Sunday, 26 December 2010

A letter from the Queen

Transmission from Buckingham palace via email below

"Dear Executive Summary,

Congratulations on reaching your hundredth post. As you move into three figures you become part of a select group and have grown to be known a pillar of the online community. I wish you all the success you desire as you continue to entertain audiences worldwide.

Your pal, Lizzy II.

P.S. Play up Pompey"

n.b. Yes yes, I realise that this is my hundredth post so I wouldn't have received this communication from the monarch yet (even if it were real), but she preemts the 100th post OK?

Happy holidays everyone!

A big thank you to those of you that occasionally cast your eye over this page.
If you are reading this in the new year, then welcome to 2011, detox, colds and financial strain. Ahhh January

Well, I've been racking my brains about how to create a great hundredth post and nothing has sprung to mind. It's strange that I've been busting a gut to get up to three figures in terms of posts all year, and now I'm here I feel a bit deflated and blank. Well, in tribute to all of the 'what I've learned in my first year of blogging' and '5 tips to rake in the readers' posts, here are my thoughts:

Having a blog still has a bit of a stigma attached to it.
It turns out not everyone lives their live online 
Quality and Quantity - Whilst the quality of posts is important, you have to regularly post to hold people's interest. There are so many sites which amalgamate the best of the internet, of have strong readership bases already, it's difficult to keep up with the competition.

Keep it visual - Reading passages is simply not enough for audiences. They need images and videos to connect with and help visualise whatever you are writing about. Sourcing relevant, quality and funny images can be tricky, especially with so many posts bashed out at work.

Prompting interaction is hard - The best internet content is interactive, with discussion, voting and debate etc. You can incorporate tools to help audiences do this, but essentially, interaction doesn't happen unless; The article is frothy, funny and an easy throwaway share, you have a large readership, you are a trusted media source (e.g. The Guardian online).

This is not a Therapy? session - It is tempting to air your own grievances, but readers want something that they can connect with. Artistic license can always be used to make your situation or story more relevant to your audiences.

Anonymous writing doesn't work - Audiences need personal opinions to connect with, so inanimate voices don't always engage or inspire.

The Audience doesn't come to you - This is fairly obvious of course. Yet until you start blogging, you don't appreciate that blogs are essentially dead individual pages. Most known content on the web is connected by search, linking and sharing. Bloggers have to create this themselves, and this takes a lot of technical knowledge. Whatever 'Blog self help bloggers' say, promotion and search are the key to grabbing attention. Google search, Blog search engines and how to noticed by bigger media sources is still a complete unknown to me. Collective blogs are a much simpler way to get readers, but there aren't many good examples of these to use. Lets hope someone gets their act together in 2011 and makes this easier for us all.

Select a relevant topic - Office life is too broad a topic. I have not found too many office bloggers to connect with. I think many bloggers write on entertainment, something useful (i.e. tips and links on niche topics) or to keep a personal diary. Office drones seem to vent their spleins on Twitter and don't want a more in depth discussion. I guess in a way I'm unique.

Writing should be fun - I'm pretty tired of people asking if you can make money from it, or what your plans are. It's like asking someone who plays for a local hockey team how much they get paid for playing on a Saturday, or asking the old dears down at the parish how much they make a year from flower arranging. If you can make money from something you love, great. Unfortunately everyone wants to do something they love, and money doesn't grow on trees. I feel like I'm ten years too late to make money from blogging, I do it for the love of writing. When it stop being fun, I'll stop writing.

Executive Summary is becoming more ambivalent about his own ramblings. The new year holds more quality and less quantity blogging for me. When I do post, I will try to be more constructive and cover topics in greater depth.  This page may well morph into another blog, so watch this space. You've heard enough of my ranting for now I'm sure.

Signing off
Executive Summary

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Christmas party

The Christmas party was still going on in his mind

It’s that time of year, where every mediocre pub / club and hall in London is full to the rafters with Christmas partiers.

