A letter from Santa: the big man has a few not too jolly words for the advertising industry

Andrew Boulton is a copywriter with a decade of scribbling experience at places like Egg the online bank, some top agencies in the Midlands and once for a man who carved dolphins out of cheese.

He was nominated for the Professional Publishers Association Award for Business Media Columnist of the Year despite having little or no grasp of the semi colon. He has decent hair but a disappointing beard. You can follow him on Twitter @Boultini.

No No No.

Merry Christmas, you utter bastards.

Oh dear, now you’ve turned Santa into a potty mouth, I hope you people are happy.

Now some of you may be a bit taken aback to be on the wrong end of shellacking from Santa. You were probably under the impression that I’m quite a jolly fellow. Well, I certainly used to be.

When I first got into this game it was an absolute doddle. A yo-yo down the chimney for the posh kids, an orange and a lump of coal for the urchins and all was as sweet as an oversized Christmas Toblerone.

I was out the house, round the world and back at home in my big red pyjamas watching ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ before you could say a single ‘Ho’ never mind all three.

But nowadays it’s a different sack of goodies altogether. I have to dash around the world at breakneck speed, frantically hurling presents from my sleigh while Rudolph fights off a crippling asthma attack. Next time, I’ll choose the lead reindeer based on lung capacity rather than nasal luminosity.

I’m in such a rush I have to knock back every glass of sherry like I’m Jager-bombing with Olly Reed. I’m utterly smashed by the time I get to Brazil, you should see some of the strange presents they end up with. I gave one boy a little bag containing my toenail clippings, I was hammered.

And who do I blame for this incredible uplift in my workload? I. Blame. You.

You advertising fiends have created a world where people know what they want, and they know they want lots of it.

What’s more, Christmas has become a period where advertising, more than at any other time, can reach deep into someone’s brain and gently tickle their pulsating ‘I want that’ nerve.

Christmas is a time when people are incredibly receptive to thinking about the things that they might want and what they might want to get for their loved ones. Advertising shouts most loudly, most enticingly and most frequently at this time of year, and there are millions upon millions of big and little eyes and ears very much open to what is being offered.

What’s more, a lot of your work is creating really annoying misconceptions about me. I get 1000s of letters every year from little chumps asking when I’ll be driving my big red truck convoy through their town. F*ck you Coke, Santa drinks Pepsi Max.

And all of this may be simply marvellous for you gang of scoundrels, sitting around in your tweed blazers and Jo Malone perfumes, chuckling away about the sales uplift on the back of your campaign. But who is it that has to deal with all the chaos you’ve created? Old Father Muggins here, that’s who.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen me, but I am not a slender gentleman. Admittedly I’ve stacked out a bit over the years, and sprinting around the globe, desperately trying to meet the demand you’ve created is not doing me much good. It got so bad that I once vomited through exhaustion all over a young girl’s snowman. The John Lewis advert scares the crap out of her now.

Now, I am pleading with you all, take it down a notch. Be less persuasive, be less inventive, be less ‘everywhere’. You may be helping to deliver wonderful things to people all over the world, but quite frankly you’re going to kill me.

And I don’t care how clever you rascals are, a dead Santa is a hard sell.

I shall leave it with you, but just remember one little thing. Accidents happen on the Christmas list. If I’m so busy that I accidentally misread the word ‘iPhone’ for the words ‘shoebox full of angry crabs’ then that is just a hazard of an overstretched enterprise.

Ho, Ho and Ho. You bastards.


Andrew Boulton is a copywriter at the Together Agency. He is not Santa Claus.

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