WEAK AT THE TOP: John Weak's diary

WEAK AT THE TOP: John Weak's diary - MONDAY

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010


Sir Marcus has just heard about Thought Leadership and now wants someone to come up with a thought for him to lead with. The only thought we're interested in is survival after our spectacular downsizing. Sir Marcus included P45s in random Christmas cards, which he thought was a nice festive touch. He's now realised our downsizing is dangerously close to capsizing. But his philosophy is: when you're in a hole, get specialists in to dig deeper. So we're plagued by grim-faced hatchet men from a consultancy grown fat on the swollen carcasses of dead clients. They all wear black suits and look like extras out of Reservoir Dogs. Except none of them is a day over 30, so they're more like Reservoir Puppies.


Red alert! Consultants sniffing round marketing. Time to wheel out our secret weapon Camilla Fairbrother, the poshest totty in Britain. She also has the nation's finest charlies, the result of centuries of careful cross-breeding. She's terribly attractive, but if stupidity was painful she'd be writhing round the floor in agony. It's the kind of meta-stupidity normally found only in chief executives - ie, she doesn't know how much she doesn't know. I've got her in the team for three reasons, the third of which is, when you take her to a presentation, no-one notices your figures. That's how I squeezed through our departmental performance last year, which was so bad we might as well have been the IT department.


Bad news. The big thought from the men in black is that we should axe our small underperforming brands (as opposed to the large underperforming ones). We should then put all our resources into new ideas. They're red hot, these consultants! I hope we're paying them enough. Sir Marcus thinks stating the blindingly obvious is Thought Leadership when it comes from a consultant. The problem is, Camilla's the brand manager of Zenatab, a stain remover which, for some reason, never caught on, principally because it leaves a worse stain than the one it removes. It's clearly got to go. But if Zenatab goes, Camilla goes, and if she goes her charlies go, and if they go, I go. Met Howard at the gym after work for our Pilates session. Actually, we just watch the toned totty doing Pilates while we sit at the bar on auto-Pilates.


Got in late due to nasty hangunder - a headache I got before lunch with Bill Peters. Spent morning trying to develop some new products. Had just invented my fifth sports bra when Bill called and wanted to know whether we could meet in Mr Bojangles to discuss an interesting B2B opportunity (his shorthand for Beer 2 Belly). Bill splashed some soup on his white shirt and, before you could say 'clumsy git', Camilla was pouring Zenatab all over him. Needless to say, it turned his shirt black, but it did also hide an ancient vomit stain on his jacket, which he keeps as a campaign medal from a very hairy award dinner where we both ended up in a wheely bin. A cracking thought occurred to me just before Bill attempted to apply Zenatab to a non-existent stain on Camilla's top.


Got in late due to the wrong kind of tog in my duvet. Straight into crunch presentation of marketing cutbacks to Sir Marcus. I told him we were axing Zenatab but introducing a fantastic new product. Camilla did the presentation wearing a shockingly tight top with 'I wish these were brains' written across her chest. Which may explain why Sir Marcus and the consultants missed the fact that we were relaunching Zenatab as a detergent for keeping your darks dark. We unveiled our snappy advertising line: washes blacker than black. I ended by saying that some idiots out there were bound to fall for it, especially those who wore black. Like management consultants. They snarled, but I said it was only a thought.

John Weak can be contacted at john.weak@smokehouse.co.uk.

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