For many, the Christmas party represents a much needed opportunity to let your hair down, and enjoy a few drinks on the company. Unfortunately, a few drinks on the company doesn’t impress us media types, as that is what is normally consumed every weekday lunchtime and evening. Media Executives go into overdrive at the Christmas party, trying to have a more extreme (pic) time than normal.
Here are some of the things that can be expected from tonight’s party:

• Excruciating awards or speech by senior management
• Scrabbling around for drinks tokens when they run out. Alternatively sucking up to anyone with a bar tab.
• A lack of food to aid the drunken embarrassment. After nearly 5 years in media Executive Summary can reveal that canapés are not, repeat NOT an acceptable substitute for dinner.
• Somebody letting themselves down on the dancefloor
• Somebody letting themselves down with Karaoke
• Incredibly competitive drinking. It is all about who can be the drunkest, not who can enjoy the party.
Xmas parties.
Not as extreme as extreme ironing

• Two people letting themselves down with each other.
• Someone getting stung for an £80 cab ride home.
• Someone being witness to a fight in a fast food establishment resulting in them giving a statement to the police. 
• At least two AWOLs tomorrow.
• Thursday groans, as photographs are discovered and uploaded onto the network.

There are also a host of characters that come out of the woodwork every Christmas party that don't see to be around all year.

Clingon - a newbie who clings to whoever they know rather than drunkenly introducing themselves to others in the company. Run away if you don't want to get stuck with them all night.
Work Talker - someone incapable of making small talk. Avoid them if you don't want three extra projects on your desk in the morning. You are drunk and will agree to anything.
Singstar - Will sing, scream and shout along to the music all night regardless of whether they have a microphone or an audience.
Store Room Guy - An old guy you haven't seen before. He looks tired, and like he might have respiritory problems. He must work in the store room or something.
Darth Vader - a.k.a The big boss. Walks around with purposeful yet plodding steps with a forced grin on. The grin is to entrap executives into slagging people or the company off before busting their asses the next day. At least Darth Vader won't enjoy the party, he's rather drive his Merc home and read in bed for 2 hours.
The Jocks - Whoopin' and hollerin' animalistic executives. Competitive drinkers, daring each other to pull the 'fat chick' before high fiving each other and shouting 'yeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh'
The Desperado - Sad, lonely and drunk, these desperate individuals wander around an emptying floor at midnight looking for someone, anyone to make them complete. The Jocks run a mile.
The Dweebs - Nerdy gang sitting in the corner. No-one knows what their entire floor actually does.
The Queen - The girl that all of the Jocks want to get off with. A very powerful individual, and she knows it.

Sensible executives like myself will be avoiding as many of the aforementioned characters as possible, and that's why we need copious amounts of booze to enjoy ourselves.

So expect a hung-over and grumpy Executive summary to be rolling into work at 9:05 tomorrow (that’s right, even the punctual have the occasional slip), after going in search of a hangover cure that will include some or all of the following:
  • A bottle of San Pellegrino sparkling water 
  • A smoothie 
  • Boost Guarana
  • Vegetable pasty from Greggs
  • Tesco ibuprofen (I want to get rid of my headache, but why pay £4.95 for Nurofen when you can get the same effect from a 60p box?) 
  • Two Raw eggs with tobasco
  • Candy Floss
  • A morning bike ride
  • A desk beer
  • Kinder Happy Hippos
I’ll also be starting work on my hundredth and possibly final post soon.
Merry fucking Christmas.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Bad ads corner # 3

Happy Friday people. If you are reading this today then you should be ashamed. Haven't you got better things to do than watch Executive Summary creep towards 100 posts with this thinly veiled attack on media industry publications.
You haven't? Then read on.

 - As you can see, this is rule 9/10. The penultimate installment of garbage ads in a series of ten. Executive Summary could have included the previous 8 'rules of low cost TV' as they were equally awful, however the scanner has been broken. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. The boxing analogy is very odd. Why is the man wearing a suit? Also, look at what is written on the gloves:

My Brand as seen on TV - why do you want to punch people in the face with your brand?
Sales lift - How does punching represent a sales lift?

I could go on . . .

In a climate of 'it's all about involving not telling your audience' why do you want to land a right hook on them?


ES loves this next one. The panda looks sad and still, like he hasn't been fed for a week. It's not very moving or loving. But don't worry if you commission these animation specialists to work on you TV series or high budget 30 spot they'll buy you a coffee. No expense spared. I take that back, they probably give you a polystyrene cup of black Nescafe because they ran out of milk

'Want to hear about our brand? Well look at this picture of an unhappy child. The baby has soiled himself and now has nappy rash. Interested, call 0800 555 7869'

And finally a good ad! After innumerate posts about the use of irrelevant cute and furry critters in ads for printers or recruitment firms, I have found this beauty. Stock dog # 5 is looking at the fascinating text about a job opportunity for the PDSA. Executive summary initially thought of the Profoundly Dumb Soccer Association (who recently awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar), but Executive Summary's sources confirmed that PDSA stands for 'something about pets and stuff'.
So the dog is relevant. Hurrah!

