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

This Might Be Career Suicide But …
April 17, 2012, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

… a couple of months ago, I was sent an email by some uber-senior strategy bod at McCann’s who resides in New York.

In the email, he said he had met someone who told him we should “have a chat”, so wanted to know when we could talk/meet with the view of discussing some very senior opportunities that might be coming up in the company.

OK, so at this point there’s a couple of things we should mention:

I have documented my many issues with McCann’s in the past, so the likelihood of me [a] working there [b] being happy there and [c] getting a job there are very remote

I don’t know who told him he should “have a chat” with me, but I’m guessing it’s a mate that thought it would be very funny. Or an enemy. Probably one and the same.

Anyway, because I always enjoy meeting new people – even people who work at places I pretty much loathe – I said I’d be happy to chat.


Not a dickie bird.

OK, so maybe he had read some of my anti-McCann posts of the past but surely then he would have contacted me and told me to fuck off.

To be honest, I’d of admired him if he did that – but instead I heard nothing.

I know he’s busy … I know he probably has lots of people to see and talk to … but he reached out to me and so if he can’t even find a way to communicate with someone that – at some point – he was considering for a job at his company, then it’s little surprise McCann are so bad at communicating on behalf of their clients.

With all that in mind, I am sure you won’t find this little episode amusing.

Or childish.

Probably childish.

So a couple of weeks ago, a headhunter called me and said a senior bloke from McCann’s wanted to meet me.

I have no idea what it is with senior blokes and McCann’s but after confirming it wasn’t the same guy who had given me the cold shoulder previously – even though I’d of given him the same answer – I responded with 2 questions:

1. “Can they afford to pay me US$1 million a year tax free?”

“Errrrm, probably not” came the reply.

2. “OK, is he a hypnotist?”

“I have no idea, why?” he responded, with just the right level of nervousness in his voice.

“Because if he can’t pay me a million quid, the only way he can get me to meet him is to hypnotize me”.

To be fair to the headhunter, he did persevere and it was only when I said,

“There’s not a cat in hell’s chance I want to join them”, he finally accepted defeat.

I know I’m being very harsh towards McCann’s and I shouldn’t be because not only have they done some great things in the past, they have some very talented friends who work there [some who I am lucky enough to call friends] … however I am fed up of hearing them say the same old bollocks and make out ‘change is afoot’ when all they end up doing is changing people rather than changing the very attitudes and processes that are holding them back.

Just a few years ago, McCann’s were riding high – at least in terms of clients and cash – now they’re leaking like an Italian cruise ship after the captain got distracted trying to chat up some Russian bird … which further highlights why W+K and BBH are worthy of even more praise than they already get.


48 Comments so far
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i almost fucking like you again after this bollocks.

Comment by andy@cynic

in the big fucking scheme of things, saying youre a sheep and dan the man was a lonely shepard was more suicidal.

Comment by andy@cynic


I’m starting to think #1 & #2 might not have been so bad at all. I’m also realising Mary is a saint. A bonafide saint.

Comment by Rob

besides youd be more certain of career fucking suicide if you actually worked there than saying you dont want to fucking work there and the management are a bunch of fucking cocks.

Comment by andy@cynic

Or pushing Nike to make cars

Comment by northern

and who couldnt applaud you for your petchulant and childish fucking retort to another brain dead, commission at all fucking costs, headhunter twat.

Comment by andy@cynic

All these compliments are getting creepy. Just saying.

Comment by Rob

i even agree with you that their constant fucking bleating about “change is coming” is laughable. what the fuck is going on? oh i fucking know, its the fatherhood gene kicking in. those little kids are evil, manipulative, little fucks arent they.

Comment by andy@cynic

Glad you’ve started to notice it too. Can you go back to just being horrible and painful, it weirdly makes me feel much calmer inside.

Comment by Rob

I would rather work in a planning department than mccant’s.

Comment by DH

I might want to take that back at a later date.

Comment by DH

I am amazed how bad people in ad agencies are at communicating with others. For an industry that is supposedly the bridge between brands and society it seems many have yet to learn the basics of dialogue and consideration. What’s worse is this man had originally spoken to you as a prospective employee which makes it worse, or better as you are now even more confident why you would not want to work there.

McCanns problem isn’t that they talk about wanting to change, it’s that they consistently keep ignoring what needs to be changed which indicates delusion at the highest levels or the worse strategic planning team in adland.

If this post is career suicide then it was one that was worthwhile.

Comment by Pete

you were doing quite well till you got to the last sentence then you fucking ruined it with some utter shit.

Comment by andy@cynic

but youre getting better at not being so annoyingly fucking nice.

you should live with one of my exes, theyd turn you into pol fucking pot in no time.

Comment by andy@cynic

Nice point Pete. Of course, that’s because you’ve basically repeated what I said in the post, only more succinctly and concise.

Comment by Rob

the good news for you campbell is george has just fucked w+k over more than you could ever pull off in 500 lifetimes by nicking tait to the happy factory.

i know he claims to have nothing to do with the lab fuckers in nyc but he also claims hes a nice guy and we all know what bollocks that is dont we.

george might have just saved your shitty career. wouldnt be the first fucking time would it.

Comment by andy@cynic

Yes, and no doubt I’ll be tarnished by the association. That wouldn’t be the first time either.

Comment by Rob

IPG are the shittest holding company in the world. Fact.

Comment by Billy Whizz

who the fuck do you think you are, adscam george?

Comment by andy@cynic

Maybe they saw this like I did:

Rob starts from the 10th min. Made the guy spoke prior to him sound so stupid.

Comment by Angel X

Oh thanks Angel … thanks a lot. I thought you liked me, now I know for sure to never, ever assume.

Seriously, I rambled incoherently enough at, but this is a whole new level of rubbish.

