The second series has finally arrived in the Nordic region. Stale news, I expect, for many viewers on the cutting edge, but hey! I’m eating it like the best mature cheddar, with relish. And I have my reasons, which I think Christina might recognise.
40 Berkeley Square, JWT, 1954
In the late ’60s I was a rookie client of J Walter Thompson, Ogilvy and Mather and Garland Compton; a couple of years later of Masius Wynne Williams – all four were mainstream, full-service ad agencies in London, with the style and culture parodied so accurately in Mad Men, even though the TV stories are about Madison Avenue, the centre of the US ad world. TV advertising was still an under-developed phenomenon, dominated by the big brands who maintained close parallel relationships with the few commercial TV companies. Client entertainment extended to hedonistic extremes, such that my colleague, the media buyer claimed with justification that he was the best fed man in London, industry bashes typically occupied the Dorchester and Lords, Twickenham and Ascot were de rigueur.
That business world was chauvinistic to a fault and employed men with ‘Eton and Guards’ credentials, who perhaps surprisingly managed to mesh in with their Madison Ave counterparts as the industry expended across the globe.
Of course, it has all changed. Full service died the death and zero-based cost efficiency became the watch-word. Algorithms rule media plans, social media loom large in branding. So excuse my nostalgia, as I remember spoof lines like ‘From those wonderful people who brought you Pearl Harbour’ to promote the burgeoning Japanese presence in the USA.