Posts Tagged ‘Milan’

It’s “the run-up to Christmas”, which means that the stupid requests from Clients are coming thick (sometimes, so staggeringly thick that “dumb” might be a better descriptor) and fast. There is something about “getting it done before Christmas” that makes Clients feel reassured and in control – the fact that they won’t review the work until mid-January (“the post-Christmas pile-up”) is, of course irrelevant: they want it then, they pay the bills and so there it will be.

Needless to say, this is complemented by their own behaviour of treating any entreaty to review something “as a matter of urgency” as a light-hearted joke on the part of the Agency: a “take it or leave it” indication that their point of view MIGHT be needed at some point in the next couple of weeks, but not to worry unduly about ACTUALLY doing anything.

Oh well: I’m just bitter and angry because they’ve just asked us to prepare a fairly comprehensive review by lunchtime tomorrow (the scale of which makes it explicit that what they’re really saying is “Work all through the night to do this”), while our pleas for them to look at scripts, storyboards, edits, etc fall on entirely deaf ears. I’m flying off to Milan (to spend the night in the A.C. Milan Hotel – which promises much football-themed fun and delivers precisely nothing in the line of “fun”, football or otherwise) where I am going to present some thoughts on a target demographic. As part of the morning’s task, I have been asked to “describe her in such a way that we think we might know her” – which is OK in itself, but actually means “describe a woman with whom I feel familiar, would like and would probably want to marry” from this male team. Detailing the concerns, the insecurities and the injustices that these women experience (and sometimes inflict) may be the most useful job I could do – but they don’t want that, they want a pen-portrait of a woman they feel happy to be selling brands to: a very different thing.

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Friday, 30th March 2007

It would be untrue to say that I was unconcerned by it – what I don’t know is whether or not I am over-reacting. After all, how many examples of any one abnormality constitutes an epidemic?

But FIVE Italians in brick-red cotton chinos in the course of one day in Milan has got to be a troubling sign, hasn’t it? Especially as Milan is the world’s fashion source: this may mean that the Top Man version of these monstrosities are being sewn as we speak, ready to be released into the High Streets of the UK without a thought for how LUDICROUS red strides make one look.

Actually, it’s not an absolutely unknown phenomenon here already: the red cord trouser is the more flamboyant cousin of the mustard cord, so well loved by City-working, claret-sipping Henrys on their days of. But at least that trend seemed to be limited to the over 50s…

Vigilance is the thing. Vigilance, my friends…

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Tuesday, 5th June 2007

What the friggety fuck does Milan think it’s doing, eh?

Is there NO-ONE being paid large salaries to turn up with a flipchart, kick some ideas around and then do them a brand model that shows them what the city would be if it were, in fact, a household cleaning product or bottom of the range car?

Apparently not. Or if they are, then the burghers of Milan are ignoring them, because the image is VERY out of kilter with the reality. I produce the following incontrevertible evidence:-

1. Red Trousers. I have posted on this before, but (I am saddened to write) it demands further consideration. This place is meant to be the fashion capital of the world, for Donatella’s sake – and yet here is a significant number of men, who should know better, prancing around in cherry red trouser joy.

2. Graffiti. My word, but there is a lot of it about: and it is EVERYWHERE. On every building, in every area, across carvings and across glass – such a shame, because in most Italian cities it is a truth that everyone respects and understands the beauty of their surroundings. There really is civic pride in places like Florence or Rome, but in Milan it is notably lacking – and it is hurtful.

3. Ugliness. The city is astoundingly ugly. 

So: that’s the deal, Milan. Read it and weep.

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Questions About Milan

Tuesday, 28th August 2007

Milan is Thursday’s destination. I am going with Male Account Guy Whom Is Suspected Of Using Straightening Irons, and at the moment, my questions (having not been there in the Summer) are not to do with the brand health of the brands that I am going there to be informed about. They are as follows:-

1) Are red trousers a Spring/Summer thing? Or could they tilt into Autumn? If not, what horror will supplant them?

2) Is the Mysterious Deep Fried Carbohydrate Wanton a feature of August food in Milan? Or does something altogether airier and tastier replace it? A breeze block, for example.

3) Will the British Airways lounge at Linate still have the fat man shouting to someone called Greg, about how well the presentation went, on a mobile that cuts out every forty seconds, prompting a redial, a recap and a ramping up of the volume?

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Saturday, 10th November 2007

Fearless Leader, Nice Account Guy and I were in Milan for one of the many interminable meetings were 16 people argue over the difference between “beautiful” and “stunning” – and that’s not a groundless example…

Anyway, what made this meeting particularly memorable was that the client snapped. Fearless Leader is accomplished, intelligent and talented. She is also – unfortunately – unable to shut her fucking mouth for more than five seconds at a time, or appreciate when it’s not all about her.

So: she was holding forth, waffling on, and interrupting the contributions that the other participants were trying to make – and it was just too much on that occasion, because the Client broke out with “Shut Up! Shut Up! Just SHUT UP!”. She tried to come back with a “What I was trying to say…” – only to met by a renewed attack of: “No! No! Just shut UP!”

My heart soared like an eagle – because I had been sorely tempted to step in and stab her to death with a Grissini stick.

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