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

I’m The Winner. Of Losing.
October 18, 2013, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

I work in an industry where it appears the underlying objective is to be recognised as brilliant, creative, successful or wise.

I understand why … not just because it helps convince clients to trust our judgement, but because it is also one of the most effective ways to get a better job with better money.

Of course it doesn’t always work, because I know many very brilliant people who aren’t getting the breaks they deserve, but that’s another post for another day.

Anyway, when I was much, much younger, I would read magazines like Campaign, and just marvel at the brilliance of the people being interviewed.

They were bright … sharp … forward thinking.

They had opinions and viewpoints that would make you think.

Challenge your pre-conceived ideas.

Make you re-evaluate what you had done and what you could do.

And while I know I often use this blog to slag off certain people in the industry who are either [1] pretentious tossers and/or [2] experts at repackaging the obvious – or old – and trying to claim they’ve just created the Universe, there are still many, many people’s opinions that I follow closely … like Northern, Gareth or Martin, to name but a few … and they continue to make me feel in awe of their brilliance while also making me feel an utter failure and fraud.

So imagine my surprise when I opened the 40th anniversary edition of Campaign … yes, the magazine I started reading when I got in this industry … and saw me in it.


There I was alongside some of the industries greats – who were all talking about the impact of the industry, the re-emergence of Asia as an economic powerhouse and the role and future of advertising.

Except I wasn’t in it for that, I was in it for this:

Yes, I am basically being awarded a prize for being the biggest loser in adland.

But you know what, I love it.

No, I really do.

Not [just] because I’m a publicity addict … not [just] because it shows I’m growing old disgracefully … but because I work in an industry that not only affords me a life I have no right to live, but also still lets me have fun.

Of course, some people mistake my stupidity for not taking things seriously – and while I appreciate some of the stuff I say or do may encourage that point of view – the fact is I care passionately about what I do, who I do it with and who I do it for.

No seriously, I really do.

While I appreciate business doesn’t take adland seriously enough these days, it’s not because we people aren’t being ‘serious’ enough in their tone and manner, it’s because the industry likes to talk about what they do, rather than what their clients need.

So yes, I like to have fun, but rather that than be one of those folk who walk around thinking ‘smiling’ or ‘laughing’ is a sign of weakness.

Well that’s my [sad] excuse and I’m sticking with it.


Anyway, I want to thank Campaign magazine for their accolade, I am genuinely touched. Not only did it make me laugh out loud, you rated me ‘higher’ than my wonderful old boss, Chris Jaques, which is amazing given you used a photo where he wasn’t wearing his trademark white shirt and blue jeans, which should have automatically put him in pole position.

So as you were so nice to me, here’s my gift to you.

Yes, it’s another stupid photo of me to add to your collection.

Feel free to use use it against me at some point in the future*.

I know Mr Wieden will.

* Acknowledging you’re all way too smart to visit my rubbish and see this photo in the first place … though not so smart to eradicate all mention of me from your fine product forever and a day.

31 Comments so far
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i think im going to be fucking sick.

Comment by andy@cynic

and what the fuck have you got on uncle dan to get him to participate in your web of fucking evil? you must have information and photographs that the cia would fucking kill for.

Comment by andy@cynic

How do you think I got the job in the first place.

Comment by Rob

and im fucking sure jill didnt need an industry magazine telling everyone shes married to you. its bad enough her mum knows without some mid level brand manager in vietnam knowing as well.

Comment by andy@cynic

Being considered a blow up doll is better than being known as Rob’s wife.

Comment by DH

Let’s get this straight. I’m the winner of losing.

Comment by John

Maybe Rob is the winner of successful losing John.

Comment by DH

the rush to the fucking bottom.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’ve heard of slow news days but this is insulting.

Comment by DH

That’s real insight.

Comment by Rob

Looking at the state of the runners up and honourable mentions, I now understand how you made it work in Asia.

Comment by DH

My eyes.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Congratulations Rob. Not many people could be associated with blow up dolls, cardboard cut outs and reindeer, let alone members of the allegedly crazy advertising fraternity.

You’re making a bigger point with this post than you may think. Where many in the industry are trying to constrain the extremes and the crazy, those are the elements that help push ideas into more interesting and dramatic places. I am sure one of the reasons W+K is so good is because they open their arms to these people and know how to best involve and utilize them rather than view them as trouble or an expensive overhead.

Comment by Pete

To further illustrate my point, the things you are being celebrated for are things you are naturally doing in your life where the runners up and notable nominees are all making conscious efforts, because they are in environments or situations that demand that, to embrace the crazy.

You could argue this shows you are insane where they are professionals who like to have fun, but I know who I’d find the most interesting to work with.

That is why this “accolade” is more important than you might think Rob.

Comment by Pete

Sorry to break this to you Pete but Rob won’t leave you anything in his will, even with ass kissing comments like these.

Comment by DH

What a waste of compliments.

Comment by Pete

sycofuckingphant. emphasis on syco.

Comment by andy@cynic

Bloody hell Pete, that’s ridiculously nice of you. Utterly wrong, but very nice of you.

Comment by Rob

I would like to ask the people at Campaign if Robert achieved this accolade because of his unique character and behaviour or because his prolific tweeting, blogging and photographing drowned out the competitions social media activities and overwhelmed the journalists brain.

Comment by George

george goes bastard. about fucking time. feels good doesnt it auntie.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by George

Thanks a lot for nothing George. Ha.

Comment by Rob

Excellent, excellent.
And to quote Nick Berry, every loser wins

Comment by northern

Unless he’s me that is

Comment by northern

You quoted Nick Berry. Jesus, that makes a Queen fan look positively cool. Allegedly.

Comment by Rob

But the fact you recognise the quote implicates you too.

Comment by northern

It’s hardly a quote, it was a shit song from my youth … up there with every other 2-bit soap star who wanted to cash in on their popularity.

Comment by Rob

But this is a classic

Comment by northern

You win. That is spectacular.

Comment by Rob

As if you didn’t play on it.

Comment by John

[…] For example, there’s this. Or this. Or even this. […]

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