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


Why Adland Needs More George Parker’s …
September 15, 2011, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Anyone who has read George Parker’s blog will know you never leave feeling the same way again.

Opinionated. Aggressive. Self-promoting. Petchulent. Rude. Loud. Blunt. Smart. Knowledgable. Funny. Challenging.

He is, quite simple, a force of nature.

And I love him.

You see while he might go off at the deep end on seemingly small matters and handles any criticism like some 5 year old kid who has been spoon fed e-numbers and espresso for the past 3 hours … he unashamedly speaks his mind and that is something this industry needs more of.

Now I know some people will say that is easy for someone who has achieved a lot in their career – and without doubt there’s some truth to that – however speaking up about something you don’t agree with should never be regarded as reckless, it should be regarded as mandatory.

Of course the key is ‘how’ you say stuff … I certainly wouldn’t recommend the George Parker method of calling a spade a fucking shovel as everyday behaviour [OK, I’m being a hypocrite, as I have said before, all people are in some way. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it] … however if you don’t let people know what you think or feel, there are massive implications, not just for you but for others.

I was recently invited to a meeting where I heard about an idea that some people had run ahead to try and make happen.

While their intention was right, it was about as mad as mad could be.

When I expressed this to them and explained why, there was a general acceptance that I had a point and they’d consider something else.

After the meeting, a couple of people I didn’t know, came up to me and said they were glad I’d brought it up because they felt the same way as me.

When I asked how long they’d known about it, they said a week.

A WEEK!!!

Now as I wrote here, I appreciate it’s hard for some people to speak up – especially when it’s to their bosses – however had I not been invited to that particular meeting, a pretty horrendous situation could have happened simply because the people in the room who appreciated the implications [who I believe weren’t junior level at all], didn’t speak up.

OK, so I was once like that too.

I remember being asked why I didn’t speak up in meetings when I wouldn’t shut the hell up when I was in the office.

When I said it was because I didn’t want to say something stupid … I was told,

“If it makes sense to you, you should say it and if it’s stupid, the people in the room will quickly tell you and educate you why”.

Some of the best advice I’ve ever had.

And that’s why people like George Parker are so important.

In an industry that has turned into a bunch of sycophantic, back-slapping, follow orders, don’t-upset-the-client/boss, yes-men … people like George show the importance and value of having, inviting and voicing opinions.

Sure it would be wise to express them in less confrontational terms … sure, you should only say something when you genuinely have a point … yes, you should maintain an open mind because you might find your view is wrong … however letting people know what you think, why you think it and what else could be done ensures people will start to view you as someone who can play a critical role in developing stronger ideas, which is a damn sight better than being regarded as an individual whose main role is to be the cheerleader for whoever has the biggest mouth or title in the room.

OK, so tragically a lot of people go a very long way with the ass-kissing, back-slapping strategy … however in my experience, the higher up the industry ladder you go, the more good clients turn to the people they believe give them meaningful viewpoints and advice, not just empty platitudes.

So George, thank you. You’re playing a much more important role than even your ego thought you were. Ha.


58 Comments so far
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Wow, I am fucking flattered… You are now permanently removed from my fucktard/douchenozzle list… ‘Cos, I am a fucking prince. Just one point… When I am wrong, which is very rarely!!! I own up and correct it. I even did a kissy-kissy with Julie Roehm… Just don’t ask which part I kissy-Kissed.
Cheers/George

Comment by George Parker

Trust me, you should keep him on it.

Comment by DH

so what youre saying is you mainly apologise to your wife. know the fucking feeling.

Comment by andy@cynic

i am fucking concerned you saw this post before anyone else. i thought doddsy was the only person who waited patiently for campbells bollocks. though you have timezones on your side so you are forgiven. doddsy actually stays up to be the first commenter here. thats how badly he needs to get laid. not as bad as billy, but that’s fucking bad.

Comment by andy@cynic

Even I have to admit I deserve to stay on your fucktard/douchnozzle list – but hopefully not as much as many of the others on there.

And you’re right, you do apologise when you rarely get things wrong – which is the sign of maturity, which is probably not something associated with adland often.

Comment by Rob

I like the fact he was on it in the first place🙂

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I hadn’t considered George, advertisings Martin Luther King before and the thought of it unsettles me slightly, but I agree with what you’re saying so I guess I have to get used to the idea. Many people say advertising needs more characters in it and while that may be true to an extent, I feel it is in more desperate need of experienced, opinionated and uncompromising individuals to encourage (and in some areas discourage) the generations behind them. All hail George.

Comment by Bazza

so job is god and george is mlk. so what the fuck am i?

Comment by andy@cynic

You’re indescribable.

Comment by Bazza

you crafty bastard.

Comment by andy@cynic

What do you mean Andy? I’m sure Baz meant it in a good way. He couldn’t possibly mean it in any other way could he? As you keep telling us, you’re perfect.

Comment by Rob

Bet Jill will feel so special that the day after you write a blog love letter to her, you write a blog love letter to a grey haired, crotchety, Englishman who lives in the US and rivals Andy for swearing. Nice.

Good post though. But that’s because of George, not you.

Comment by DH

nice work dave. making campbell look a bastard while complimenting him is a skill not seen since us weekly ran their oscar day fashion review.

Comment by andy@cynic

Thanks for pointing that out to the World Dave – very kind of you. I hope I can return the favour one day soon.

Comment by Rob

even though this post should be about me, i like george and i tragically agree with what youre saying. that shouldnt be mistaken for supporting the loud mouthed hipster digital and art student fuckers that talk like kings even though the only shit theyve produced is a nappy full of shit. they dont have opinions, they are spouting bollocks about their juvenile, myopic personal taste without any fucking thought to the bigger bastard picture or implications. speaking up is fucking good, just dont look like you only know whats been talked about on some fucking ad blog or youre fucking doomed.