Weekend etc.

Thursday, 2 December 2010


The month of December is upon us. For most in media this means one thing - it's party time.
Numerous lunches will be pencilled in for the least important month for business. Can these be justified?

traditional media Christmas lunch

Christmas lunches, office decorations, charity hampers, media chocolates, and the office party all rest within this one month (which only has 17 proper working days in it for most).

Outside of work, media socialites will be travelling to concerts and shows, catching up with friends and chasing away the cold with plenty of booze. Executive summary will be keeping you up to date with all of the news, views and hangovers that December will bring.

Let’s raise a glass and join me when I say:

‘We’ll get back to you after the holidays’
‘We can’t start this project until the new year’
‘Their office closes down over Christmas’
'Nothing gets here done in December’

Bring on the party.


Tuesday, 30 November 2010

On the dot 2

Executive Summary hates lazily using these cheesy stock images. But what are you going to do about it eh?
A quick piece on timekeeping today after a combination of snow, trains and sleepiness contributed towards this normally punctual executive arriving for work 30 minutes late.
As we work longer each week in the office, hours are becoming more and more flexible. However, in a heavily trade driven business like media, there is still a strong 9 to 5 (thirty) 'on the dot' culture.

Whilst it is never easy to arrive perfectly on time every day, executives should at least try. It’s just that punctuality is not respected any more. Mobile phones have opened the door for excuses such as ‘I’m busy and running a little late’, when before these electronic comfort blankets were around, schedules HAD to be kept, and timings adhered to.
Office workers are picking up irksome habits as their jobs and functions become increasingly short term. They won’t come to meeting until you ring them down from their office as ‘they didn’t know if it was still on’, and upon giving deadlines people immediately assume they are falsely early ones.

Nothing can be scheduled at 9am or 2pm as people need at least half an hour to think up excuses for why they are late settle into work.

Executive Summary's favourite excuses heard for being late:

Don't be the boy who cried
'Wolf'. This man has been
out of work since 2004 and will
 probably respond to your call

The kids are ill – where is the proof? The truant inspectors will be around to see  little Johnny later.
  • Broken Boiler– never rely on workmen, take an adult education course in plumbing, it will be quicker.
  • Doctors appointment – health is always a thorny issue so maybe I shouldn’t go here. Upon hearing ‘being late’ excuses Executive Summary often suffers from an extremely itchy chin and is going to see a specialist next week.
Bike puncture: This is a fairly solid excuse. However, the minute you use the excuse when it is not true you will become the boy who cried Wolf.

Car wouldn’t start – this moderately priced Jetpack has been available to purchase since March 2010. I struggle to see why anyone drives anymore to be honest. (see video below)

Alarm failure – As Kramer said on Seinfeld, don’t rely on Alarm clocks. The best one is your natural sense of time. Throw your alarm clock away and it will take you three days to start waking up in a cold sweat and blind panic at 6 a.m. Perfect.

Problem with keys / clothes / pets or other inanimate objects – Mobile phones have applications and ways to somehow solve all of these problems.

Broken Mobile phone (or Jetpack) – there is no solution to this. Simply resign, your only hope now lies with the National Lottery.

Finally, how late do you have to be to apologise on a normal office day? 15 minutes at least right? It may be the pot calling the kettle black based on today’s performance, but this executive’s punctuality has never been commended or resulted in financial gain during a 5 year career. In fact, those who roll in at 9:10-9:15 every day are garnering around £800 per year in salary for the time they aren’t at work. In today’s workplace, can we live our lives by the clock? I don’t see why not.

It’s time for my 4:29pm daily coffee.

Signing off.


Friday, 26 November 2010

Calm before the storm

Welcome to Friday, as office workers around the country think about what wine they will choose tonight and what they are getting up to at the weekend, Executive Summary returns in serious mode. And no, it’s not just because I’ve had my yearly review.

With the month of DecemParty fast approaching, the end of November prompts executives to start considering what the New Year holds in store. After all, we won’t be able to remember much of what happens in the month of gluttony and wild spending.

