menu

George Parker: The CEO As Spokesnozzle!

George Parker: The CEO As Spokesnozzle!
Advertising

George Parker is the perpetrator of adscam.typepad.com. Every week he shares his opinions on the advertising world with PSFK.

George Parker
  • 2 june 2010

Writing on AdScam last week about the pathetic new TV campaign for the Men’s Wearhouse, I noted that now that the account has moved to a new agency, according to a company PR hack, “The new campaign is a pretty significant departure from where we were before.” Which is somewhat strange to me, as it still has the world’s most annoying fucking CEO, George Zimmer, spouting shit in every spot. Perhaps the fact that his beard is getting greyer is considered a breakthrough.

But the point of this week’s rant is that I am on an anti CEO in advertising crusade. I mean its bad enough that these captains of industry make more money than Croesus, whilst consigning millions of workers to the scrapheap and driving their companies into the ground… But, do we have to put up with their ugly mugs in their advertising?

Sometimes, just sometimes, it works. Think Lee Iacocca, Dave Thomas, Frank Perdue, even Orville Redenbacher… The live one, not the dead one CP+B brought back in a totally shitasmic campaign a few years ago. These people had an affinity to the brand, they were either the founders of the company, or had had a great deal to do with what their companies success. They were believable, and above all, you could sense they were acting the part of spokesperson, ‘cos they actually believed what they were saying.

Then you look at the rest of them, and all you see are desperate agencies pumping up the already inflated egos of people you wouldn’t employ to mow your lawn. The prime example being the recent TV campaign for GM featuring gnarly old CEO dude, Ed Whitacre, who looks like he’s had a broomstick shoved up his arse. My favorite was the one in which he claimed… “We have repaid our government loan in full, with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule.” Which is an outrageous lie, as the repayment came from another bailout account provided by TARP — or as one TV pundit described it, “it’s like paying off your MasterCard with your Visa.” Besides which, we the long suffering tax payers own sixty one fucking percent of the company.

Then there’s Roger Riney, CEO of Scottrade, who flies around in a fake purple helicopter, promising to make you rich through the miracle of $7 dollar trades. But, at least we don’t have to put up with Charles Schwab any more, although in their recent advertising, we have been advised to “Ask Chuck!” I guess that’s to make you feel the multi-millionaire is the kind of guy you can have a beer with… If you could get through the door of his country club.

My all time favorite? Ted Waitt, who was the CEO of Gateway computers. Back in the glory days of the eighties, when all the PC mags were the size of the Manhattan telephone directory, Gateway used to run multi-page inserts based on famous events throughout history. All the company employees would act as extras in each tableau, while Ted would be the hero, playing Washington, Moses, Einstein, or fucking Hitler. Apparently simple “farm boy” Ted had an ego nearly as big as his company, which eventually crashed and burned. Ted walked with millions. No surprise there.

But please, could we have a moratorium on CEO as God ads?

George Parker is a guest columnist for psfk.com. He is the perpetrator of adscam.typepad.com, which is without doubt, one of the most foul and annoying, piss & vinegar ad blogs on the planet. He is the author of MadScam and his new book, The Ubiquitous Persuaders, which is currently setting the ether ablaze (and which you can order now on Amazon). He will continue to relentlessly promote the crap out of it until you are forced to stab yourself in the eyes with knitting needles.

Advertising
Trending

Turn Any Wearable Into A Mental Health Tracker

Fitness / Sport
Work Yesterday

Amazon Is Experimenting With A 30-Hour Work Week

The online retailer is launching a pilot program that will allow a technical team to work with a considerably shortened schedule

Fitness / Sport Yesterday

How The Rio Olympics Stood For More Than Just Games

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the finest moments beyond sports

Trending

Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Retail Yesterday

Mobile Travel App Embraces Cognitive Computing

The Orlando Tourism Board is looking to IBM Watson to provide personalized local recommendations for visitors

Automotive Yesterday

Bike-Friendly Apartment Building For Swedish Cyclists

A residential space is being designed for commuters to easily transport goods

Advertising Yesterday

Nike Takes Over An Entire City Block With A Giant Running Track

The Unlimited Stadium is shaped like a 100-meter sole print of the brand's LunarEpic sneaker

Gaming Yesterday

Fortune Cookie Service Brings Bad News To Your Doorstep

To promote their new delivery service Blackbox, the creators of Cards Against Humanity are delivering unfortunate messages in an edible form

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed august 24, 2016

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

PSFK Labs Yesterday

New Mentorship Ecosystems Benefit All Levels Of An Organization

PSFK’s Future of Work report explores how technology is being leveraged to support cross-team communication

Arts & Culture Yesterday

This Picture Frame Could Be The Lava Lamp For A New Generation

Slow Dance makes real objects appear to move in slow motion

Work Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: How Will Companies Staff The Workplace Of The Future?

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX examine the ways that a people-first workplace might disrupt the job hiring process

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Airport Mural Puts Passengers In The Clouds

The installation in an Amsterdam terminal lets travelers float through a series of billowing 3D digital shapes

Automotive Yesterday

DevBot Is An Intelligent, Driverless, Electric Car

The unmanned test vehicle from RoboRace is a preview of upcoming AI race models

Augmented / Virtual Reality Yesterday

AR Ski Goggles Make Racing Down The Slopes Even More Immersive

Israeli startup RideOn weaves digital overlays into the thrill of skiing with an unconventional pair of protective eyewear

INSIGHTS COVERAGE

Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games
READ NOW

Advertising Yesterday

Japan Wants To Make 2020 Olympic Medals From Recycled Electronic Waste

The Tokyo Games could showcase the first-ever gold, silver and bronze awards made from discarded phones and computers

Culture Yesterday

This Small Town Has Become A Hide-and-Seek World Championship Destination

An old abandoned village in Northern Italy has become a massive playground for over one hundred competitive players

Design Yesterday

Garmin’s New Smartwatch Is Challenging The Luxury Market

The brand adds a premium version of its popular multi-sport trainer to its accessories collection

No search results found.