London-centricity and the creative industries

By Pat - 27th January 2017

A personal view.

How did they do it? How did they go to the places they went without getting their heads kicked in? With the greatest of respect to the fine advertising institution that Ogilvy and Mather is, and accepting the slightly tongue in cheek nature of the article, the story in Campaign Planning in the wild: How Ogilvy planners are getting out to connect with real people is a shocker.

The story revolves around the fact that the advertising industry doesn’t have a “bloody clue” about anything outside of London. Apparently, 94% of planning research is done on-line or is secondary research. Which has resulted in an initiative called Get out there, where the agency is going out to talk to real people, outside of London. Yes, real people.

The London-centric creative industries talking to themselves, and creating advertising campaigns for people like themselves, is shocking enough. But the condescending intent behind the initiative is something else. They are visiting Boston (murder capital), Oldham (most deprived town), Isle of Man (Crown Dependency) and Bournemouth (to talk to Beryl about kippers).

Look. The article is a humorous report of what is probably a worthy initiative. But yet again, it’s a private London-centric joke in a London based outlet at the expense of the majority of people living and working across the UK. And I bet Ogilvy staff didn’t show this to the people they interviewed in Boston, Oldham or elsewhere.

Without being stuffy, it’s exactly the attitudes contained within this article that have got us in the situation we are in now. And I’m not surprised people are angry.

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