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

Small Kids. A Big Tax Deduction. Apparently …

Have a look at this …

What the absolute fuck?

I honestly thought it was a spoof when I first saw it.

But no … it’s deadly serious.

A visual of a kid who can’t be more than 3 … holding an adult-sized tennis racket … on a full-size tennis court … with a headline that suggests this is a company that can help your child become a professional athlete.

And if the idea of pushing a 3 year old to be a pro isn’t horrible enough, you then discover it’s a bloody private wealth company promoting that they can find tax benefits for sending your kid to a private school.

That’s right, your kid is a tax write-off.

The absolute fuckers.

OK, I admit I have a massive problem with private schools. Education … good education … should be free for all. Not because I’m some socialist fool [though I am a socialist fool] but because the smarter the country, the more prosperous the country.

Education is an investment in a nations future.

I hate schools can be massive profit centres. That some have more money than Councils, so can buy land for their elite kids, that could otherwise be turned into homes or parks or anything other than another elitist space.

OK, so there are some exceptions.

If your child has certain learning difficulties, I would understand it.

As I wrote a while back, too many schools are forced to teach as a one-size-fits-all, collective.

Where kids aren’t actually learning, they’re being taught to remember.

It’s why I’m so grateful to Otis’ school with his recent dysgraphia diagnosis.

Where they see his potential, not his problems.

Of course, if that wasn’t the case … then we would have to find a school that would help him on his terms, not their schedule.

And as much as I am vehemently opposed to private education, I’d have to do it.

But even then, it wouldn’t be about elitism, but equality. A chance for him to have a chance.

And while I get all parents want the best for their kids, a child is not a tax write-off and while Apollo Private Wealth are trying to position themselves as the ‘caring and considerate financial partner’, their motives are as transparent as a greenhouse.

So while this ad was not meant as a spoof … it did show this company is a joke.

Comments Off on Small Kids. A Big Tax Deduction. Apparently …

Airport Advertising Is Crazier Than Perfume Advertising …

Over the years, I’ve written a bunch about perfume advertising.

How it must be the equivalent of an architect being asked to design a building in China or Dubai – because absolutely anything goes.

At the other end of the spectrum is airport advertising.

Like perfume ads, the goal is not to really sell … but to create illusion and impression.

A way to drive awareness or influence with a captive audience.

And while there are the odd moments of magic – like the Gentle Monster face I worked on – the vast majority are beige-as-batshit ads for banks, universities and fashion houses.

Of course they don’t think that, as I saw recently, they consider themselves the creme de la creme of prestigious ad placement …

Now don’t get me wrong, getting on a plane still has some element of glamour attached – a teensy bit – but a picture of a plane with the words ‘creative advertising’ under it hardly does them service.

And yet, like perfume advertising, there are some who think normal rules do not apply.

While in Croatia, I saw this piece of insanity …

What the fuck?

I mean, I know airports get all sorts of people passing through them.

And, as I said, ads in airport are more about awareness than driving immediate sales.

But … but … an ad for a war plane?

Who is going to pass through an airport and go, “oh yes, that would be perfect for the military coup I’m considering igniting”

Hell, even if it was in Duty Free with a 30% discount, I doubt you’d have to beat people off with a shitty stick to buy one.

And what the hell does ‘Challenge. Create. Outperform.’ even mean?

Then there’s ‘unbeatable combination’.

What’s that then … plane and death?

I am so confused and can only say that whoever bought/sold this ad, is either a genius, a maniac or a dictator.

Comments Off on Airport Advertising Is Crazier Than Perfume Advertising …

Rose Tinted Glasses, But With The Wrong Lenses In …

It’s easy to look at the past with rose-tinted glasses.

There’s few who do this better than the ad industry.

So many saying everything was better then. More interesting. More creative.

And while there’s an argument more culturally iconic work was produced in the past than the present – driven by factors such as marketing having a greater influence in the C-Suite right through to a lack of alternative options for driving business – we can’t forget the past also produced things like this …

Look at it.


On the positive, it shows the flex of the material in ways you won’t forget, but on the negative …. errrrrm, where shall we start?

Elton John recently said something that I really liked about looking back.

In essence, he said if you always look at the past as the time where everything great happened, you may as well give up.

He didn’t say those exact words, but it was kinda-like that.

His point was desire, context and openness change everything.

