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Entertainment

Does the UK really need a 'men-only' radio station?

Depending where you reside in the UK, you may be a listener to XFM. The original home of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, its format has largely been studenty, with a playlist dedicated to indie guitar bands, and a presenter roster of music buffs...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Advertising

Will the BA fire ruin their Christmas campaign?

With the Autumn hardly upon us, British Airways are set to launch their Christmas travel campaign. It's a digital affair, as you might imagine, and builds on their 'No Place Like Home' concept launched earlier this year. The ads use quirky sayings,...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Entertainment

Simon Cowell: The master of marketing

What is Simon Cowell? A TV presenter? A music producer? An pop manager? Well, undeniably all these things; but ultimately he's one of the most accomplished marketeers the UK has ever created. Just look at his greatest achievement. He not only...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Features

Striking cigarette ads from another age

Of course, these days, being a smoker is only slightly less offensive than kitten killing. But it wasn't always that way. Indeed, there was a time when everyone from doctors to movie stars - even prospective presidents - were more than happy to...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Entertainment

What we've learned from the new James Bond: Spectre trailer

You saw it, right? How could you miss it? Even ITV's News At Ten ran the trailer for 'SPECTRE', the next episode in the most successful movie franchise ever - James Bond. Immediately the world took to social media (or at least the section of the...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Careers

Meet Phil Danter: The Ad executive who became a music star

Tiring of your glittering career as an advertising executive? All those expense account lunches leaving you unfulfilled? Maybe you should become a music star. It can certainly be done, as one high-flyer has proved by making that exact career move....

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Advertising

Meet Marcus Haney: The man who breaks into festivals for a living

This modern world has brought us a swathe of unusual job titles. Certainly our grandparents wouldn't have a clue what a Social Media Manager does, much less an SEO Executive. So how about a Professional Fence Jumper? This is how a man called Marcus...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Features

Whipped Woodlouse? Why The Economist is giving away insect ice-cream

A few years ago, I arrived at Stockport station in Cheshire. It was early morning and I was feeling distinctly peckish. Fortunately, as I reached the foot of the stairs from the platform, a well-known retailer of baking goods was holding a promotion,...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Features

Online ads are too annoying says Larry Page

There was a sticky period in the evolution of the World Wide Web. This was the time when developers and advertisers seized on pop-up technology, but before any ad-blocker software was available to mitigate it. If memory serves, it lasted about a year...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Technology

Meet the robot that gets smarter when it changes shape.

War is hell, they say. So perhaps it's not surprising the stuff of nightmares is funded by the military. The US military to be precise. Yes, the American Army is putting cash dollars into into a robotic cockroach. What's more, it's an intelligent,...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Social Media

How the Google algorithm stole a blogger's domain name.

You may remember, in the early days of the internet, some very smart cookies enriched themselves considerably by buying up the domain names they figured would be in demand, just as soon as major corporations woke up to the new technology. Smart...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Features

The world's ten oddest magazines

You’ve read your Vogue, you’ve read your GQ, even an old copy of Woman's Own you found on the train. But why so predictable, friend? Expand your horizons, take a chance and live on the wild side - because, for all the talk of a crisis in...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Features

TV shows about the creative sector? Pah! Who needs 'em?

Antiques Roadshow, Flog It!, Bargain Hunt, Cash in The Attic, Dickinson's Real Deal - there’s no doubt the BBC and ITV recognise the crucial role selling old stuff plays in the cultural fabric of the UK. Indeed, one cannot help but be impressed...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Features

Six US presidential candidate logos reviewed

In the UK, those standing for parliament always use the branding of their party. During the run-up to the recent general election, you may have noticed Labour candidates' posters were red and yellow with a red rose; Tories were all blue and white...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Advice

The ten most insightful quotes from start-up experts

2014 was a record-breaking year. In just twelve months 581,173 new UK businesses were registered with Companies House, substantially beating the figures for 2012 and 2013. These days, we're surrounded by start-ups - and perhaps for the first time, a...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Features

Why agencies get it so wrong when marketing themselves

Many years ago, I worked for an agency which specialised in recruitment and graduate communications. It was pretty successful too, with a host of blue-chip clients and a stack of creative awards. It was American owned, and one day the message came...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Advertising

The Week In Advertising

Vodafone - Let's Go While I don't object to advertisements suggesting a product or service will enhance a small corner of my life (it could be argued that's what all advertising does), I do find it tiresome when a brand proposes it has unlocked the...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Inspiration

The five most creative magazine covers of all time

Considering the magazine industry is in a pretty wobbly state, it's surprising how tame modern cover designs tend to be. Usually smothered in teaser lines over a bland Photoshop creation, it's increasingly difficult to tell one title from another. It...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Advertising

