Saturday, 3 April 2010

Steve Henry on Anti-consumerism

Steve Henry (HHCL founder and ad legend) starts to embark upon an ideological analysis of advertising, particularly in post-recession (are we out yet?) Britain. I found this interesting because I too sense the anti-consumerist sentiment which is on the up, and often just try to repress it when I start to think about why I'm trying to get into this industry...

Instead of repressing more, I've starting reading some more political philosophy, namely F.A. Hayek - The Constitution of Liberty. It's basically the defining exposition of classical liberalism. Thatcher reportedly brought this book into an early meeting, slammed it on the desk and said "This is what we believe", getting everyone who hadn't already read it to do so. Essentially, I'm trying to fill myself in on where this country has previously been ideologically and where it's headed. I know that Hayek isn't so fashionable anymore; his work was born out of cold-war suspicion and built on a highly self-interested model of human beings, but (like in advertising) you have to know your history in order to understand your present. (If you haven't seen Adam Curtis' documentary series 'The Trap: What happened to our freedom?' I highly recommend it - its on Youtube in 18 parts. It retells the process by which the Western concept of negative freedom developed here and in the US, and discusses on an ideological level, our govenments' attempts to export an ideology - we ourselves have qualms with - to other countries and cultures).

In other news, after my second interview (I don't think I could have bared one more) I got offered a place at Watford. Score!!!

I decided to defer till next year, though, due to financial reasons mainly. Today, for the first time in about 3 years, my bank balance went back into the black. I'm now on double digits! Still got the £18,000 student loan of course, but no one needs think about that yet.

Right, I'm off to play in a Texas Scramble... google it.


  1. Hey Tom.

    Congrats on Watford!!

    I was with you during the recently March interview and was wondering how long ago you received confirmation of your place? Did Mr Cullingham inform you the following week as he said?
    I have received nothing( which is pretty clear sign that it's a 'no' for this year)

    Congrats though, wish you all the best.


  2. I think I found out around two weeks after the interview.
    So if you haven't heard back yet, it might be a bad sign...
    But I wouldn't write off a chance of another interview... It was my second try. Were you on your first or second? I'd email them if you haven't already, just to see if anything got sent out... I'd have thought they'd let you know either way - after all the work you've put in.

    Best of luck... let me know.
    You blogging or tweeting at all?

  3. Hi Tom

    Cheers for getting back so quick.

    That lovely day on the 2nd of march was my first encounter with the delight that is Mr Cullingham.

    Fingers crossed about the 2nd chance, I've just emailed him ( is this right?) as the admission lady was, if i'm honest, not that helpful! I'll let you know, but I think even the greatest optimistic would agree that the signs aren't favourable. Though, confirmation would do wonders for my sanity

    Yes, I'm blogging. Matt's Quest for the Watford Grail is a) a horrendous name and b) so inadequate compared to this site. Your blog is awesome!! Feedback would be most appreciated.

    Again, thank you for the swift acknowledgement.

    Hope the field of Shef is treating you well and again, massive congrats on Watford.


  4. It's
    He should give you an answer.
    Probably in one succinct line.

  5. Congrats on getting in. It's a brilliant course, I think you'll have a great time.