From the pulpit

Patrick Collister, Editor

Issue 31 | June 2014

I was talking to some young entrepreneurs the other day about how they should build their companies around their values rather than around their products.

It got me to thinking about the values that underpin Directory. On balance, probably our most important value is rage.

Hair-tearing, ranting and fist-waving rage.

Seriously, when I think how much money gets wasted on advertising which no-one notices, it really does get me going.

This is all money which could be put to good purpose in the wider economy. But the creative process within most marketing departments is designed to dilute anything that looks as if it could be purposeful.

All my training programmes, all the talks I give and the reason why I helped found Directory seven years ago are to encourage advertising with a point.

It is easier, quicker and vastly cheaper to say 'Yes' in meetings than it is to say 'No' and yet nine out of ten creative presentations are to people who have no authority and no mettle.

So the work that emerges is totally and utterly pointless.

Those few clients who do have a vision and are unafraid of making a decision tend not to remain clients very long, more's the pity. They get sucked into general management and go off to manage companies rather than brands.

I was in conversation with a marketing director the other day. "Tell me," I asked, "have you ever gone to see your doctor and challenged the prescription he or she gave you?"


"Have you ever gone to a solicitor and asked him or her to institute court proceedings on your behalf? And when that happened, did it ever occur to you to rewrite the court documents that were submitted on your behalf?"


"Then why in God's name do you walk into your agencies and challenge every single thing they do on your behalf?"

This could be why that particular marketer is not a subscriber to Directory.

My point was, and is, that ninety nine out of a hundred marketers not only demotivate the people who work for them, but they cost their brands, their companies and the economy of the entire country dearly.

It comes as little surprise to see how mocked marketing is in the broader business context. In the UK, only 11 FTSE 100 companies have a marketer on the board. In other words, 89 companies don't think marketing is important.

It is probably much the same story elsewhere in the world.

Yet, despite all that, there are people of real talent out there. And in this our 31st issue, we would like to commend the 40 Marketing Directors who signed off the 40 campaigns that have made it into these pages.

Thanks to them, we can indulge in Directory's two other core values, optimism and enthusiasm.

Directory now has four legs

Talking of optimism and enthusiasm, Directory is proud to sponsor (in a very small way!) Laria Collister and her horse Holly.

Laria's goal is the Olympics in 2024.

In the meantime, you can have a look on YouTube at both horse and rider in the early stages of their careers and subscribe to Laria&Holly at:

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