There’s worse, you should have heard me on the same show blathering on about the creative approach in China – but on second thoughts, it’s probably best you leave well alone, it’s probably classed as a weapon of mass boredom.

Comment by Rob

You mean this.

I hope you recorded it on the same day because you’re in the same clothes.

On the positive Rob, this clip is about the most opposite to porn as you can get, which might please the puritans.

Comment by DH

I don’t quite know which is sadder – the fact that i actually like your rubbish, or that Andy will laugh at me being fucking politely nice.

Comment by Angel X

Liking my rubbish. No contest.

Comment by Rob

That Lawerence bloke’s first answer is the shittest first answer in the history of shit first answers.

Comment by DH

what the fuck is that.
what the fuck were you thinking campbell.
what the fuck were the producers thinking.

Comment by andy@cynic

That is a question that I think they are still asking themselves.

Comment by Rob

too fucking right they are.

Comment by andy@cynic

got any of your medication campbell, watching this shit has put my blood pressure through the fucking roof.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’ve just thrown up in my mouth.

Comment by Billy Whizz

He’s wearing a new shirt

Comment by northern

It’s not new, it’s just not green.

Comment by Rob

Which is funny, because I am literally wearing that one today.

Comment by Rob

So it’s about welcoming Johnnie Walker into one’s lifestyle as opposed to one’s bloodstream. I’m so naive.

Comment by John

The way they treated you Robert is yet more evidence McCann are getting all they deserve. I guess the adage “you reap what you sow” is correct.

Comment by George

Oh and thank you so much for making sure Dan hates you more than me by organising the theft of Mr Tate. I know you’ll have to deny any involvement in it, but we all know the truth, Whataguy …

Comment by Rob

I got a headhunter asking me to apply for head of client services. Imagine me as King Suit. I can’t even spell

Comment by northern

I would literally cover your salary for a year if you did it – but you’d have to give me the rights to the documentary I’d make out of the experience.

I’d make more money than Lucas.

As an aside, what did the headhunter say to you about the job. I mean, how did they justify asking you to change roles? They’re either a genius or another completely fucking useless headhunter that cares about their commission over their clients [company and employee] happiness.

There are some good headhunters. Like there are some good Smiths fans. Ahem.

Talking of the ‘smiths’, I got asked if I’d like to fly to the Philippines to see Morrissey in concert. WHAT THE FUCK WERE THEY THINKING!!! Short of wishing someone to kill them, I literally can’t work out their rationale for asking me.

I responded with,

“Thank you for asking, but I’d literally rather pour acid down my cock and then slit my throat.”

They’ve [wisely] not responded.

Comment by Rob

Useless headhunter demonstrated in 10 minutes flat they didn’t really know the difference between planners and suits and didn’t really care.
That’s why I need a job like yours, so Morrisey type opportunties don’t get wasted
I love that you can afford to pay my salary – or you think you can, my pay is massively inflated due to the rare intersection of planning that isn’t useless and amazing tea
As it happens I nearly went to work at Mcanns once, because of the planning director. It was professional love at first sight.
But it was in Birmingham.
Think of the bile you have missed out on regarding Brand Footprints an Demand Chains – but neither are as fucking knuckleheaded as Media Arts

Comment by northern

too fucking right groper, theres a massive difference between suits and planners. one carries your fucking bag the other has no fucking use at all.

and campbell could afford your salary, the fucker is minted. i should fucking know, its me he fucking stole it from. so take him up on the offer and use the cash to make the shit smiths reform. that would be even fucking better than just robbing him blind to be some account service fucking dolly.

Comment by andy@cynic

birmingham. nothing fucking good has come out of there except the m fucking 40. smart move groper, especially because now your kids accent wont resemble some half wit fucking twathead.

Comment by andy@cynic

Use his own money to reform the Smiths.
Pure delicious evil.

Comment by northern

“But you’re man enough to deal with that”
jump cut to Rob Campbell

Clearly the Chinese get irony..

Comment by John

Or comedy.

Comment by Rob

When I was at McCann’s Melbourne we would have the “privilege” of being visited by the head of the company every so often when he could fucked getting out of his Sydney Harbour view office.

We would all be required to go to the boardroom where he would stand before the entire agency in his flashy suit and inspire us with amazing work from our our agency. Most of it was trade stuff or adapted work from international offices.

That snappy video montage set to Steve Balmer-esque backing music would last for about 1 minute and then draw a smattering of awkward slow clap.

The next hour would be a lengthy PPT full of charts and graphs and numbers. Most of these numbers talked about profit margins and percentages and his own KPI’s to meet NY shareholder demands. At one meeting, he highlighted one particular number and then openly (and without emotion) told everyone that to hit increased profit margin for that particular year they would need to reduce this figure. The figure he was pointing at was the staff costs.

I know this is the reality of working for a big organisation, but what I found incredible was how he expected everyone in the room to sympathise with the needs of the head honchos in NY and not their own job security. He had ZERO clue on how to read the room. It blew my mind how non-human he and the Sydney management were. It still does. If I could use the C-bomb on here I would.

After that meeting I actually told my local MD and PD that I was so disgusted at his severe lack of empathy that I would never go to one of his presentations again. Luckily I didn’t have to; I turned out to be one of the “numbers”. It was a blessing in the end as the next creative agency I ended up working at was W+K London. Good times… 🙂

Comment by Age

Hang on, you mean that’s not how you’re supposed to do it? You mean Mr Colman and Chesters didn’t do it that way? Shit, I might owe my guys an apology.

Comment by Rob

I barely got to work with Paul and Kev unfortunately but I still reckon they’re such nice blokes. So no, they never made me feel like a number on a projector screen.

Comment by Age

He’s got nothing on Uncle Tom Carrol believe me.

Comment by northern

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