By Roger Collis
Pungent, pithy, irreverent, hard-hitting, hilarious, succinct, wittily subversive, unique, compulsive interpreting. those are a few of the epithets used to explain 'An unintended supervisor - stories from the company jungle,' Roger Collis' new publication, distilled from a long time of expertise as a global advertising government and as a well known newspaper and journal columnist battling the nook of road-warriors around the world.
The writer brilliantly captures the absurdities, pretensions and jargon of the company jungle, and may fast have you ever chuckling on the method he unfailingly spots the synthetic and the modish. The reader will get pleasure from assembly the solid of characters who come to existence in lots of of the tales: the Chairman; the devious Welshman; Guratsky, the author's putative alta ego; his secretary, the bitch-goddess Helen; Mel Geist; Sammy Kalbfleish; and Stanley Zilch, the crazed soothsayer of the Blue Skies study Institute in damaged Springs, Colorado. The witty,...
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With characteristic prescience they are preparing graduates for the fast track in consultancy with special courses in apologetics and cigar handling. One pundit of my acquaintance (a high-caste consultant from Bangalore) attributes what he calls the ‘consultant explosion’ to some sort of arcane synergism wrought by the world recession and the warm weather. Some behavioral scientists theorize that consultancy is the modern executive’s way of ‘dropping out’ – of exercising what psychologists call a ‘sense of primary retroactive deprivation’ as a way of compensating for the lavish self-determination of the younger generation: the new leisured class.
Sometimes, the best decision is no decision. To paraphrase Franklin D. ) There’s more to procrastination than a simple Micawber-like propensity for waiting for the right decision to turn up. The professional procrastinator will avoid a decision by convening yet another meeting, a fact-finding trip, or more market research, the results of which can be discussed at another meeting safely in the future – preferably when you have moved on and upwards. Advertising agencies are expert at this game. ‘We sincerely believe that at this point a formal proposal would be premature,’ the new account director prevaricates.
Nowadays, alas, I have most of my eggs and none of my illusions in the commercial basket. I met quite a few fellow poets in the copywriting stables. Many of them were good copywriters as well as good poets. Of course, we had a sprinkling of novelists manqué. But it was the poets who seemed to find the art of writing selling copy particularly compatible with their literary vocation. And if you think about it there are many similarities: the need to weigh the value of each word, compactness and brevity; the deployment of imagery and metaphor; the zapping title or headline that explodes the meaning and the need for the text to wear well after repeated readings.