The Week In Advertising

Very - Can't Wait For Summer Quite a plush and expensive looking spot for Very, here. And a nice little twist at the end. It's just a shame the whole thing is focused on models with 'perfect' beach bodies, rather than the actual people likely to be...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Features

Five reasons we should be worried about the BBC

The BBC is great, right? Doctor Who, QI, Strictly Come Dancing - what's not to like? Of course, there's much to praise about our national broadcaster - after all, they've provided us with decades of creative highlights. But 2016 will see a crossroads...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Advertising

The Week In Advertising

Travelodge - Travelodgical Here's an interesting thing. While Lenny Henry camps out in a railway station in their competitor's campaign, Travelodge pitch in with their guests as Sesame Street puppets. Other than comfort, I'm not entirely sure what...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Features

Yummy! Why are we being spoken to like children?

Although one never expects a bingo company's advertising to be the height of sophisticated creative communication, I am being driven slowly crazy by Gala's new strapline. 'Sing Gala-la-la' it goes. Leaving aside the obvious gaffe they've made by...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Advertising

The Week In Advertising

Irn Bru - Train The Irn Bru people have been making a virtue of tasteless ads for a while now. I suppose you'd call them 'cheeky', rather than full-on rude - and here's the latest. If one were to nit-pick, it could be said they are playing a bit...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Features

Voting. The most creative thing you'll do this year.

Whatever your take on Russell Brand, you'd have to admit he's quite a creative soul. As well as his acting roles (in which he always plays himself) and stand-up gigs, he runs a popular YouTube channel 'The Trews' and writes books. But one thing you...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Features

The Week In Advertising

The Green Party - Change The Tune Unlike the US position, political parties in the UK aren't permitted to buy up airtime for promotional purposes. They are, however, allocated pre-arranged slots on which to display their wares - and this is the...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Technology

Is the Watch posing Apple an insurmountable problem?

If Apple excel at one thing, it's this: convincing us we own the pinnacle in technological achievement, and then replacing it. When we all bought our iPods, we couldn't imagine a day when they'd no longer be desirable, let alone available. Like a...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Advertising

The Week In Advertising

Arnie And The Meerkat Unless you've been on holiday to Jupiter, you'll have seen the current 'Compare The Market' work, wherein Alexander and Sergei run into trouble with the former Terminator. But what happened behind the scenes? Here's your chance...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Features

Say what? 15 ridiculous things overheard in agencies

Here's a little plug for a Twitter feed we can all enjoy. Called @AgencyQuotes, it simply compiles strange, amusing and ridiculous things which have been uttered in the offices of creative businesses throughout the land. Highly entertaining and...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Advertising

The Week In Advertising

Dove (US) - Men Care Other than a common language, if there's one thing that separates the Brits from the Americans, it's advertising. Take this spot for Dove Men Care; you just know it's an American ad before you even hear the first 'Daddy!'. In...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Features

Is social media making bullying acceptable?

It could be argued we might all benefit from a little digital detox, and TV presenter Sue Perkins has announced she's going to be spending some time away from Twitter. Unfortunately this isn't a lifestyle choice. She's actually been forced off the...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Advertising

The Week In Advertising

McCain - Real Tea Times With this new work and strapline, McCain are obviously determined to put their brands at the heart of British mealtimes - particularly their chips. This may not play well with health and nutrition campaigners, but will...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Features

10 Tips For Running A Cheaper Creative Business

As Mr. Osborne will never tire of telling us, between now and May 7th, things are looking up. The economy, which at one point was about as healthy as a pigeon in a bus lane, is really picking up. But make no mistake, this is no time to be frivolous...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Features

The Week In Advertising: Easter Special

Spar There's no doubt about it, Spar stores are very handy. In fact, where I live, they're the only shop open on Christmas Day. And here they come pitching their Easter offering, which interestingly seems to largely consist of booze. Not a chocolate...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Features

They may sell vacuum cleaners, but why are Queen so popular?

There's nothing new about TV ads using pop songs in their soundtracks. Think of all those Levis ads from the eighties - not only did they shift truckloads of jeans, they made the tunes hits all over again. From the Spice Girls flogging crisps, to The...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw
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Advertising

How David Cameron proved the brilliance of a vintage strapline

David Cameron won't serve a third term as Prime Minister. We know because, he's just told us on the telly. Which is odd, as he hasn't yet won a second term. Many hope he doesn't. Anyway, there'll be plenty of time for political manoeuvring and...

Posted by: Magnus Shaw

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