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

Compliments Cost Money …
April 23, 2012, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

“Goodby Silverstein & Partners won the Commonwealth Bank business over four years ago and have lead the Bank’s core creative work during a time in which Commonwealth Bank ascended to the #1 banking brand in Australia. Jeff and the team had established themselves as friends and valued partners to the Bank. Their impact will be felt well into the future.”

… and then this …

“Goodby have done absolutely fantastic work over the past four years. We couldn’t be happier.”

That gushing praise comes from Commonwealth Bank Of Australia Chief Marketing and Online Officer, Andy Lark.

Not bad eh?

Seriously, if you were at an agency and one of your key clients said that, I’d bet you’d be pretty chuffed … except these words are pretty empty, because they were said just after the Commbank had ditched Goodby and replaced them with M&C Saatchi Australia instead.

Put aside the fact it was always going to be hard to have an agency based thousands of miles away from the client [despite Goodby opening a satellite office in, I think, Sydney] … put aside the fact the reason most banks hire ad agencies is to make them less hated rather than to make more cash … put aside the fact that over the 5 years, the ads that were made caused a lot of controvery in the Australian marketplace and instead, focus on the bullshit platitudes being showered over the agency deemed ‘not good enough’.

I appreciate no one wants to leave a nasty taste in people’s mouths … they want to be professional, responsible and reasonable … but those two quotes are the equivalent of divorcing your wife and leaving her with these parting words of wisdom:

“I love you more than life itself. You are the most perfect person in the World. You make me happier than I ever thought possible. You are my rock, my soulmate, my love. Nothing will ever be able to shadow the brilliance of you.”

Utter, utter bullshit.

Whether it’s for valid reasons or not, Commbank decided they didn’t want Goody’s anymore.

That’s disappointing, but it happens.

Sure, it happens a bit too often for my liking, but in these days where a couple will reach for their divorce lawyers phone number if someone has burnt the toast, it’s not that surprising to see so many corporations following the same fickle attitude to ‘relationships’.

Now I appreciate at highly volatile times, no one wants to be seen as either callous or the ‘bad guy’ … however publically smothering the injured party with praise doesn’t actually help because they end up going, “SO WHY THE FUCK DID YOU DITCH US THEN?”

Of course no one actually say’s that out loud because there’s a fear it might scare another brand from working with them … but what it all ends up meaning is you can’t actually trust anything anyone says anymore.

Is a compliment a compliment, or a precursor to execution?

Is an insult an insult, or really a sign of support & belief?

When they say they like you, are they really checking out someone else?

No one likes being told they’re wrong, bad, horrid or finished … but it’s better than being taken out back, shot in the head and then told everything you’d done was wonderful.

As with most things, ‘how you say it’ is the key, but adopting a stance of unconditional love when you’ve either just ended a relationship – or about to end a relationship – doesn’t do anyone any good, except maybe the person who instigated it all, who can now go to bed in the deluded knowledge that everyone is still happy and are still friends.

I’m not suggesting people should be nasty or intimidating or downright horrible when they’re considering – or have broken up – a corporate relationship [even though it would be bloody awesome to read] but a bit more honesty, and clarity would go a long way … especially if we want society to start believing what adland communicates to them rather than view it as the actions of con merchants.


43 Comments so far
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that pretty much is a word for word fucking transcript of how #2 broke it to me she was fucking off with the pool boy or whoever the fuck he was. twat. her and him.

Comment by andy@cynic

Not bitter at all.

Comment by DH

not at fucking all, i still wish her nothing but fucking sorrow.

Comment by andy@cynic

who the fuck would trust a fucking bank marketer to tell the fucking truth?

Comment by andy@cynic

did goodby pay you to do this? are you now some sort of “enforcer” that helps companies tell others what they really fucking think of them without wanting to be seen telling them what they really fucking think of them?

Comment by andy@cynic

No, but that’s a great idea. Maybe even Byron would consider me suited to that function.

Comment by Rob

id trust andy fucking lark more than id trust byron the cock.

Comment by andy@cynic

ive just watched the fucking first ad goodby did for commbank. fuck me its pretty fucking shit. cliff freeman did much better fucking “client meeting” ads for budget.

Comment by andy@cynic

A trip down memory lane.

Comment by Rob

fucking genius. there is no fucking way in hell that ad would ever be made again today. cliff freeman. what a fucking legend.

Comment by andy@cynic

but the way the bank people are portrayed is even fucking worse. and i bet thats actually how they are. i fucking hate banks and their pretend fucking “sensible”.

my shit is more sensible than most fucking banks.

