The big story of the week
I was going to write about the scrapped Omicom/Publicis merger, but everything got overtaken by Dave Bedwood’s penis.
A story in Campaign claimed that the creative director of LMFM liked to read out Private View to the staff at his agency while slowly turning a vice on his cock.
This is the sort of story which raises a lot of important questions.
Like, for instance ……. why ?
Maybe he thought it was called Privates View.
Although how much of Dave’s penis was actually on view either side of the vice probably depended on how far down the column he’d got and how much pressure he was applying.
Apparently there was live streaming at the event – but that may be another typo.
However, I think the symbolism is pretty clear. Dave is saying that reading Private View is an exercise in unnecessary self-inflicted pain. Or then again, maybe he’s saying the opposite – that Private View takes something valuable and stretches it further for your enjoyment.
Either way … I’ve always been a huge fan of Lean Mean Fighting Machine and I’m now more convinced than ever before of Dave’s genius.
It prompted me to think where else a cock had made a big impact in advertising.
(And you can make up your own jokes about your boss here.)
At HHCL we once hired a senior planner and I was told after we’d given him the green light that “he always gets his cock out at agency parties”. I can remember pondering – was this a good thing or a bad thing ?
It hadn’t cropped up in the interview.
That probably was a good thing.
But I’m generally a fan of anything which livens up an agency party – as a relief from the normal ear-bashing which you get if you’re the boss of the agency. Although if this new bloke wanted to bash me round the ear with his cock, that was probably a step in the wrong direction.
However, for an industry supposedly based on flair and creativity, there is actually surprisingly little exposure of the male organ of generation. Agency chiefs are always talking about putting their balls on the line, but I’ve never actually seen one get his cock out in a pitch to demonstrate “reach” or, god forbid, “penetration”.
But I remember writing an ad for Danepak bacon once, which had a family of nudists barbecuing the product (because it was lower in fat – so it didn’t spit so much ….) It was actually Frank Budgen’s first commercial as a director and it won a gold lion at Cannes.
Given that we couldn’t show any naughty bits, I had the brainwave on the shoot that we should shave the cast’s pubic areas – thus gaining valuable extra centimetres of flesh we could show without getting into trouble.
(I didn’t get into the Campaign Hall of Fame for nothing, you know.)
The director agreed and I was sitting there enjoying a coffee and a bacon sandwich when someone came up and asked me if I wanted to approve the shaving.
The thought of peering at the actresses’ private parts was no great hardship but the idea of scrutinising some bloke’s meat and two veg and asking that they shave a bit more hair off his balls didn’t appeal overmuch. I said I would take it on trust but maybe Frank should cast his eye over it.
The truly shocking thing in hindsight is that I don’t remember any clients being involved in this approval process. These days they’d be all over it, discussing whether shaved pubes reflected their brand values or not.
Where do shaved pubes appear on the brand ladder ? I don’t remember seeing shaved pubes anywhere on the brand onion. That sort of discussion.
But then again very few clients these days would approve the idea of a bunch of nudists eating the bacon.
It might offend someone. And they’d be more concerned with logical take-out rather than entertainment.
So we’re left with a world where the only “risky” things are probably happening at the agency summer party.
Until that gets put through Millward Brown as well.
So go on, do what the senior planner we hired always did … and get it out. There’s a rich seam of encouragement for this approach running through the great ad campaigns of history.
As Braniff Airlines said, “if you’ve got it flaunt it”.
As Nike said, “just do it”.
As Cadbury said, “a finger of fudge is just enough to give yourself a treat”.
Actually, forget that last one.