Always outnumbered. Generally overdresssed.

Friday, November 26, 2010

i is not selling enough papers is i?

Britain's newest daily? WTF is wrong with you?
In our business it's easy to get resentful when, as happens from time to time, someone tells you your idea is shit.

In fact, one of the great drivers for career progress in advertising is to reach a level of seniority where if anyone tells you your idea is shit, you can sack them on the spot. Whole agencies have been built on this principle.

Personally I believe there's nothing like a bracing blast of unstinting honesty to stimulate those  sections of the imagination that are powered by doubt, fear and resentment. What is cut down grows back twice as strong. It's worth learning to love criticism. Without it you might do something mad, like recording a three hour long hip-hopera, making a Star Wars prequal, or publishing a not quite free-sheet in competition with your own newspaper.

According to industry sources, the circulation of 'i' is now down to well below 70,000 per day. They've also cut 10,000 from sales of the Independent and enraged the journalists union by employing no new people to publish double the number of the newspapers. A newspaper that is failing, quickly becomes a failure's newspaper. No one wants to justify to their friends why they're paying 20p for the only rag worse than the Metro.

The name 'i' is confusing, fiddly to type with autocorrect, impossible to search for online and makes a nonsense of almost any sentence you care to put it in. Basing a headline campaign around the paper's title is up there in the bad decision stakes with the bad decision to publish the thing in the first place. At best the headlines sound like they were guest written by Sacha Baron Cohen, at worst, just plain illiterate. A consequence perhaps of employing an agency whose creative department is drawn almost entirely from the JLS fanbase, without an English GCSE between them.

So look, Alexander Lebedev, you ridiculous ex-KGB oligarch, I'm going to tell you because someone needs to: your idea is shit.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Also isn't it 'digestible'?

Gordon Comstock said...

Yes indeed. How embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

planners love criticism, because its all they offer

Gordon Comstock said...

Perhaps, although you do realise that I'm just a copywriter with neat hair, not a planner.

Anonymous said...

lol

McKechnie (seriously) said...

Impossible to search for online? I feared the worst - but give it a whirl, the newspaper is top of the search rankings. How they did that I have no idea, but I'd love to have their SEO boffins on my side. Given that the average celeb blog must use the word 'I' at least once every ten words...