The financial and bodily detox of January is a sobering thought, and something must be done to motivate executives for another year in media.

November is often when budgets are finalised and reviews completed, so employees minds turn to the promised financial reward for their year’s exploits.

November, not just a month for growing moustaches

Whilst the country has been out of its recession for nearly one year now, companies have not been a speedy in passing on the good fortune to their work force. It obviously pays to remain cautious, but companies in all industries (not just media), are stalling on increasing costs as they wait for the market to recover further.

The recruitment industry, crippled by the recession, is now picking up again, and wise executives are considering their options. Two years worth of stagnant (or even decreasing) pay in real terms may make for a tasty January pay rise given the right role.

The recession allowed quite rightly for businesses to cut costs without too much justification. However, one year on normality has not resumed, and companies are still only looking at the small picture, one week at a time. Those with mortgages and families are still clinging to their jobs petrified with fear that they could lose them. Those higher up the chain have been made to work harder for less reward. It is the lack of transparency in policy and company results that perpetuates this fear with the use of terms like:

‘We’ll have to wait and see how the market pans out’
‘When things recover a little’
‘Strenuous times’
‘Budget freeze’

Companies are using employees' fear against them to increase profitability. If the communication on company performance and budgets were clearer, people simply wouldn’t be scared. They would be able to make informed decisions about their position, their salary and their careers.

The situation stinks, and is not a good way to break for Christmas. Just throwing a few bottles of wine down our necks at Christmas won’t make us forget about it.

Oh no wait

. . . 

 I did say I would forget what happens in DecemParty because of all the boozing.

Oh dear.

Maybe this Executive should start keeping a notebook, or log of all the office based happenings . . .

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Mood music

Out of Office AutoReply: Thank you for your email. ES will be out of the office today observing the commuting masses. Please check back later for office based observations, or alternatively read on if you ever listen to the noise they call ‘music’.

That’s right, ES is going to be taking a look at the ear-wear, and aural consumption of those stuck in the rat race.

Apple headphones – how to look like a generic twit
and experience terrible sound quality in one easy move.
Available from the Apple Store for just £25 + shipping.

You see a lot of types on their way toward the daily grind. Here are just a few.

Types of Listeners:

Foam rest on headphones: Worn down, Macintosh adorned sad businessmen listening to the calming tones of classical music. Likely to have a discman hidden inside their jacket where the headphones are connected to. Favourite song – Pacobell’s Canon by J.S. Bach.

Around the neck earphones (right) – gym pumpers. Listen to dance music to get the adrenaline going when you most need it, on a pack underground carriage. Likely to own iPod shuffles, because they only need 30 minutes of music. That’s enough to concentrate on yeah? Favourite song – Bonkers by Calvin Harris

In ear phones – A group that is harder to categorise. A slightly more discerning listener, they might partake in slightly less humdrum tunes but have a penchant for soft rock.. Favourite song – The Scientist by Coldplay

Apple lovers – Anal about organising the track names and artist library on their 16GB iPod touch. Have all kinds of pouches, pockets, cradles and gadgets for their beloved MP3 device. Smugly nodding in approval to other wearers of white headphones. Favourite song – America by Razorlight

Cans – Usually pretty cool cats. They are either teenage skaters, or serious sound quality fans. Favourite song – F*** you by Cee-Lo Green or Strange and Beautiful by Aqualung.

Ultimately, the commuters face a dilemma – We all need to listen to music to nullify the horrendous commute but it is difficult to commit to listening to the challenging and interesting music I’m sure all executives possess in their personal media libraries. You end up revisiting the same tried and trusted, tepid wishy washy calming tunes on your train only to go into the office and listen to the same thing whilst working. Executives are becoming addicted to fast-food music. Junk music. Easy to please and mindless, the aural equivalent of Two and a Half Men.

But does one really want to listen Black Metal or Gangster Rap and end up as angry as this chap?

Then again maybe he was forced to listen to James Blunt’s new album and a Scouting for Girls marathon by Mrs Office Rage on the way to work.


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Back slapping

ES has written a little in the past about the media old boys’ network. Every industry has one, but greasing is particularly rife in ad land.

