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

If Adland Is Supposed To Be About Knowing How People Really Tick …
March 2, 2009, 6:16 am
Filed under: Comment

… what does this say about the quality of media person in Singapore these days?

Read the blog exchange from … and hopefully MEDIAGUY’s response will make you as angry and sickened as me.


Pitching In Singapore – The Dark Side

An agency head contacts us from Singapore with some disturbing news about a major pitch by a particular government body. Take a look…

“They made us pitch over christmas and new years…because of which half the agency couldnt go on holiday. And now, just after we submitted the tender and are getting ready for the second round of presentations next week, they’ve taken a huge chunk of the old tender, added a million more things to it and called for another one.

Whats even better is that we have only five days to work on ten sets of creatives!

They know that agencies want govt. money in these times of recession and are just exploiting that as much as they can! AND they have the gall to say things like “we want to keep the agency on their toes”, after being responsible for me falling sick, not taking holidays, hair turning gray.
Can someone leak this to the press or something?”

Consider it done …

Is this a fair representation of what is going on in Singapore at the moment? Are government departments using the increased interest in their accounts to drive ever harder bargains? Or is this just part of the game?


1. Judas Says:
February 19th, 2009 at 9:12 am

The even darker side of pitching for government business is that you know darn well someone in the client side knows someone in one of the bidding agencies, so rest assured that information is shared and the bidding process is far from transparent.

My advice to anyone in the mood for pitching goverment business … run a mile on broken glass … bang your head against the wall and go for a swim in the Singapore River. At least this process would prepare you for the pain of dealing with the world’s most annoying, incompetent and moronic bureaucrats.

2. Absolut Says:
February 24th, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Nothing more then the truth and well said. Bringing back the old “wonderful” memories.
In short nothing more then getting the worst brief and being insulted by a bunch of incompetent bureaucrats over your ideas and yet later found out part of it got stolen.

Talk a about Piracy…

3. MediaGuy Says:
February 26th, 2009 at 6:15 pm

If you hate hark work, discipline and sacrifice – tenets on which Singapore was built on – I would suggest you move to India and work for the government there. Perhaps then you would develop some real life exposure with the world’s most annoying, incompetent and moronic bureaucrats. And maybe even get rich enough with corruption money to buy that bum beach hut in Thailand you’ve always dreamed about.

To be fair, government accounts need to go through rigorous consensual checkpoint procedures, country comes before ego. But once the initial teething pains are over, they generally stick to plan. Try working for clients who change their strategy every week, grey hairs and the flu are the least of your worries, a chronic heart seizure is more likely the effect.

And, government accounts pay on time…

Over the past decade, many in the industry have become too soft with the easy life and easy expectations. One to two years of 24/7/365 recession grind to avoid sleeping on the side of the railway tracks should be a good thing… alternatively you could join Ogilvy China and get a few ship up or shape out slaps from that TS guys lol

4. Robert Campbell Says:
February 27th, 2009 at 9:55 am

And the winner of media’s most prejudice and myopic Adman of the year goes to …


Congratulations, I hope you can make it up onto the stage with all those chips on your shoulder.


Even though I totally and utterly love the Asia region, I have always said it is one of the most racist places I’ve ever been to.

Whilst on the surface people are pleasant, kind and accommodating, behind closed doors – or in places where they can maintain their secrecy – they spit the kind of vitriol that would make a member of the BNP blush.

I honestly don’t know which is worse … the racists who come out and let you know exactly where they stand or the idiots like MEDIAGUY who keep it within until they feel they can get away with it.

Now I must admit, I don’t know if MEDIAGUY is from Singapore but I have a sneaking suspicion he might be.

While his attitude is no way limited to just Singapore, it does – yet again – demonstrate how the ever-developing attributes of arrogance, elitism and entitlement are going to undermine Singapore’s future prosperity because as much as many of the people think they did it all on their own, the reality is the nationalities they look down on [and that does include Westerners, though in a very different way] are the very people who helped them create their astounding success in the first place.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t clever and amazing people in Singapore – of course there are, some of the most dynamic people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting – but this next generation are in danger of fucking up the amazing achievements thanks to their myopic and misguided attitude towards life, culture and society.

