take it.

Infact the only thing I am disappointed about [apart from slagging human_2 which is being done for genuine reasons and is involving all the elements you ‘suggested’] is that a crappy post about agency propriety tools drove you so over the edge when I’ve written far more offensive and opinionated topics … covering everything from Sir Martin to how many planners are worth sod all.

Maybe when you’ve had a chance to read some of those, there’ll be one that will get your anger juices flowing again [ 🙂 ] … but please be rest assured, I take creativity VERY seriously and I do appreciate I can achieve nothing unless I work with very talented people throughout the process.

It sounds like you work with the sort of planner who I detest, if that’s the case – send them to this blog because I am far more likely to get angry with them than I ever would with you.

Cheers mate.

Comment by Rob

Welcome back to the madhouse!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

mature bastard

Comment by andy@cynic

It’s all been happening hasn’t it.

I’ve just written a comment on today’s post where I swear it’s a full moon or something, ha!

Comment by Rob

Thank you Rob. And yes, would that we all worked with the guys from Strawberry Frog, but most of us don’t. And when bad planners start losing their humility because the press start writing things like “Planners are the new rockstars” everything suffers. I don’t think planners live in our shadow, but I also don’t think it helps to start saying things like, “oh, everyone thinks we’re the interesting ones now” and I think it’s a prevailing attitude.

I think there’s a lot of testosterone floating around here that could probably be better used if it vented less and created more.

Apologies for the Human 2 thing, I only skimmed it. If you want to help anyone out there, God speed. It was a cheap shot. And Marcus, I would like you to take my personal email address off
your website. I’m happy to discuss things in this forum, but I don’t want vitriolic hate spam clogging my inbox. There is a reason the email address is required but not published. Sheesh, you’re really a nasty piece of work aren’t you.

Comment by Ben Haversham

Ben could you point me to your email address on my blog? It’s not there. At least I didn’t put it there. Sorry, I’m confused.

Comment by marcusbrown

[…] Ben Haversham Helping Ben Haversham understand The Ides of March. Ben – it’s not an advertising […]

This was your comment. As was the scary IP stalker one. So can you remove it please?

Comment by Ben Haversham

Ben, Ben, Ben. But where is your email address? That’s just a ping back from a link, so to suggest from that you would get spam mail is just silly.

Comment by marcusbrown

Hi Ben …

OK, we’re quits on human_2 and it really is something close to my heart so I hate that you could ever think it was done more for ego than a genuine desire to make something poisitive happen.

As regards planners being the new Rock Stars … I fucking hate that attitude, infact I am VERY vocal against this ‘arrogant planner superiority’ that seems to be all the rage at the moment.

I am a planner who has publically questioned what many planners do because all too often, it seems they’re a creative restrictor than a liberator.

I love creativity … I celebrate it and encourage it … … I just hate when people think a 30″ TVC is enough.

That’s not slagging off creative people, it’s slagging off anyone who doesn’t let an idea truly come to life wherever and whenever it can.

While I am an angry fuck, it’s actually based on seeking a better way … not just for consumers and society, but creativity as a whole.

We’re all in this together and my attitude is that if I can help make life easier for those who want to push boundaries, then I’ll of done something useful for all of us, ha.

And for the record, while I never worked with Strawberry Frog … I have with HHCL, Mother and Crispin so I think I can say I am proudly a creatives planner – especially compared to the sort of sods you talk about.

As I said previously, by all means send those useless bums over to me so I can give them a metaphorical kick up the arse, but as far as I am concerned, you’re not going to piss me off – we’re actually on the same side. 🙂

Now I must go to bed … so have fun and if you would like to talk about this further [and to be honest, I would love to hear your angst because I do want to stop this divisional attitude going on] please feel free to email me at ‘rob at’

Comment by Rob

Right. You’re a jerk.

Comment by Ben Haversham

Ben … who are you calling a jerk now?

Comment by Rob

Not you rob.

Comment by Ben Haversham

You calling me a jerk Ben?

Comment by marcusbrown

Well you’ve made a hell-of-an-impression for your first day on this blog Ben, ha! It’s like when I first met Andy back in 1989 … I thought he was a fiesty little shit but now he is one of my close friends.

That’s probably put you off coming back here hasn’t it, ha!

I do have to say Marcus is a wonderful and talented guy and while I don’t know what’s going on with this email thing – I do hope you both find some common ground because it sounds like we’re all after the same sort of thing – and in a World where that is becoming the exception, it’d be better if we stuck together than had a fight.

God look at me – I sound like Mr Dad – sorry.

Anyway, I meant what I said about emailing me with your frustrations Ben, I do want to try and be the UN of adland [ 🙂 ] – but if it’s hassle, I understand.

On another note, I could be in Portland in the not too distant future so if you’re up for it, I’ll buy you a beer – and I promise I won’t have Andy or Marcus with me 🙂

Right, I really must sleep now … ta-ra … and can we not call people nasty things, it’ll only give me nightmares and for all the swearing on this blog, we try and be nice to people. Generally, ha!

Comment by Robert

There is no fucking email thing. Are you calling me a jerk Ben?

Comment by marcusbrown

It’s on your website Marcus. Help Ben Haversham. Not cool.

Comment by Ben Haversham

And yeah Rob, I don’t drink beer, but if you’re up for a coffee, email me and we’ll hook up.

Comment by Ben Haversham

No email Ben. And the post has gone. So answer the damn question; are you calling me a jerk?

Comment by marcusbrown

Thank you.

Comment by Ben Haversham


Comment by marcusbrown

Still didn’t answer the question though.

Comment by marcusbrown

What has been going on here? I feel like this blog has just gone through puberty and is full of teenage angst.

Comment by Pete

[…] Proprietary Sh-t … As Seen In Your Agency Rob Campbell’s view on proprietary agency processes (and how they aren’t , err, that proprietary). I bridled a bit about the “engagement plan” and “media plan” being the same … but … (tags: agencies marketing advertising connectionplanning mediaartslab) Posted by francisanderson Filed in Uncategorized […]

Pingback by links for 2008-04-10 « Francis Anderson

Will calling McCaan’s the “Mariah Carey of advertising” come back to haunt you Robert?
You don’t care do you 🙂

Comment by Pete

I take it you say that because Francis has put a link to it on his blog? Nah … and even if it does, it would be like being bullied by a wealthy 2 year old who has no teeth, properly formed backbone or sense of reality 🙂

Comment by Rob

Gertcha.. straight in the nuts! 😉

Comment by Charles Frith

Oh, I’d forgotten about this post. This one was fun.

Comment by Marcus

Yes what a day that was – including one of Andy’s best responses, it’s been downhill ever since 😉

Comment by Rob

[…] I will find you. I can and will find you. Big cheese or small fry? I will find you. Big network? McCann maybe? I will find […]

Pingback by I’m not in a forgiving mood so fuck you.

Leave a Reply