"We haven't considered making them a big offer because we believe that they are fans of Chelsea Football Club and want to do what's best for Chelsea Football Club and we've offered them a couple of things relating to their role as a fan." Bruce Buck, Chairman, Chelsea FC.
So concludes one of the most objectionable, offensive and idiotic quotes from a football businessman since...er...since probably Garry Cook tried to pin the cancer gag on the IT guy.
Nearly 20 years ago Chelsea were shit, playing in front of 20,000 South/South West Londoners. Today, visiting fans to a packed Stamford Bridge sing the simple song: "Where were you when you were shit?" Answer: anywhere but there.
Except for a minority. A minority were actually there when they were shit, and some organised themselves to buy the freehold to keep football in SW6. Nice little patch that for property developers, after all. You could imagine a hotel there, maybe some restaurants. Oh, hold on.
Since then, a lot of people have got rich at Chelsea. Players. Managers. Sacked managers. Peter Kenyon. Marco Pierre White. The hotel people. A bunch of other knobheads.
A lot of people have got poorer at Chelsea. The fans. Football is more expensive than it used to be, but the game is the same.
Football is big business as Buck, Richard Scudamore are keen to tell the FT and Asian-based sponsors. Fans become a customer database. The club becomes a vehicle to talk to a global market. Fans will stay in line of course, do what they're told, they'll be 'loyal.' Clubs beseech them to be 'true fans.'
Hypocrisy, insensitivity and ignorance knows no bounds in football. CPO: you're part of the business not the football. Tell Buck to do one and pay the market rate. You deserve recognition financially for the commercial value of your contribution.
The prostitution industry has had a good couple of months. The pendulum of tabloid coverage swings ferociously from heroin-addled serial killer victims to posh, classy girls earning well off the rich. The industry walks a constant tightrope as it attempts to attract talent to its workforce, and income from its customer base. Of late, we're seeing a lot more of the Sophias and Fionas and fewer Joannes and Paulines who 'sadly grew apart from their families.'
I have never gone commercial, nor have any plans to do so. However, £195 feels an obtainable sum for a mainstream customer let alone someone rich and famous. For Helen the supplier, it seems the margins are starting to slim. After all, I recall Helen's ancestors - women like Heather Mills - who it was reported earned thousands a session, and comfortably six-figure annual salaries.
Clearly the business model is changing. Much like the video games industry or the mobile industry it seems simple. Cut the price at entry level (free phone, cheap console; in the case of prostitution just under £200 for the full English). Then once they're in, rake it in. In video games that's software; in mobiles, data. In Helen's case, £195 opens up a world of book deals, tip-off fees, PAs and then finally compensation from News International for having hacked her phone in the first place.
Ferry - to whom you can add Jo Wood, Ed Vaizey, Tamara Mellon, Time, CNN, airline gold cards, and the phrase "I just can't live without my iPod Nano" - all operate in the parallel universe that is business travel lifestyle. It's a place that has no relation with reality. It is a phrase that is the definition of an oxymoron.
Travelling on Eurostar this evening, I look at my bag on the rack and have to ask myself the uncomfortable question - why have I got a Cathay Pacific gold luggage tag attached to it? I haven't lived in Hong Kong for four years. I'm clearly no longer 'gold.' Marcus Wareing's face smiles benignly at me from the cover of Metropolitan magazine. Looks interesting - 'I wonder what his latest "pioneering restaurant venture," will be?' Or do I. Do I fuck in fact. Marcus sorry pal, off to Nando's with the kids on Saturday. And actually I've no idea who you are.
Amongst all this, it's not abundantly clear that any woman has ever travelled. Boys collect football stickers, then they get a career and collect air miles. It's only men who wear airline luggage tags on their business. It's only men who absorb all this then subsequently have mid life crises. It's probably the reason Tiger Woods lost it - believed his own Accenture airport billboards.
Publishers - there is a gap here for someone to fill. I give you some leeway - you can create an iPad version if you like. But how about a title that is more reflective of the reality?
Boredom. Poor phone receptions. Dinners for one. Dinners with men you don't know very well. Propositions at 2am next to lifts. Unnecessary or unwanted drinking. The darkness behind a hotel room door.
Probably not the most uplifting of reads - but then again, I enjoyed Nil By Mouth.
The product itself reeks so much of a supercilious focus group, you can smell the lukewarm samosas.
Indulging in uncomfortable business small talk, we invariably ask 'how's business?' The guaranteed answer is always the same. "Busy." (Focus group = tick, they're busy).
It's only after the meeting, and several more, plus a few pints one night that those same people admit that they watch X Factor and quite like Aiden. You don't get that insight in a one hour focus group of showboating strangers. The result - i is a smartly designed Metro without the pictures of Lily Allen. And you have to pay for it.
Turn to Kelner's opening editorial and the insecure get more reassurance. i is "the perfect way for an intelligent person to start the day...at a more affordable price than a cappuccino."
I prefer to start my day with a double espresso. It delivers. It doesn't fanny about. And that's the issue.
If I'm busy, am I better to read, think and learn from 2 or 3 pieces of quality writing in the morning? From learning and engaging in a piece, we absorb and think. From understanding comes knowledge, ideas, insight and ultimately, output. Sounds pompous but I think that's true.
It's tempting though to spend 20p, skim read and bullshit your way through til 6 o'clock. Worked for client xxxx and a load more I've met since.
I once wrote a small book on the nuances of global culture and their effects on communications campaign. It's "How To Create Global Talkability," and you're free to download here. This is from The Poke is equally as insightful - Europe, as viewed by Americans.
My work has inspired me so much, I am arsed to write 100 words.
4 Fuks Saké is nearly four years old. If I didn't work in this industry it wouldn't exist, so some discussion around Cake work is to be expected. Today - two pieces of Cake work, two films, two different reasons for their existence. They explain a little bit about how people like us are producing video (or 'content' if I'd like to pretend to be more important) to deliver slightly more nuanced objectives.
1. IKEA. Cats - The Experiment.
We work with Mother and Vizeum on IKEA. A new direction suggests to people that IKEA knows what makes homes and households function as well as look good. Homes that work make for happy households - ergo "Happy Inside."
Mother develop a beautiful treatment for a 60" film. Let 100 cats free in IKEA Wembley and see what happens, because when it comes to finding happiness, a cat will find it and sod the rest of us. My Mum's cat Millie pissed off a week ago and she's still not come back.
Anyway, what follows is not rocket science. If someone sees that ad in XFactor for the first time, it may well be the case that they'd go, "Shit. How did they do that?" So we created a film, "The Experiment," for people who's next move would be to head to Google and search for IKEA Cats. It's just shy of 2 million views a week later and it creates fame for the campaign. The more eyeballs, RTs, and masturbatory blog posts to draw attention to it, the better. That's all.
2. Stephen Fry's 3D TV
On the other, a modern day public service film. Today's public servant is Google. We go to it and ask it to solve everything. Like what is 3DTV? So it's nice to find Stephen Fry explaining it to you, and politely letting you know that it's Sky who's offering it to you. Yes, Sky would like some eyeballs on it, but there's no frenetic grab for them or a desperation to call it 'viral.' It's just a little more pleasant to find this, than an ugly piece of commercialism. Unless of course you think Fry is ugly.