For fear of getting into hot water over this thorny subject I’ll keep this post short and sweet. Ahhh, who am I kidding, the slimy media dinosaurs involved are too technically incompetent to read anything online, let alone know what a blog is, so ES remains in safety. They are too busy slurping red wine, chortling loudly and slapping each other on the back to take notice.

This is an issue that has been in the news recently as anti corruption laws come into force next year. Nobody seems to know what this will mean for the media industry. Will long lunches be canned? No more jollies? Not a chance! There is no way that any of this will be able to be enforced, so all of the concerned parties can rest assured they will still be able to tuck into a prawn sandwich or two in 2011.

See if you can distinguish between the things which have really been witnessed by ES in the industry and lies:
  • Exchanging a media booking directly for a gift (£600 equivalent value)
  • Agencies refusing to see media owners unless they bring gifts.
    Lies lies porky pies



    Volume deals (these are surely corruption, as companies make decisions based on financial gain, not client benefit).
  • Agencies refusing to see media owners for lunch unless they upgrade the type of restaurant.
  • Agencies ringing up different media owners asking for tickets for events at the weekend.
  • Partners being allowed on skiing or foreign jollies. In what way is this for ‘business’?
  • Inventing imaginary clients to enable drinks to be expensed.
  • Old Acquaintances being given large contracts with no merit.
  • Seats booked at charity galas / dinners when the business has no affiliation with the charity.
  • Free media space given to friends at a cost to the business

(In the voice of Alan Partridge) – “I can tell you you’re wrong. They have all happened”

Executives are rarely the losers from such exchanges. We pick up the scraps such as chance encounters with Alf Stewart from Home and Away, Premier Tickets to Monster in Law II the revenge, and free promotional packs of Sanex unisex shower gel. Who can’t be happy with that little lot?
It is unfortunately the moral fabric of media executives that take a real pasting. In a short space of time, bright eyed graduates are turned into embittered, burnt out poor excuses for humans grabbing at anything they can. Every action must have a reward, and nothing is worth getting out of bed for . . . unless it comes gift wrapped.

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, and by the goose I mean the media industry.
n.b. The media industry is unlikely to by killed, roasted and eaten as the goose will be.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Office disruption update 2

Well the office referbishment is complete and this picture is perhaps the legacy of such a thoughtless project.
The reception and frontage of this executive's building was trasformed into the modern cutting edge white & glass space that all media companies treat as the norm.

Yet the budget did not extend to where executives sit, work and meet their clients. So the illusion that the company is a modern and happening one is shattered when Client X makes a trip up the stairs away from reception.

The botched join in the stair represents a wonderful juxtaposition about a company that cares about its appearance to its customers, but not its employees. A wave of depression sweeps over everyone as your hand slides from the cool metal runner, to the roughly sawn woodlike substance of the original banister.

It's not all bad news as there was a champagne reception for the grand opening this week. This Executive didn't enjoy the rather bitter tasting Cava and soggy crisps, but did enjoy the moment when the official ribbon came untied and fell limply to the floor as Mr CEO brandished the ceremonial scissors.

Take that sir, trolled by a pink ribbon.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Bad ads corner - the next episode

Welcome once again as Executive Summary trawls through the depths of the trade press to uncover the lowest of the low

Bad advertisements made to advertise the services of the people who make advertisements.

- Pitch for the chance to win a pig's arse and a pile of coppers.

Where to start? Turn up the volume . . . by super imposing three trumpets. It makes NO sense.
Is the cheap stock cityscape in the background supposed to be a company, or a sales volume? Either way, cities do not blow out air that could be amplified by brass instruments. This is supposed to be an ad for a packaging company! The trumpets a fused into each other in a strange ghostly manner and look like they would blare into your face with chirpy brass band music like the theme to Ground Force.

Tommy Walsh, where are you now?

Occam - 'The front runner in data solutions'. Zebras don't run in horse races dumbass (although they are know to possess excellent data processing skills.)

Where will marketing leaders focus in the year ahead? Maybe on making their ads less shit?
Also, binoculars are used for seeing things that are far away, not for focusing on objects close to hand.

Data / soil, it's all the same right? Wrong. WHAT DO PLANTS HAVE TO DO WITH DATA? Is the soil protecting the plant, or the hands protecting the soil?

Who cares?