And while that shouldn’t mean just because you do new work – or have the ambition to do it – it’s automatically better than everything that went before, neither does it mean something from the past is automatically better than whatever came after it …

What people forget is it takes hard work to be good.

Even for the most gifted and talented, it requires real effort and graft.

Doesn’t matter if it’s past or present … doing something of note means putting yourself out there and waiting to be judged.

That’s an incredibly vulnerable position to put yourself in.

To choose to put yourself in.

To be forced to put yourself in.

And while there are ways to increase the odds of a positive outcome, there’s no guarantee it will work which is why there’s two things worth remembering …

First is whether creating something for yourself or others, make sure you enjoy [and be allowed to enjoy] what you’re doing and what you’ve done because – as Rick Rubin said – if you don’t, then it’s pretty certain others won’t either.

Second is if someone hates something simply because it’s new, then remember that means they probably like the ad above and suddenly their comments mean jack shit and should be treated as such.

That doesn’t mean you can phone any shit in. [See point 1]

But it does mean you can ignore their rose-tinted bullshit too.

Comments Off on Rose Tinted Glasses, But With The Wrong Lenses In …

Nothing Says You Care Like Trying To Manipulate You Using Family Death As A Justification …

OK, as I wrote yesterday, this week has been full of loving and nice posts.

Or as long and nice as I can get.

And tomorrow – as it’s the closest day to Otis’ 8th birthday – I’m going to drown you in it.

So I thought I’d better show I’ve still got some hate in me before you call the hospital.

And Police.

Fortunately, Uber have made it easy for me to do this. Again.

Because for all their claims ‘we’re a good, people-focused company these days’, they show they’re not.

Or, at the very least, lacking any sense of self awareness whatsoever.

Have a look at this ..

What. The. Absolute. Fuck?

Like seriously, what the hell?

Now to be honest, this may be a joke tweet. I didn’t see it myself but was sent it by a friend.

But the fact I can imagine it’s real, highlights how questionable Uber are.

Because – lets face it – anyone that uses the death of a loved one to try and guilt trip you into hiring their taxi service has some major issues going on.

And they don’t even get it right because they suggest the reason you should do it is to ‘treat yourself’ rather than respect the loss of your grandfather.

They even dare say it’s what ‘grandpa would have wanted’.

The evil pricks.

But why would I think they’d understand how disgusting this behaviour is?

For all the fluff PR pieces they’ve put out … we all know Uber don’t give a fuck about anyone or anything other than lining their own pocket.

So here’s hoping anyone who falls for this lets grandpa’s ashes fall out all over the back of the Uber Black seats and force it off the road for a few days so it can be cleaned. Because annoying someone who is trying to bully and manipulate their grandkids is what grandpa really would have wanted.


Comments Off on Nothing Says You Care Like Trying To Manipulate You Using Family Death As A Justification …

Dumb Luck …

There’s a narrative that to be rich, you have to be smart.

Or very, very lucky.

Whether that viewpoint is true or not is probably more an individual take than a general view. But what isn’t talked about very often is how success can make you stupid.

The comedian Billy Connolly once said the world smells of fresh paint, because wherever the Queen walks [RIP] … 20 feet in front of her is someone painting the walls white.

Or said another way, wherever successful people go, ‘yes people’ follow.

Never did I see that more in action than when I lived in America.


The ‘manage-up’ attitude was incredible to witness.

Basic thoughts were met with an ever increasing amount of fawning responses …

“That’s a brilliant idea”.


“You’re so clever”.

And all this resulted in was leaders thinking they were Gods … walking on clouds thinking the world was looking up and worshiping them … pushing confidence in their own voice to greater and greater levels, so they spouted even more ridiculous viewpoints that they packaged-up as next-level Yoda statements for their entourage to fake swoon over.

I say this because I recently saw this …


I mean, what does ‘the smartest praline in the World’ even mean?

Does it have Alexa inside them?

Or maybe the new iWatch Ultra?

Or did they get Einstein’s body, crush it up and placed fragments into each nut.

Seriously, what the hell are they going on about???

Well it gets worse.

No, really.

Because when you watch the ad, ‘the smartest praline in the world’ translates to the ability to be a sexpest on public transport … I kid you not.

The good news is this ad is apparently old … but it still perfectly demonstrates nothing can make you more egotistically stupid, than being successful.

Comments Off on Dumb Luck …