Advertising sucks…..sometimes

Over my career I reckon I’ve been heavily involved in about 6 advertising campaigns and about $10 million worth of ad spend.

I obviously do believe in the power of advertising to educate, motivate and to build brands.

But not today Mr Paul Smith.

Let me back up for reasons unbeknown M at work has decided to make his 40th birthday party this evening themed in the style of Berlin Cabaret in the 1920’s / 30’s. This has caused much angst.

Thankfully the vintage clothing stores of Nottinghill have thrown up some good choices and if I can avoid food and breathing the high buttoned, double breasted jacket should pass muster.

This brings us back to Mr Smith. He’s been running a lot of glossy ads of late all showing a rather annoying model sporting a slim, colorful bowtie.Picture1

This was going to be the perfect addition to my outfit.

This lead me to fight my way down Portobello Road through the hoards of Italian tourists.

This brought me to the elegant flagship store of Mr Smith.

And guess what ?

No tie. Blank stares. Then something about ‘shall we take your number and call when it arrives’.


Now, despite the fetching velvet collared overcoat I spotted, I am going to have to boycott Paul Smith for a wee while.

But those Italian mobs helped out in the end as I found myself pressed up against the glass of the one vintage shop I had not been in – and there was a tray full of self-tie (there is no other kind) bowties !


Lesson No 1 Don’t advertise what you do not have. (That also applies to people who hawk around resumes which bear little resemblance to their skill set).

Lesson No 2 Next time make it a late 1930’s uniform party – so much easier.


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