Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Nuzzling up to the brown ring

Last week I did something I usually don't do.

I said something nice about a colleague.

I don't make a habit of passing out compliments. Or gushing over mediocrity. I'm not given to exaggerated exuberance. Particularly when it comes to advertising. From what I can see there's enough workmanlike work out there we don't need to shower it with undue praise.

Everything is not awesome. In fact very little is awesome.
And I refuse to state otherwise.

This is just a longwinded way of saying I don't kiss ass. Even though I've had the privilege of working with giants of the industry whose ass's, one could argue, were well worth kissing.

Still, I never indulged. And to this day continue to refrain.

Others, nameless people who have long since stopped reading this blog, have made a Career of it.

Sycophancy is part of their skill set. It's right there on, next to Account Management, Brand Stewardship and Digital Proficiency (insert joke here).

Some are so adept in this dubious arena, they have ridden their knack for nosing up the anal cavity straight to the C-Suite. Or even higher.

They flatter.
They fawn.
Their servility knows no bounds.

They have equity.
I have dignity.

As a 44-year old man who has spent considerable time languishing on the middle rungs of corporate management, I have seen my fair share of obsequious behavior.

And while it may be too late for me to change my obstinate ways, there's still time for many of you to hone your hole-polishing skills and breath the rarefied air of the Mutual Admiration Society.

You simply have to know the do's and don'ts.

Don't say:

"This brief is confusing, chock full of contradiction and muddy at best."

Do say:

"We're going to London for vacation, can you recommend a pub?"

Don't say:

"Why are we doing focus group?"

Do say:

"It's amazing that we can see them through the glass but they can't see us."

Don't say:


Don't even say:


Do say:

"I was hoping you'd ask for a banner ad and a brand engagement unit."

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