Thursday, 1 May 2008

Wednesday 30 April 2008

my husband’s laughing;
cross between howler monkey
and rabid hyena

It’s come round to Apprentice day again and the hapless applicants were given the task of designing greetings cards for a new occasion. It might be true to say that common sense went completely out of the window and both teams completely lost sight of what they were trying to achieve.
Kevin (whose uncanny likeness to Little Britain’s Dafydd has already been noted) was in charge of a team whose cards were based around the idea of Greenness and Environmental Awareness. Stern lectures inside the cards demanded that the recipients share baths, use less water and recycle their relatives’ dead bodies immediately after death.
‘But who,’ asked the prospective buyers at Tescos, Clintons and Celebrations, ‘are the people who are going to buy these cards and send them out?’ which was, I am sure, a thought which occurred to many of us at home.
The grand idea of ‘environmental green save-the-planet’ issues as a theme came from evil Jenny Jinger, a woman so slippery she must have to hook her arse to the back of every chair she sits in to stop her sliding off.
Jenny, of course, blamed everything on Sarah, who was, as everyone seems to have forgotten, the one person who provided some sensible suggestions as to what cards to produce. Sir Sid James dropped hints as to whom Kevin – as manager of the losing team – should bring back to the boardroom and might as well have shouted ‘Bring the ginger cow back with you!’ but Kevin, oblivious to all of this, came back with Sarah and Claire.
Sir Sid didn’t take long to point the finger at Kevin and give him the two dreaded words.
The prize was a bit rubbish. The winning team, led by the very excitable Michael Sophocles (Sir Sid James had to tell him to calm down when he started howling and thumping the table) were no doubt expecting a luxury trip to some casino or a night of pampering in a top-notch spa, but their faces fell when Sir Sid announced ‘You’re going home, and being treated to Mylene Klass banging at a piano for two hours.’
Michael Sophocles restrained the urge to shout ‘Yessssss!!!!’ and bang the table some more.

London Underground were very swift to respond to my complaint.

Our ref: 332975401/May/2008

Dear Mr Williams

Thank you for your feedback about the 'Lamb of God' advert displayed on the Underground.
I was most concerned to read your comments. All advertising we carry is handled by an external company - CBS Outdoor [formerly Viacom]. We take our responsibilities very seriously and all decisions about anything that could be contentious are considered thoroughly. With CBS, we have agreed a set of guidelines advertisers must adhere to and they then judge each potential advert against these guidelines. We have some of the strictest guidelines among media owners and, as a result, relatively few complaints.
CBS's customer service department makes sure all adverts adhere to the standards set by the Advertising Standards Authority and the Committee of Advertising Practice.
We also have a number of additional guidelines relating specifically to the size and environment in which adverts are displayed.
This advert does not contravene any of these guidelines or standards and, as such, was considered acceptable.
All complaints we receive about adverts on our stations and trains are recorded and are considered when looking at future designs. I have passed details of your complaint to our advertising team, who will keep your comments for reference.
I can only apologise if you have been offended in any way - this is never our intention. If you still have concerns, I can only suggest you contact the Advertising Standards Authority directly, for them to investigate.

Advertising Standards Authority
Mid City Place
71 High Holborn
LondonWC1V 6QT

020 7492 2222
Fax: 020 7242 3696

I am sorry that you should have to write about such a matter, and thank you again for doing so.

Yours sincerely

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