Need proof?

Well how about the fact the author of the original blog post never mentioned – or indicated – their nationality, yet MEDIAGUY felt justified to respond via an irrelevant and racist barrage? Yes, Singapore was built on hark work, discipline and sacrifice … but so were other places … and whilst they have been smarter than most in the decisions they’ve made, once the genius architect of it all passes away, it will be interesting to see how/if the country copes.

I find it especially funny MEDIAGUY has the nerve to talk about getting some “real life exposure” given he demonstrates the longest he’s been away from his cocooned little bubble is about 3 days. Oh, and for the record – corruption can be more than just back handed payments, it can be ensuring key industry is owned/controlled by family members. Sound familiar dumbass?

Seriously, is it any wonder clients don’t place much value in adland when fuckwits like this are employed!

Personally I think Media magazine/blog should find out who wrote this comment and name and shame them … not just because the person is a small minded idiot who deserves a great big fucking slap, but because his/her attitude means they must be shit at their job.

Come on MediaGuy, reveal yourself – because talking big means nothing if you have to hide behind your Mothers skirt.


16 Comments so far
Leave a comment

killing is too fucking good for that wanker. keep up the heat and maybe our favourite reformed hacker could get involved?

and why does twatmonkey think its only fucking wrong to be a racist cock in bullshit like the wsj? twisted stupid fucking tool. you have permission to seek and destroy campbell

Comment by andy@cynic

One of the big problems with blogs is that people can make comments like that anonymously. If that’s how they really feel why don’t they put their name to it? That is a rhetorical question, it’s as obvious to them as it is to us.

Good on you Rob for not letting the idiot get away with things like that. But then that’s you all over isn’t it. 🙂

Comment by Pete

I loathe anonymous comments… what’s the point? Good work for smacking this idiot!

On a side note, I see you’ve used both “twat” and “prat” today. How British! Anyways, it made me laugh.

Comment by Age

Twattyprat – does that make you feel better Age?

Comment by Rob

In the (slightly adjusted) lyrics of Propagandhi:

The only good racist is a very dead racist…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

this type of xenophobic behaviour could be a huge problem for the region, if it’s as fundamental as you say it is Rob.

as the world slowly, but fast, moves into an age of people powered creativity with huge interdependence (wow..if ever i read some wank it’s people powered creativity with huge interdepence, but better words allude me), an open minded p.o.v. will be a must.

the media guy response smells of yesterday whereby doing hard work is all that is needed to win. hard work and product-based creativity (as in being a magpie) is wat helped the east catch up.

it will be people-based ideas and developments that will determine if they will keep their place. the nationalistic flag that is now being waved is, I guess a “to be expected” reaction in light of the success, but it will not be the cornerstone of tomorrows succes..

Comment by niko

It reminds me of much of the USA.

Spending years and extreme effort striving for a fair and just society, with great ideals of freedom and liberty… and then becoming so blinded by pride in it as to completely ignore the ideals that made you proud in the first place.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I think that’s where you’re wrong Niko, well wrongish …

When you say “the World is moving towards people powered creativity”, that is from a more Western perspective – at least interms of how it can influence and impact the behaviour of major corporations – it’s certainly not how it manifests itself here mainly because the interpretation of creativity tends to be quite different here.

As for the inherent prejudice of the population – I don’t think it’s that different from many Western attitudes, except they vocalise it in more public arenas [even if hidden behind an anon blog comment] than the West.

Saying that, the reason why I think it won’t stop Asia’s continued dominance is that interms of certain categories, they make things quicker, cheaper and better than many of their Western counterparts [hence the sales will continue] and in Asia, at a senior business level, money/business has the power for outdated, cultural stereotypes to be kept at bay. At least till the deal has been signed.

The best lesson I’ve learnt in Asia is to not judge peoples actions/decisons from my personal perspective … but understand how they’ve been nurtured [actively or passively] by culture to adopt this view.

