There is a preconception that London is filled with pretentious, superficial, award-obsessed marketing professionals who would quite happily disappear up their own arseholes faster than a poor quality Rich Tea Finger plunging into a piping hot cup of tea.
This is not true.
There is also a preconception that London is the Emerald City of marketing; a place so resplendent with creativity and imagination that it makes any regional attempt at marketing look like a thoroughly disappointing episode of an abysmal Nicholas Lyndhurst’s sitcom
This, also, is not true.
I work for an agency in the Midlands and in my own entirely humble opinion, it is a splendid one. There are people far more talented than I here at Together who would do a darn fine job in any agency in the country, London included.
This idea that London is the pinnacle of marketing creativity and vision is a bag of dead wasps. But, just as untrue is the idea that London is full of conkers (replace the ‘con’ with ‘wan’ – I’m trying to keep it clean this week) who are thoroughly pleased with themselves to the point that the work becomes less important than the glory.
I know a lot of people who work in what are perceived to be ‘big’ London agencies and they are not only excellent at what they do, they are also committed, focussed and very hard working. The London marketeers I know are also far more satisfied with an effective and persuasive piece of work than they are with a shiny bauble.
Unfortunately, there are people outside of London agencies who are quite happy to label them all as smug, cocky and a thoroughly vinegar-soaked bag of conkers. Some may be just that, I’m quite sure, but the majority are not.
Equally, there are people in London who feel that regional agencies consist of dim-witted Mac bashers who churn out the kind of drab and unimaginative material that they wouldn’t use to wrap around their cup of overpriced latte.
Again, I’m perfectly certain that there are regional creatives who are unwilling to stretch themselves or take bold decisions, but this group are most definitely in the minority.
The truth is, quite simply, that the UK as a whole offers probably the finest marketing talent in the world. And anyone who tells you that culture and inspiration do not exist outside of London needs repeatedly slapping in the face with a yak’s willy.
I read about other agency’s exploits (some from London, a lot from elsewhere) in The Drum and I am often astounded by the inventiveness and originality of their campaigns.
I feel that perhaps this outdated idea that London is the hotbed of all creativity has acted as somewhat of a spur to agencies outside of the capital to push themselves and prove their worth. If this is truly the case then it surely can only be a positive thing for all British agencies.
Diversity is the lifeblood of British creativity, as it is of our society as a whole. Move a mere 50 miles in any direction from your given point and you will discover new outlooks, new tastes, new perspectives.
Creating something that will appeal to as broad and eclectic a population as possible (without it dissolving into a steamy cloud of generality) is a magnificent challenge, and one which agencies throughout the country rise to again and again.
So come on, you cockney rapscallions, and you too, you regional scallywags, let’s all be mates.
We can all meet up in Nottingham for a big game of conkers. And this time I do genuinely mean conkers. The other thing would be horrific.
Andrew Boulton is a copywriter at the Together Agency. He has never seen, let alone been attacked with, a yak’s willy.
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