Lawlessly Yours: A love of ale and literature

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From the very beginning of commercial TV there have been some right stinkers on the advertisement front.

Remember the speccy four-eyed Milky Bar Kid, that daft wee wazzock who didn’t look capable of opening the product?

And Zoe What’shername pouring milk down all our throats.

And Katie who only needed an Oxo stock cube to provide a nourishing meal for four, not to mention that maniacal Shake ‘n’ Vac carpet cleaner bird with the busy bum?

Experts like moi will recall the ad for Club Europe class with British Airways which showed a man in a space suit floating down the central aisle of a jetliner.

He turned into a sitting position and started to alight like a Harrier jump jet.

Then, just before he touched down, his backside lit up with a bright red glow.

It took me ages to work out what this meant.

What it meant was, the next time you are flying from Manchester to Malaga in a space suit and are stricken with near terminal Chalfonts (Chalfont St Giles, otherwise piles) you’d better be flying Club Europe or else.

You will touch down exceedingly gently and the lady with the trolley will have a complimentary tube of Preparation H which is yours for the asking.

But please note: the soothing application is down to you.

Even Club Europe had its limits.

My bizarre career has included a stretch as a copywriter for a London agency.

I swiftly learned that an ad so crappy that everyone talks about it is counted as a big success.

I had high hopes of my offering for a deodorant: I suggested an ample topless blond being nuzzled by a George Clooney look-alike with one arm extended and the message ‘turn your armpits into charmpits’.

To borrow a couple of phrases from the property-buying programmes, this seemed to tick all the boxes and positively bulge with the wow factor, but inexplicably it went down like a lead dinghy.

Anyway, top marks at the moment goes to that fat ale-house tenor who has so far been shot by a bazooka, carried off by a pterodactyl, trapped in a net and deflated by a thunderous strike in the guts by a football.

It’s all much too good for him.

May he swiftly join the Milky Bar Kid, Katie, the Shake ‘n’ Vac Sheila and all the other odd-bods who briefly became national figures before lapsing into obscurity.

But I still think it’s weird that the more an ad gets up everybody’s nose the happier the agency, the client and indeed all concerned in its production will be.

The message works, too.

If you don’t believe me think if you can of all the conventional ads with the standardised beautiful people and consider the plump ridiculous tenor, his fly-away boiled shirt and that preposterous moustache.

And go compare...