I’ve said it alot, but this region runs a hell of a lot on myth and legend and just because it doesn’t make sense to me, doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense – the key to understanding is knowing WHY, not WHAT people do – which is sadly what too many Western companies have failed to grasp resulting in alienating rather than attracting.

Comment by Rob


Comment by Rob Mortimer

sorry rob – this is going to come across incredibly naive, but are you saying that by suggesting the indian government is annoying, incompetent, moronic, bureaucratic and corrupt that media guy is being racist?

while i don’t agree with his defence of singapores shit government run-around and think he’s a twat for the old ‘hard work never killed anyone’ idea, i didn’t get that he was being necessarily racist. if he said that indians (as a whole) were annoying, incompetent, etc, etc, etc, then yes. but from what i hear, most governments (and certainly australias and indias) are all that and more.

but if i’ve missed something, apologies, as i fuckin’ abhor racism.

Comment by lauren

You’re not being naive Lauren … infact you could say you’ve just trapped me in a stereotypical view as well … however when you look at the tone of his comment [especially in relation to the other people’s views] and the fact he chose to highlight the Indian Government as the home for “annoying, incompetent and moronic behaviour” [rather than one of the more obvious ‘nations’ that are located even closer to Singapore’s shores] – then I believe he is in fact demonstrating his prejudiced view towards his regional neighbours, a view that is sadly shared by many.

I guess I can say this because I’ve spent 4 years being exposed to continual China vs India / India vs China comment and back-biting … and given MediaGuys only response was that I should “chill” rather than tell me to shut the fuck up for calling him a racist, I guess he is admitting it in his silence.

Maybe …

Comment by Rob

Is that a planning trick Rob? Tell everyone that the evidence might not seem to lead to your conclusion, but that your deep knowledge and insightfulness backs it up?

Comment by John

he learnt that from arnell

Comment by andy@cynic

Very funny Andy … prick! 🙂

Comment by Rob

my apologies, call it bad timing, but I come onto this thread in overtime (penalty kicks looming.)
Very curious… Rob, would you expand on your comment in the main paragraph about the way in which SG looks down on Westerners?!
I had just arrived in the region about 5 years ago, and I remember my utter surprise in discovering that Asians are extremely racists towards each other. With a smirk on my face, I thought, ‘…so, they are racists too.’
And I agree with one of your comments that here in Asia racism work in more subtle ways than in the West. Dunno, always prefer somebody who is upfront with his/her views rather than the condescending looks….
Blame it on this era of PC, it is easy to make comments which are true – on ineffective, lazy and corrupt governments – and not get accused of being racist.
SG government bodies might be a pain to deal with, but I’d rather deal with them rather than the ultra-corrupt equivalents in Indonesia or the Philippines. Thats why it is easier for Singaporeans to deal with SG government bodies since they are used to work within a certain workframe. I recently gave up applying for a job in one such agency: the online application process was one of the most frustrating experiences I ever went through. But the same can be said about other cultures: Italians work better in an Italian workframe, Frenchies work better in a Frenchie workframe, etc.; then again thankgod we have people with exposure and curiosity to understand other cultures.
That was a long post….. Ciao

Comment by Claudio

Hi Claudio – thanks for posting.

Whilst the focus of my post was on the comments made towards the Indian Government [versus the Singaporean body] that was not the reason I claim this person is racist … it was their overall tone and manner of their diatribe, a rant that had little to do with the actual topic and alot about linking it in to stereotypes which – whilst on face value have a lot of truth about them – are yet more generalistic bollocks that the ad industry tends to trade in.

The issue is that people judge others by their own cultural values and so whilst taking back handers may seem corrupt to someone who has been brought up in a more transparent country, to others, it is simply the way business operates.

Is it wrong? To me – yes – but before people make a call, they should try to understand the motivations behind peoples actions and thoughts because then they may understand that there is a lot more going on than just ‘cheating the system’.

As for expanding my view – rather than bore you stupid – feel free to write to rob [@] cynical-world dot com and I will happily blather on about my views and opinions.

Hope you come by again.

Comment by Rob

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