birthdays, pitches and colman

February 17, 2009

It’s a bit busy at the moment. Douglas Jnr. was one on Saturday (my, how time flies), our Nike 5 campaign commenced on Friday (it’s awesome) and I had to head to Leeds on Sunday night in advance of a pitch presentation yesterday (it seemed to go well).  And in between all of this I’ve had to fit in three listenings of Moz’s latest long-player.

Meanwhile, in the office, amazing things continue to happen daily. Today, industry leading planner and blog lord Paul Colman stuck two fingers up at the recession by enjoying a delicious egg and cress sandwich from Tesco. This is, apparently, how he rolls. 


Doesn’t he look like a chap without a storage-based concern in the world?


welcome to optimism

February 10, 2009


Pic credit David Stevens, w+k planner and photoman

Well. It’s all a bit different here.

Maybe it’s just me, or perhaps it’s simply the sweet sweet air of Spitalfields, but everyone here seems to have a bit more of a spring in their step. Sure, there are the occasional finishes at stupid o’clock (the most stupid being 3am), the odd weekend in the office, and the fact that we have one toilet per fifty people (roughly), but when you’re enjoying what you’re doing these trivialities don’t really matter that much (as long as the loos remain clean, of course – a dirty bathroom frankly ruins everything). Everyone seems to be passionate, motivated – and, well, very good.

I’m loving being closer to ‘the work’. Working in a media agency, no matter where or on what, you always feel one step removed from where the action really is. Rightly or wrongly, but it’s true. It’s a great feeling being able to go to the client with an idea, have it approved in hours then work closely with the creative teams to bring it to life. That is, really bring it to life – not commit it to powerpoint and farm it out somewhere for someone else to realise. And I’m pretty sure this is why I got into the industry in the first place.

I left a great job, in a good agency, with a team that I loved. Luckily it appears the new role is even more awesome, the agency is as exactly as it’s brand would have you believe, and the people equally great. We’ve even started a soup club, which as I write seems awfully twee. But it’s not. Honest. And as if to ensure it didn’t become so, ‘blog lord’ Paul Colman complained that the inaugural soup – a wonderful tomato and basil effort crafted by Ms. Sophie Piper – was too ‘tomatoey’. He was wrong, but everyone’s entitled to their opinion.

I’m only six weeks in. There’s plenty of time for everything to change. But at a time when we’re all grateful to simply have a job, to have one that’s so dynamic, stimulating and motivating in such an amazing environment makes me feel very fortunate indeed.

Is that all too sickly?

if there was a god wouldn’t we have had a whole week of snow?

February 3, 2009

Spotted yesterday during the big freeze.


*not really. but this will possibly fill five minutes of boredom

poke and piss

February 3, 2009

It’s funny because it’s true!

With thanks to Jon for the heads up.

that which we call a rose

January 29, 2009

Spotted on the way to work today in London’s ‘fashionable’ east end. Gotta be a joke, no?berkshirehunt


January 26, 2009


Why thank you Nike, I will.

In cyberspace everyone can hear you tweet

January 16, 2009

Rogue tweets. We’ve all been there. Whether it’s a frustration induced heat of the moment tweet or an ill advised update after one too many adult beverages, the world of social media is peppered with life commentary that after the passage of time seems, well, regrettable.

Thankfully, most of it gets buried within the fog of the web, destined to be forgotten and not to impinge on the everyday course of the real world. And as such it’s easy to forget that actually, when you drop the update bomb, the whole world can see what you’re thinking.

And that includes clients.

So for all of you who have got away with an ill-advised tweet or status update, spare a thought for twitter user keyinfluencer, aka PR firm Ketchum VP James Andrews, who, upon visiting Memphis to meet with client FedEx, commented:

True confession but I’m in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say “I would die if I had to live here!


What the “globally influencial” (his words – see his twitter bio) business traveller didn’t take into account was that his Memphian client was (a) using twitter and (b) loved Memphis more than Elvis himself. What follows is the FedEx response, in all of it’s cringe-inducing glory. Oh, and the entire FedEx comms department, the corporate Vice President and the entire Ketchum board was allegedly cc’d on this note.

Mr. Andrews,

If I interpret your post correctly, these are your comments about Memphis a few hours after arriving in the global headquarters city of one of your key and lucrative clients, and the home of arguably one of the most important entrepreneurs in the history of business, FedEx founder Fred Smith.

Many of my peers and I feel this is inappropriate. We do not know the total millions of dollars FedEx Corporation pays Ketchum annually for the valuable and important work your company does for us around the globe. We are confident however, it is enough to expect a greater level of respect and awareness from someone in your position as a vice president at a major global player in your industry. A hazard of social networking is people will read what you write.

Not knowing exactly what prompted your comments, I will admit the area around our airport is a bit of an eyesore, not without crime, prostitution, commercial decay, and a few potholes. But there is a major political, community, religious, and business effort underway, that includes FedEx, to transform that area. We’re hopeful that over time, our city will have a better “face” to present to visitors.

James, everyone participating in today’s event, including those in the auditorium with you this morning, just received their first paycheck of 2009 containing a 5% pay cut… which we wholeheartedly support because it continued the tradition established by Mr. Smith of doing whatever it takes to protect jobs.

Considering that we just entered the second year of a U.S. recession, and we are experiencing significant business loss due to the global economic downturn, many of my peers and I question the expense of paying Ketchum to produce the video open for today’s event; work that could have been achieved by internal, award-winning professionals with decades of experience in television production.

Additionally Mr. Andrews, with all due respect, to continue the context of your post; true confession: many of my peers and I don’t see much relevance between your presentation this morning and the work we do in Employee Communications.

Oh deary me.

Read his response here. Fair play to him for the open response – and he hasn’t deleted the offending tweet either.

Props to Peter Shankman for the original scoop.

dialling up the crazy

January 6, 2009

Well it’s day two and I’m still here. Which is good news. And no-one stole my lunch money, which is even better.


Although I haven’t played on the table football yet. Which is a shame.

2009. A year for… profligacy?

January 6, 2009

I’d love to know the budget on this. The credit crunch clearly hasn’t hit Aviva then…

Happy 2009 by the way!