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

In the know

Being in the know is great. There are always badly kept work secrets in every workplace, but add in the social butterfly media mindset, and you get an office rife with gossip. It is like the media office provides the perfect atmospheric conditions for gossip – Fast paced central London environment, under 30 workforce, industry built on communication, the awards, the old boy network, the back handers. Relationships, departures, arrivals, scandal and favouritism, Ad land harbours them all.

Once in a while you can by watching colleagues closely and extrapolate information really worth something. But whilst it is exciting having access to exclusive information, you don’t get anything from it unless you share it with a few select people. And that’s how the gossip loop keeps going.
Executive gossipers come in all guises, so here are a few of them:

The classic – Loves a good gossip. They will tell anyone anything. They would spread the news to some random on the tube just to get if off their chest. Will often exaggerate stories and rumours to get more people paying attention to them.

The trader – A good negotiator who only trades gossip for other information, favours or goods to colleagues.

Can you smell what the Rock is cooking?
Because he can’t. A Wrestling accident in 2004 left
the Hollywood star without a sense of smell.
Officials – Management gossipers who claim that all the dirt they are dishing is necessary for business and ‘official purposses’.

The Rock (pictured) – Hears a lot, says little. The rock will never divulge the information they here, and therefore gets little out of finding anything out.

Damn Liars – Worse than exaggerators. This sadistic lot love to make up lies about colleagues, many of which are funny and never backfire onto them.
n.b. Italics denote sarcasm. This is not a sarcastic annotation, it merely aims to help readers visualise what Italics are.

 Drunk Skunk - Usually a rock, refusing to get involved in the gossip game, but everyone has a kryptonite. Alcohol acts as a key to all of the interesting information they possess.

KIA (know it all) – Like a sponge for workplace news. They know everyone and everything. They know what, when and how it happened. KIAs have a bad habit of snubbing those they deem ‘not worthy’ of their news, and exploit there office knowledge to the full to get ahead / stay popular / kill enemies.

Out of the Looper – Opposite to the KIA, they live off scraps thrown to them by pitying colleagues. Often on the fringes of office life (IT, facilities etc).

Pleader leader – Will ask again and again for the information, never getting bored. They will resort to pleading, threatening and crying.

Next time you are going to spread the gossip, think about you get in return, and remember the consequences.


Beardy Bingo

It's Movember, you know, the month that comes before DecemParty.
Now that it is getting cold everyone in the media industry seems intent on growing facial fuzz:

Recent award winning creatives looking like a pair of gay ewoks.
You can play your own in-office game by totting up the mustachioed fools in your team.

Beardy Bingo:

Movember mustache - 1

Unshaven creative - 2

Designer Sideburns - 3

Full Beard - 4

Long Beard - 5

Female with beard - 10

If you score over 15 for your department, you better bring in some snoods (beard protectors) as facial hair can be very dangerous.

Luckily, specialist lawyers do exist to deal with such incidents.

Happy beard spotting


Friday, 5 November 2010


In the month before DecemParty (the new name for December), Executives all over the country will be using up odd days of holiday to recover from hangovers and get some much needed R&R before the Christmas rush.

It is a well known fact that a lot of business (including media) pretty much shuts down over Christmas. Let's be honest, the mind starts to wander and the booze starts to flow in DecemParty so most deadlines and projects are rolled over into the 'it'll get done next year' category. Yet not all firms (including this executive's) see fit to close the office from the 25th December to New Year to save on costs and boost ailing employee morale. I guess it's the thought that some saddo client who's got nothing better to do on the 27th December will ring up with some inane question and be furiously angry that no one is there to answer the phone.

Anyway, back to the here and now, a few days R&R. The humble executive can't afford a winter sun holiday, or a cottage in the regions as they have blown all of their cash on necessary booze, un-necessary clothes / music purchases and weekend outings. So it's back to the comfort of the parental nest to do some of the following:

  • Moan about job
  • Go with good intentions of doing something proactive
  • End up scouring YouTube, twitter and the interweb for something funny (may as well be at work)
  • Look through wedding pictures
  • Discuss love life 

n.b. There are only 12 questions on each episode of Eggheads. The show is recorded
at normal speed and then replayed in 2 x slow motion

  • Recount stories of outings with friends / social life (whilst leaving out most of the juicy stuff).
  • Eat some home cooked food
  • Get told you are not eating enough home cooked food
  • Catch up on sleep only to be told you are getting lazy
  • Moan about job some more
  • Come armed with horizon expanding books, movies and other culture to consume.
  • End up watching 'Homes under the Hammer' (I hate houses, but I like hammers), and Eggheads (getting most of the questions wrong)

So executives trapped in the office, spare a thought for those of us on holiday.


