That was the week that was: Leveson, Oreo and, best of all, Norway!

*The Leveson Inquiry into UK media ethics (or the lack of them) duly reported and proposed a very sensible system of, essentially, self regulation for the UK’s rumbustious national press, with a legal framework preventing the bastards from just ignoring the rules and doing what they always have done. All perfectly sensible – so off to the races?

Oh no, Leveson made the huge error of saying that Ofcom, which regulates commercial TV and telecoms companies in the UK, should be the arbiter of what the beefed-up Press Complaints Commission (in effect) should do.

This is a red rag to a bull to most of the rightwards-leaning press owners and hairy-arsed Tory MPs who just hate regulation, Ofcom (because it was invented by Tony Blair and is actually quite good at what it does) and the BBC, which has fuck all to do with Ofcom but they hate it anyway.

And it seems as though PM David Cameron (left), who instituted the Leveson Inquiry in the first place after getting into a blue funk about revelations at the News of the World involving his former spin doctor Andy Coulson and text mistress Rebekah Brooks, is having second thoughts about his own inquiry’s recommendations.

Dave says he’s worried it might curb ‘freedom of speech.’

This is complete cobblers as his Lordship’s recommendations would actually add to that, by giving the recipients of press intrusion a voice too, among other things.

So Cameron is dissembling in quite a craven way; maybe to suck up to the potential friends in the press like the Mail, Telegraph, Sun and Times who he thinks might help his government (sans the Lib Dems) get re-elected in 2015, despite its obvious inability to do anything at all well.

Cameron went to Oxford to read PPE and, somehow or other, got a first. Yet the man seems to have no intellectual rigour (some might say principles) at all.

I’ve always wondered about that institution. I’m told Oxford Brookes is half-way decent though.

*All the Oreo stuff is quite interesting: the new (former Kraft) snacks company Mondelez is clearly dithering about what to do with its biggest ex-Kraft brand and seems to be bending over bakwards to look after DraftFCB, even though it seems equally set on not letting the Chicago behemoth (or maybe just moth these days) anywhere near its advertising.

So it’s got Wieden+Kennedy on the Oreo Super Bowl case and The Martin Agency, part of Interpublic, DraftFCB’s owner, handling US non-Super Bowl creative and a DraftFCB account man looking after it all.

Well how sensible is that?

*I must get over to Norway one of these days (might wait for summer, whenever that is) because Norwegian agencies are producing loads of good stuff. Just like their famous forbears the Vikings, Norwegian ad folk (girls as well as boys in horned helmets) seem prepared to take risks, upset people and deploy a pleasingly anarchic sense of humour.

I remember going to Cannes years ago when there was a huge Finnish delegation (Finland is near Norway isn’t it?). I don’t think they won much but they certainly caused a stir. Could have been those blondes – I had to restrain my boss at the time from making a complete prat of himself.

Anyway it’s great to see agencies from the fringes, shall we say, of Europe ploughing a pleasingly productive furrow.

And finally, as it’s the end of the week: met someone today who’d been to one of the Rolling Stones concerts, at about a grand a ticket. Was it any good, I asked?

Yes he said, there were lots of clients there. How sad.

I’m not a big Stones fan myself but here’s a pretty decent version of one of their tunes (with Keef and Whoopi Goldberg, of all people).

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

One comment

  1. Stephen…
    Forget Finland and Norway (A beer in Oslo costs about $100!) Get your arse to Sweden. The Cafe Opera in Stockholm is where all the ad folks hang out (And the beer is only about $99) It’s full of 8 ft tall statuesque blonde ladies, who if they like the look of you, will buy you a drink and take you back to their place… No shit, it happened to me once… Mind you, it was a fucking long time ago. All the sordid details are in “Confessions.”
    Cheers/George “AdScam” Parker