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I work in an industry where it appears the underlying objective is to be recognised as brilliant, creative, successful or wise.
I understand why … not just because it helps convince clients to trust our judgement, but because it is also one of the most effective ways to get a better job with better money.
Of course it doesn’t always work, because I know many very brilliant people who aren’t getting the breaks they deserve, but that’s another post for another day.
Anyway, when I was much, much younger, I would read magazines like Campaign, and just marvel at the brilliance of the people being interviewed.
They were bright … sharp … forward thinking.
They had opinions and viewpoints that would make you think.
Challenge your pre-conceived ideas.
Make you re-evaluate what you had done and what you could do.
And while I know I often use this blog to slag off certain people in the industry who are either  pretentious tossers and/or  experts at repackaging the obvious – or old – and trying to claim they’ve just created the Universe, there are still many, many people’s opinions that I follow closely … like Northern, Gareth or Martin, to name but a few … and they continue to make me feel in awe of their brilliance while also making me feel an utter failure and fraud.
So imagine my surprise when I opened the 40th anniversary edition of Campaign … yes, the magazine I started reading when I got in this industry … and saw me in it.
There I was alongside some of the industries greats – who were all talking about the impact of the industry, the re-emergence of Asia as an economic powerhouse and the role and future of advertising.
Except I wasn’t in it for that, I was in it for this:
Yes, I am basically being awarded a prize for being the biggest loser in adland.
But you know what, I love it.
No, I really do.
Not [just] because I’m a publicity addict … not [just] because it shows I’m growing old disgracefully … but because I work in an industry that not only affords me a life I have no right to live, but also still lets me have fun.
Of course, some people mistake my stupidity for not taking things seriously – and while I appreciate some of the stuff I say or do may encourage that point of view – the fact is I care passionately about what I do, who I do it with and who I do it for.
No seriously, I really do.
While I appreciate business doesn’t take adland seriously enough these days, it’s not because we people aren’t being ‘serious’ enough in their tone and manner, it’s because the industry likes to talk about what they do, rather than what their clients need.
So yes, I like to have fun, but rather that than be one of those folk who walk around thinking ‘smiling’ or ‘laughing’ is a sign of weakness.
Well that’s my [sad] excuse and I’m sticking with it.
Anyway, I want to thank Campaign magazine for their accolade, I am genuinely touched. Not only did it make me laugh out loud, you rated me ‘higher’ than my wonderful old boss, Chris Jaques, which is amazing given you used a photo where he wasn’t wearing his trademark white shirt and blue jeans, which should have automatically put him in pole position.
So as you were so nice to me, here’s my gift to you.
Yes, it’s another stupid photo of me to add to your collection.
Feel free to use use it against me at some point in the future*.
I know Mr Wieden will.
* Acknowledging you’re all way too smart to visit my rubbish and see this photo in the first place … though not so smart to eradicate all mention of me from your fine product forever and a day.
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