Comment by andy@cynic

Just avoid Shoreditch.

Comment by DH

why cant auntie g be like g parker? just my fucking luck to have gone into business with the martha fucking stewart of adland. but without the insider dealing. at least that might have made him interesting for a few fucking weeks. an dont get me started on campbells faults. havent got 10000 years.

Comment by andy@cynic

It has been scientifically proven by NASA that there was only enough room in this solar system for one Georfe Parker which is why you had to put up with me. I am sorry for any disappointment caused, of which I am sure you will inform me was plentiful.
Good post Robert. The issue you describe is not regarded as an issue in major agencies because they view opinionated people as troublesome people with no redeeming benefits. Explains why many of these companies are run by people who have played the corporate game rather than done anything of major scale and change or as you once said, they are blessed with an abundance of talent in the field of patience.

Comment by George

The “other” George.

Comment by George

thanks for pointing that out, wed never of fucking guessed otherwise. twat.

Comment by andy@cynic

You make me sound far smarter than I am. You and Martin [W+K Amsterdam] in 2 days. It’s a trend I fully endorse carrying on. Ha.

Comment by Rob

not hard when you think a waitress asking you “what youd like” is a fucking compliment.

Comment by andy@cynic

1) It’s been far too long since George has been in London.

2) You were invited to that meeting to do exactly what you did – this makes you the Richard Feynman of w+k, albeit without the Nobel prize winning intellect.

3) Canadian suburbanites may consider midnight to be staying up late, but I don’t.

Comment by John

youd find 8pm fucking late if you spent time in a place where every hour feels like a year. a very bad fucking year.

Comment by andy@cynic

dont get excited campbell, doddsy actually mean to say you were the richard clayderman of w+k. without the shit christmas album sales success. or hair. but just as much smack in the fucking face annoyance appeal, so thats a positive.

Comment by andy@cynic

I was never under any illusion to the contrary.

Comment by Rob

Richard Feynman is famous for claiming he frequented a strip club to do work, so for once John, you’re 100% to compare him to Rob

Comment by Northern

Maybe there’s hope for me yet.

Or not.

Comment by Rob

One week is an eternity in adland. There are no stupid questions or comments, so one should speak up.

Comment by Carol L. Weinfeld

Only you could write “Opinionated. Aggressive. Self-promoting. Petchulent. Rude. Loud. Blunt” and mean it as a compliment.

I know you added a lot of compliments after that, but it’s still very impressive.

This is a great post and George (the “other” George) highlights perfectly why you’re making a very important point for the sake of adland, not just those who work within it.

Comment by Pete

I would rather listen to someone who feels apprehensive about what they wish to say than someone who speaks for the sake of speaking. Viewpoints are valuable.

Comment by Lee Hill

Did you hear that Andy? Lee’s just explained why he used to ignore everything you said. Hahaha!

Comment by Rob

‘Petchulant’? Attention to detail and all that jazz.

Comment by Ed

I got an SMS this morning from my wife saying how badly I’d spelt that word. On the bright side, I take it as a huge compliment that you think anything on this blog is worthy of attention to detail – you might be the only one, but I appreciate it, even if I can’t understand it. Ha.

Comment by Rob

I hope Jill notices that you haven’t bothered to change it yet.

Comment by John

Morning Marcus.

Comment by John

That would mean she’s won and a dangerous precedent would be set.

Comment by Rob

The speaking up is one thing (well put), I also worry at an industry increasingly devoid of characters, in favour of either The Borg or, even worse, people who think they’re characters because they wear skinny jeans and jaunty tops.
I do wonder if people don’t speak up because they actually don’t have an opinion
And yes, that was a Star Trek reference

Comment by Northern

Or people who want to be a ‘character’ rather than do things that makes people think they are characters. Bit like planners who are obsessed with being seen as interesting rather than doing stuff people find interesting.

Does that make any sense? It does to me – but I’ve realised that means nothing.

Comment by Rob

Oh it does make sense believe me.

Comment by Northern

Jonty Tops, co-founder of Dalston-based innovations hothouse Skinny Jeans has over 4 years experience of having a Facebook page. And a trust fund.

Comment by John

By the way, somebody keeps putting more and more Queen on work’s Spotify playlist, are you paying them Mr Campbell?

Comment by Northern

No … but that is an awesome idea. Thank you.

Comment by Rob

What’s ‘This Charming Man’ in Mandarin?

Comment by Northern

这个迷人的男人

Comment by Rob

an improvement.

Comment by John

They could be the squiggles of mad man. Well they are, but you know what I mean.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Still over-rated.

Comment by John

Zhège mírén de nánrén

Comment by Rob Mortimer

What is overated? Mandarin or The Smiths?

Comment by Northern

Parker isn’t a planner. Andy isn’t a planner. Go figure. No one has a fucking clue what Dodds is.

Comment by marcus

The police have a very good idea Marcus.

Hello!

Comment by Rob

afternoon. I have a day off work and I’m watching american tourists behaving badly. It’s fun.

Comment by marcus

Racist.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Just posted about you… I will also link your poxy blog… Yes, I am a fucking prince!
Cheers/George

Comment by George Parker

Mr. Parker’s principle gift to us is the constant de-branding of some “firms” that have eviscerated their workers and denuded a once proud industry. In today’s climate, politicians, actors and big business count on the fact that the general public is so overwhelmed by information that all will be forgotten in a week (or less). Mr. Parker is one of the most obstinate men on the planet, creating a groundhog day for the aforementioned vermin.

Comment by Studio Maven

Amen!

Comment by Vic @ Sell! Sell!

[…] + We Need More George Parker’s […]

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