One of the trickier assignments for any agency this year is the one that faces VCCP for Thames Water, the largely unloved UK water supplier that’s more famous for its leaks, untreated sewage and predilection for digging up the same bit of road again and again (three bits within half a mile of where I live last week.)
So what do you do? Find a cuddly animal front man of course – Brian the otter in this case, according to the Mail on Sunday which caught them out filming.
VCCP has quite a considerable menagerie to its name: Sergei and his meerkat chums most famously for Comparethemarket (joined by a wombat in their latest outing), a supposedly winning robot called Bubl for O2 and a highland cow (could be of either sex) for another newish client that divides opinion, Virgin Media.
Otters, of course, have made a comeback in the UK as some rivers have been made cleaner. Thames Water’s hardly unimpeachable record in this respect has led some to suggest that Brian – if, indeed, that’s what he’s to be called – has landed a bum deal here.
As with many such notions it probably seemed a good idea at the time.