You have to feel for Clare Balding, the nation’s darling after 2012. Her success has catapulted her into being the sole presenter of a total fiasco of a programme which has been universally derided. After defending the show, saying “new formats can take some time to bed in with audiences”, the BBC has backtracked on most of the changes and turned it back into a programme about the day’s tennis at Wimbledon. Phew.

What went wrong, Read More

Comment | July 2015

“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”

Katharine Hepburn Read More

Quotes | July 2015

I was on the receiving end of an intriguing direct marketing effort a while back, one which was so successful in getting attention that several other people who worked around me were aware of it and following it too – and yet, one which generated no business whatsoever for the sender.

Here’s what happened. A package came for me, hand-delivered to the office. It was a silver cardboard box with a lid, like a smart over-sized shoe box, Read More

Thought leadership | June 2015

“Don’t smoke, exercise, eat real food, watch your weight, wear a seatbelt, get a good night’s sleep, and love somebody.”

The real secrets of a long life, according to Professor Timothy Caulfield, author of “Is Gwyneth Paltrow wrong about everything?” Read More

Quotes | June 2015

That pouting blonde in the yellow bikini has attracted a lot of attention. Nothing new there. But the row about Protein World’s poster, “Are you beach body ready?” has had a lot more coverage than she has in the poster. Apparently it’s offensive. I really can’t see why it’s more offensive than a Dove ad.

How can I say that? Dove and its campaign for everyday beauty has been hailed as some sort of feminist icon. Read More

Comment | May 2015

“Culture beats strategy; people make strategy happen.”

Martin Glenn, Marketing Society president, CEO of the Football Association Read More

Quotes | May 2015

I knew I was cutting it fine to catch the 19.20 from Waterloo the other night. But I’ve done it often, and know which platform to head for. The train was still showing on the board. So I was more surprised than anything else when the doors closed in front of me, and I watched from platform 3 as the train pulled out. “But it’s leaving early!” I protested to the unruffled train controller who was right beside me as he waved the train off. Read More

Thought leadership | April 2015

“Brands don’t just have target markets, they have target moments.”

Rory Sutherland, Vice-Chairman of Ogilvy UK Read More

Quotes | April 2015

Effective marketing communications are getting harder to do. It can be hard to find anything (other than price) that’s really worth shouting about. There are whole advertising campaigns built around seemingly marginal features. Take The Ford Motor Company. “Keys”, says the woman in the Ford Focus ad, and I start watching because it is charming and true. Or that buff chap climbing the steps to the diving board, to the opening riff of Hawkwind’s Master of the Universe – Read More

Comment | March 2015

Liar’s Poker, Michael Lewis’s first book, dramatised the crazy excesses of 1980s Wall St. It was rather like the Wolf of Wall Street but without the 18 certificate. But Michael Lewis knows how to make potentially dull stuff into a good read too, so if you feel you ought to know about the 2008 financial crisis but can’t face reading about it, The Big Short is the book for you. It’s a neat little paperback (or ebook, Read More

Books | March 2015