A new year, an old resolution: Saying no to crap

Martin Weigel’s “Canalside View” blog gets the year off to a great start. He’s so right on this. We spend just as long – longer usually, in my experience – on the stuff that ends up being a bit bollocks as on the stuff we can be justly proud of. Goes for research as much as Martin’s field of advertising. Let’s all do less crap. Happy new year!

canalside view

not funny

(It’s a new year. A good enough reason as any to revisit and recommit to an old resolution).

Look past all the rhetoric, the confident future gazing, the self-congratulation, the slick case studies, the awards, the campaigns du jour, the smartass blogs, the authoritative keynote speeches… and it’s plain that the vast majority of what we produce as an industry isn’t brilliant or even good.

Most of what our industry puts out into the world is banal, and unremarkable. Or worse, patronizing, derivative, lazy, insulting, hectoring, clumsy, polluting, stupid, repetitive, intrusive, toxic. Or just plain irrelevant.

Perhaps this is not surprising at all. Perhaps advertising simply conforms to what the American science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon termed ‘Sturgeons Revelation’ (or Sturgeon’s Law as it is often referred to). As he put it in in the March 1958 issue of Venture magazine:

I repeat Sturgeon’s Revelation, which was wrung out of me…

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About Simon Riley

Qualitative researcher in the UK. I listen to people from all walks of life and think about what it all means. I work for leading brands, media companies and government.
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