Over the course of what I might laughably refer to as my career, I have come to many conclusions about what I do and don’t like in the industry we call ‘ad’.
I thought it might be interesting to see how they all ‘net out’, as cunts say.
So here I present to you my agency:
First thing’s first: it’s called Pavement. I once read a study that said ‘pavement’ was the most pleasant word to say in the English language. That’s enough for me. I don’t want names above the door and I don’t want any meaning at all to be conveyed by the chosen title. If it all works out everyone will think it’s brilliant; if not, they’ll think it’s shit. As Jeremy Bullmore once said, things imbue names with meaning, not the other way round.
Next, the company philosophy. ‘Philosophy’ is a word dripping with wank, so it’s just here to indicate that I think everyone in the agency needs to know what we’re all about. It helps to provide an answer every time someone asks the question, ‘Should we be doing this?’. So here goes: happiness before money. Of course, money can increase happiness, but chasing it at the expense of people’s contentment seems fucking stupid to me. Would you like to work for a giant corporation full of wrist-slitting pill-munchers or a small place where joy exudes from every pore?
Now we need an M.O. that will help us decide what clients to get and how we work with them: Pavement will only do advertising for non-cunts who value happiness over money. This, I hope, will lead to a self selecting process where the companies in question produce decent things which don’t fuck people over and do not fuck over their own employees for the sake of a shekel.
Other corporate policies will flow from the central philosophy:
1. No placements. Why the fuck should we exploit the high supply/low demand model just to save a few quid? Juniors in all departments come in with a proper job from day one. If we fucked up and chose the wrong one (which can happen at any level), then we bite the bullet and see, on a case-by-case basis, how a conclusion can be reached.
2. Good bogs that you can’t hear the next-door bog from. Good Lord, why, in this day and age do we have to listen each other defecating? We don’t. I know plenty of agencies that get it right. Hats off to them.
3. If you need help, help will be provided. People should use their initiative but they shouldn’t just be left to drift. The good ones improve the young ones; it’s part of the job.
4. No Campaign. You can select any weekly magazine you like, but not that one. It’s a huge waste of money.
5. The CD’s decision on work is final. He/she will listen to other opinions, but there is to be no three hour whinging period for the people who didn’t get their way to attempt to do so just by being a whiny prick. The CD is employed for his or her creative judgement. What’s the point in failing to use it?
6. Creatives have offices. This is fucking obvious. Anyone who can give creatives offices (I appreciate it’s not possible everywhere) but doesn’t is a giant cock.
7. One afternoon off during the working week to compulsorily sponge. Off you go. A tenner each, every employee, every dept, have fun.
8. The office shuts at 6. You can work afterwards if you really want to, but that’s up to you. No one wants to stop you working hard but Pavement does not want you to feel compelled to endure a life of pointless presenteeism.
9. No pitching unless a pitch budget is agreed in advance and not surpassed. Pitching is a shite process and a giant fucking waste of money for most of the people involved. However, the pitch will be organised properly so that the people involved are not Mac-ing stuff up at 3am the morning before. I fully believe this is possible. Indecisive twattery stops it being so.
10. Office in Hampstead or Primrose Hill. Regular walks in grassy areas encouraged.
UPDATE: actually, everyone should have an office, then you wouldn’t have that strange and annoying phenomenon of people wandering around communal areas trying to make personal phone calls on their mobiles then scampering off when you arrive to get a Coke out of the machine.