Advertising Week should be rebranded paranoia week. That's not my idea, but Martin Sorrell's, the CEO of WPP, whom I interviewed on Wednesday at Advertising Week Europe.
It's hard to be perfect when you are doing something new - inevitably we will make mistakes. And so our fixation with always being faultless can stop us trying new things, stop us experimenting and taking risks.
Yet big business has a fair number of dystopian detractors too, with plenty of people intent on believing that corporations are out to corrupt humanity and that the very notion of a large commercial enterprise is an inherently bad thing.
Say 'Cannes' to the average guy or girl on the street, and they automatically think film festival. However, for the last six days, it has been the media industry clogging up La Croisette - the famous boutique-lined, beach-front boulevard - for the annual Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. A melting pot of advertising creatives, PR gurus and media moguls this week flew into Cannes to drink their body weight in rosé, shake hands on deals and, if they were really lucky, party with Kim Kardashian. Away from the starry parties, however, the advertising industry is facing many of the same challenges other industries do, starting with the lack of women role models.
It's well over 20 years since John Major, then the British Prime Minister, expressed his reverence for a country of "shadows on county cricket grounds, warm beer, invincible green suburbs, dog lovers and old maids bicycling through the morning mist".
We need to redefine the very notion of what 'taking a risk' or 'being brave' actually constitutes. Indeed, you can argue that brands need to get things wrong from time to time in order to learn, a hypothesis brilliantly laid out by Tim Harford in his book 'Adapt - why success must begin with failure'.
It was awful wasn't it? The wait. It just seemed to go on and on. It's as if we all had nothing else to talk about. And then, pop! Out it comes, delivered early Sunday morning. What news! What joy! And we didn't have to wait too long for the name. The parents, Publicis and Omnicom called it: The Publicis Omnicom Group (POG), with the stock-listing symbol OMC. (Um? Oh!)
LONDON - We delighted to be in town to cover the FT Digital Media Conference this week. Media luminaries to speak include
Car manufacturer Ford has been accused of undermining attempts to tackle violence against women in India with an advert showing
Move over Roman Abramovich. Make way Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan. There is a new club buying up all the Brazilian football talent, namely the world's biggest marketing communication group, WPP.