Friday, February 15

Leopards and spots

Once you've been around the block a few times, you begin to tire of it. The view around each corner is the same as it was last time, and going round and round gets tedious, if not dull.

So it is with fashion. So it is with politics. And so it is with business. What goes around (you) comes around (the same corner again, and lo! the view is the same again. Yawn)

My mild fulmination about the unjustness of the foretold closure of Planet Rock below bought to mind a time when I was employed. And enjoying it. With hindsight this event is about when I stopped enjoying it. I"m going to be a bit woolly in a pitiful attempt to prevent you realising that the company I'm talking about is.... oh no, you won't fool me like that. But it was close.

Anyway, said company is a household name, most especially among the Radio 4 classes who rely on it for all sorts of cover. This last word is a clue. But no names, no pack drill.

Sometime before I arrived at the swish (ha ha ha) ad agency for whom I worked, they had undertaken a lot of expensive work for this household name company. Said company had commissioned tens of thousands of pounds-worth of time and creative stuff, only to dispute the payment, and reject the work. So you can imagine my boss's surprise when said work turned up almost entirely as created by the agency in the press and so on a few months later. They tried to sue but were told it was the work of a different agency and only similar because the brief was the same and so on and so forth. The weasel that has been used before and doubtless will be again: it s really hard to 'own' a creative solution to anything. Tweak it only a morsel and you have whole new cut of beef.

So, imagine my surprise when, about 6 or so years later, the brief or some new mailings and literature for this house-hold name arrived on my desk on day. I knuckled down, pleased to be working on an account with this level of prestige and did good work for them. The designers designed and I copy wrote several items; many thousands of words. They LOVED it, best work ever, hit the brief spot on, etc etc.

I know, I know - you are ahead of me, but you, like I did then are going to have to wait. Although you won't have to wait as long as I did. I only heard on the grapevine some months later that the company had done the same thing. Refused to pay, citing creative differences and so on and so forth.

So you can, as they say, imagine my surprise, when, as a memeber of said company's client base, I recieved my own mailing in the post some weeks later. I took it in to my boss and showed him where about 6 words had been changed in more than a side of A4. Less than 10%. It was MY work!

I may have said something infelicitous. The rot set in, and about two years later I was out. Things were never quite the same. It may have been this incident. It may have been something else. It may be my imagination as the partners in charge argued and split up anyway when one of their other-halves died. It was a messy end. But fun while it lasted.

Up to a point.

Anyway the point of this is to illustrate a truth: corporations don't change. Can't change. So why on earth did Planet Rock's owners think owning a radio station was a good idea? It was bound to end in tears. They mainline on generating electricity.

Personally, I favour either me buying it for 50p, or some rich rocker putting some of his music royalty cheques into it so that we fans can keep on rocking.

Anyone seen my air guitar?

1 comment:

I, still, like the views said...

yikes - you keep talking about the view being dull. . .

same old stuff over and over

think I need a holiday