At the End of the Day


Tonight’s ATEOTD was going to be a gentle piece about Autumn in the garden. But in the latter half of today, some of the grisly truth surrounding the unsolved murder of Daniel Morgan has come to light. If even 10% of it is true, then Newscorp really is the upturned crucifix of Beelzebub made corporate.

This is the link to Byline in general, and Peter Jukes’s article in particular:

I would ask anyone visiting this post tonight to send this link to anyone and everyone they know who thinks that Britain has suffered enough at the hands of sicko Rupert Murdoch, and it is time the Rule of Law was reestablished in Britain….with Newscorp equal to the rest of us before that Law.

cross2cross2cross2So given that opening, we’ll stick with the media.

The FT’s new strapline is ‘Giving you the insight to stay ahead of tomorrow’. I laughed out loud, but not until I’d switched on the Left brain did I really understand why I found it so funny. I’ve always had a thing about the inanity of most straplines (the FT’s old one ‘No FT, no comment’ was an exception) and this one struck me as the sort of lulu likely to have emerged after a committee trade-off between the client, the planner and the account man….with the writer tearing his hair out in the background.

“So then,” the account director concludes, “We’re agreed then: it ticks all the boxes – the line is ‘FT – for those who leave the Nowists behind'”.

“Well”, the planner interjects, “The groups thought the Nowist joke was terribly dated”.

“Yeeerrrz,” says the client, cleaning his glasses, “and the table stakes now are to be ahead of everyone whose staying ahead”.

“And it doesn’t deliver the ‘insight’ promise in the strategy,” adds the planner, sounding somewhat miffed.

Long before this point, of course, the client (and better still, before that the account man) should’ve said, “Actually, it’s just not a very good line. Let’s start again”. But with time by now running short, it turns into into a mix-and-match paste-up job, ”Giving you the insight to stay ahead of tomorrow”….which is only a good line if you think there’s no point in having a creative department. Futurology into your brain before the day after tomorrow. A flash of light on Monday that pays off on Wednesday. Leading the leader of the pack. Next week’s idea the day before yesterday.

But then it dawned on me (the previous Thursday before today’s tomorrow) that in 2015, the line is 100% lacking in credibility – especially given the ‘quality’ of FT journalism now – for a whole variety of reasons: the FT doesn’t ‘give’ anything (it’s behind a paywall that’d be expensive at half the price) markets are rigged, central bankers evade, politicians lie, plcs fiddle the books and fiscal economics (allegedly the FT’s niche) are dysfunctional on pretty much every level.

In short, the client should’ve turned down the strategy before it got anywhere near the creative team.

Mind you, had the client been Newscorp, the strapline would’ve written itself:

‘Tough on the Truth, tough on those who tell the Truth’