Comment by andy@cynic

call a spade a motherfucking shovel. at least every fucker knows where they stand with a shovel.

Comment by andy@cynic

You certainly do that.

Comment by DH

too fucking right i do which is why you wont be fucking offended when i tell you you still owe me a fucking congratulations dinner you tight bastard.

Comment by andy@cynic

So the bank cmo is called Andy Lark.

Well he was definitely having a laugh.

Comment by DH

This blog has have done absolutely fantastic work over the past four years. I couldn’t be happier.

Comment by John

or worse at cutting and pasting.

Comment by John

that was funny doddsy. who came up with the concept for you.

Comment by andy@cynic

I did the comedy module at the IPA transmedia narrative summer school.

Comment by John

Now that is funny.

Comment by Rob

this is that andy lark twat.

he looks like a shit bouncer from cleethorpes and sounds like a marketing buzzword, speed snorting twat.

what the fuck is he talking about?

who the fuck knows or gives a flying fuck, but he seems like hes an egotistical little fuck who aspires to be mussofuckinglini.

fuck him goodbys, youre better off without that coming in your office every fucking day.

Comment by andy@cynic

Oh dear.

Comment by Rob

The thing I find amazing is that banks could/should be places people love.

They help people get paid, buy houses, develop their families – but instead, they – of their own making I should add – have gone down the route of ‘greed and contrived compassion’, a combination destined to be an unmitigated disaster.

I’ve said it before, but I’d love to start a bank because I genuinely believe you could do it profitably and in a way people would look at the positive benefits you bring to their life, not the ‘we’re going to take more money from you’ approach currently favored by 99% of them.

Comment by Rob

who the fuck knows what youre saying but as it slags off banks, you get to live another fucking day. just.

Comment by andy@cynic

How do you deploy listening in the branch? Perhaps by going to the branch? How’s that for a vector with which to scratch the tip of the iceberg?

Comment by John

and yes, i fucking found it all by myfuckingself. want to make something of it?

Comment by andy@cynic

Fatherhood has changed you.

Comment by DH

as my fucking fist will change you. when it smashes you in the fucking face.

Comment by andy@cynic

The shovel strikes again.

Comment by DH

just looking out for you dave. you know me, im all give, give, fucking give.

Comment by andy@cynic

Great post to start the week Rob.

I find it really sad that the only time a client will publically praise their agency is when they either appoint them or fire them. Its got to the point where if you’re not mentioned, it’s a good sign for the relationship, which means W+K and P&G are tight because when you guys launched your “best jobs” commercial last week, there was no mention of W+K in the official press release.

Comment by Pete

or it might mean,,,

Comment by John

you mean campbells fucked up another one?

Comment by andy@cynic

oh, the kiss of death…

Comment by Roberto Faria (@betofaria)

Maybe Commonwealth Bank was being sarcastic
Maybe they think they’re Dodds

Comment by Northern

Sorry, have to say it …

Are you calling Doddsy a banker?

Comment by Rob

Communication is as much to do with the recipients as it is the sender.
I love that’s how you’ve processed this. It reveals much of what you think of our resident pedant
Interstingly, a little friend of mine met him and she said he was really nice.
Didn’t believe her

Comment by Northern

She told me the same thing. I didn’t either.

Maybe he works for the CIA and put a ‘delusional’ drug in her drink?

Comment by Rob

If you were a business and your CEO had just presided over four years of solid growth and increased profits, would you fire them?

So why is it seen as acceptable to do that to agencies?

Sounds like Goodby have been Hughtoned/Mourinhoed

Comment by Rob Mortimer (Not a fake Andy)

The issue I always had with the Comm bank stuff was that initially there was outrage in the advertising industry that one of the biggest accounts in the country – some would argue an iconic Aussie brand too – had gone to an American agency.

Personally I didn’t care about that, and neither did the 99% of the Aussie population that didn’t know shit about it. But what I found weird was when the work started to come out – it was all jokes playing up Americans trying to understand how to market to Australian’s etc.

I felt by referencing the adland controversy so head on, they were making ads for the ad industry. For everyone else, it was like some weird joke that you weren’t really a part of and the whole thing just wasn’t funny and definitely not Comm Bank.

Comment by Age


Comment by andy@cynic

I’ll take that as a compliment, Andy 😉

Comment by Age

Is this a not so subtle jab at Chinese being indirect?

Comment by Bryan Spencer

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