Friday, 29 October 2010

Weekend wankers

Mr Beardy thinks he is a male model. He looks more like a Male Mole, a mole that you could trap.

Look at the amount of exposed brickwork in these pictures. It's like a porno starring Sir Martin Sorrell and Kevin McLoud.


That is all.

Have good weekends.


Thursday, 28 October 2010

Awards season

Firth - Clutching the winners trophy for the inaugural 'ambivalence award' at the recent GQ Men's awards. Readers professed to not understanding why he is popular.

It's award season! And I don't mean the Oscars, BAFTAS and all that. These awards aren't ones that anyone cares about (including most of the recipients). November signals the start of the party season, with awards dos, more lunches, parties and eventually the Christmas wind down (running from November 25th to January 11th).

I'm sure I'll manage a few more posts on the subject of party season anyway as my first year of blogging draws to a close. I'm aiming for 100 posts. Can I do it?

n.b. If I can't fill 100 posts with quality content, I will simply upload nonsense for the final few posts.

Firstly I realise that it is both ungrateful and bitter to moan about awards dos. A colleague professed to being annoyed and bored when a taxi driver mentioned that he worked three jobs and thought people worked in an office and got to go to posh awards events were extremely lucky.

In many industries you are lucky to get a few free drinks at the Christmas party held in a disused School Gymnasium complete with cheap wedding DJ Playing Slade, Wizard et al.

So working in media has some benefits. Or does it? Let's look at the positives and Negatives of awards dos:

n.b. This executive has been NFI'd (Not Fucking Invited) to all awards events this year. Please read the following as a completely object insight into the world of advertising awards as the analysis has nothing to do with being NFI'd. For this executive, industry experience seems to breed ambivalence from colleagues and peers, a bit like Mr Firth.

As an executive, the drinks reception is awkward from the off. You won't know many of the people their to talk to, but you'll know of them. They will all be terribly important and good people to network with. Networking sucks, this executive doesn't want to caught in a net with anybody, especially a bunch of haggard media wankers with diseased livers.

Speaking of the 'key players', they will make up around 30% of attendees. These media battle axes pop along to any crumby award event that their PAs can get them a ticket to. KPs know the layout of the Grosvenor House Hotel like the back of their hand. They have to network too you know! The other 70% are made up of shy mid level managers on a well deserved night out, and even more confused and timid executives making a bee line for the bar.

Networking can be pretty painful anyway as the keen mid managers try and allow their little executive chicks to fly the nest by introducing them to the key players. You can feel the grease virtually dripping from these slimy characters' hands. Key players can can smell an executive a mile off an will look through you as it you were a transparent steaming infected turd.

Some sights can make an executive angry, plain and simple. An example - the sight of media wankers with undone bow ties draped around their necks . . . before dinner. Honestly!

The menu always consists of the following:
Starter - Chunk of Goats cheese as big as a fist, with salad swimming in balsamic vinegar.
Main - Huge chunk of Chicken Breast with non decrypt white sauce and microwaved vegetables. The chicken is so dry you think that the Sahara desert has managed to climb into you mouth and leave behind the taste of corrugated cardboard.
Pudding - Large chocolate mouse that is too rich to sit properly with the 8 glasses of wine that you have already consumed.

So what about the awards?
Well, TV personalities and rent-a-joke comedians have to make their money somehow. I can't blame them. Writing jokes for the Dyson vacuum cleaner convention one night and the Travel Lodge budget Hotel awards the next ain't easy. But it doesn't mean we have to laugh at their crummy excuses at links between the never ending stream of awards.

I won't go into the awards themselves too much. Just the thought of how long they go on for makes me want to fall into a week-long slumber. Needless to say all of the 'accolades' are fixed / pointless / ridiculous / for sponsors only / pointless/ badly judged / confusing / pointless / and not real awards (delete as appropriate). The name of each award seems to get longer as the night goes on too:

"And now the award for Outstanding Excelling of Creative imagination concept under £100k for clients in the home furnishings category. Sponsored by Harvey's the furniture store in conjunction with and News International. There will be two highly commended and a bronze, silver, platinum and diamond winner for the category."

n.b. this award was won by for their outstanding creative concept on Harvey's where they putt an advertisement showing a family on a sofa in the Times.

Going to these events justifies the expense of buying a Dinner Jacket outright for men, or a trip to the shops for a new dress for girls.

It's not water in that glass

All of the negatives drive people to hitting the booze hard. One thing is for certain, booze cures all in the media industry. Three champagne's slip down easily, followed by Red, White, then it's anybody's guess. You know the saying - 'Beer then wine is fine, wine then beer . . . oh dear!'

The night may end in embarrassing dancing, £80 cab rides and a recipe for getting little to no work done the next day, but at least you have the stories of debauchery, someone getting lost, losing money or more likely their dignity to look forward to the next day.

So in summary there are a lot more negatives than positives, and the lucky executives who manage to get a few crumbs from the awards table have every right to moan about how terribly inconvenient these things are.

Take that Taxi drivers!

Bad ads?

This time, and entry from the digital world. I can't even work out whether it is bad. The design is fairly eye catching and well set out. But yet again, the creative concept is extremely muddled.

I am confused by a few things. What does 'on a stick' even mean? It seemingly can be used in any circumstance:

Talent on a stick
Sex on a stick
Fun on a stick

or in the more literal sense:

Rag on a stick (can be used to wash oneself)
Apple on a stick

Does 'on a stick' mean with easy access? Or is it referring to something as plain and simple.
Whatever it means, please enjoy this video of a Redneck using a lawnmower on a stick.

Back to the criticism. Some questions:

Why is the talent Purple? Is it because Purple consultancy only searches for a specific kind of talent, or because they cynically manipulate it to meet their own diabolical ends?

Why is the talent melting? Is it turning sour, or is it to show that if you don't take it now it will be gone forever.

Finally, why is this recruitment company asking you to lick their talent?!? This can surely only lead to expensive and time consuming sexual harassment lawsuits.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The Regions

London based media Executives refer snootily to the rest of the country as 'the regions'.
It's a bit like how a 19th Century Aristocrat would refer to 'the colonies'.

"London is where all the jobs are"
"London is where the real money is"
"All of the best media developments come out of London"
"London is the creative hub"
"The further outside of London you are, the further in the past you are living"
"London doesn't have a present darling, only a future"

This executive will now go on and attempt to shed light on a recent ‘regional experience’ enjoyed earlier this week.

Business travel is expensive these days, Virgin trains were happy to relieve the company of several hundred pounds for the joy of travelling a few hours outside of London. THUD! – the sound of another epic credit card bill. Spending 5 hours of a working day on a train is also an incredibly productive use of executives’ time.

Food :
The thought of expensing heart-attack inducing pastries, croissants and other station-based breakfast fayre is normally unbearably exciting, keeping this executive awake all night before a big trip to the regions. Yet by 11 a.m. your stomach is gurgling, wanting it’s next greasy fix and you feel like you are walking through treacle.

Industrial estate. It’s always an industrial estate. Taxi drivers don’t know where it is, and if they did, they would refuse to drive you there as they wouldn’t want to been seen in the red light district non-trendy part of town. Regional offices serve one purpose, to remind executives not to go further down the marketing chain towards client side. You will end up in a suicide hotspot estate in Bracknell, Nottingham or Chertsey. At best you will end up in Hammersmith.

Coming from London makes you feel a bit like rock star visiting the regions. Younger regional reps and workers cling to you as the fountain of knowledge on cool, and hang on your every word. They will be sure to mention that they shop at the uber cool ‘Diesel Jeans’ and just bought the new Kings of Leon album, that's cool right? I could live in London too yeah?

Normally a sandwich platter provided by Greggs or the Town Crier café. This executive once bit down into a brie sandwich to find that it had soggy prawns stuffed into the middle of its puffy yet stale white bread. It’s always white bread in the north. On this particular trip, we convened in a chain eatery. Pizza express, my favourite.

Topics of conversation include – New cars, completing your mileage form for expenses, areas of small regional towns where employees live, the best road to take to any given location, rush hour, the tubes being confusing / busy, MOT costs, MPG, children and things not being as good as they used to be.

This executive has never prayed for a Tuesday so badly.

P.S. Executive Summary often flirts between truth, irony and bullshit. ES feels the need to point out that regional representatives are always welcoming, appreciative and entertaining.