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Scott McKay is a Toronto strategist, writer, creative director, patient manager, half-baked photographer and forcibly retired playwright.

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    "They had their cynical code worked out. The public are swine; advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill-bucket."

          – George Orwell






    "Advertising – a judicious mix of flattery and threats."

          – Northrop Frye






    "Chess is as an elaborate a waste of time as has ever been devised outside an advertising agency."

          – Raymond Chandler


    « it only took me several years to figure this out | Main | a very forgettable unforgettable evening »

    he's not a man, he's the marketing VP

    He hung around on the periphery until he saw his moment and got himself appointed head of the department, my boss. And I really wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt; people I admired said good things about him. But my time with him quickly said otherwise.

    He was the first person I heard use the phrase "flawless execution" and he parrotted it over and over again, never sharing any details about how we weren't already executing in such a way, or what he was going to ensure or enforce the brave new world of flawlessness. Repetition would simply lead to the thing popping into reality. For reality to act otherwise would deny the most important reality of all: that he was the boss.

    He was the first person I heard use the phrase "action plan" and he did so exactly like our friend Ratbert does in the above comic, which was the moment that I knew that Scott Adams was our Dickens.

    He would lash himself to the business jargon of the day and use it to keep him afloat not just in meetings, but worse, in a decreasing number of attempts to mimic actual human conversation. He was one of the two people I've met in this business who so desperately wanted to be a Very Important Marketer, who so focused on developing the patina of that ambition, that he'd hollowed himself completely and become a marketing exoskeleton. No human remained underneath the façade.

    He once spent several minutes critiquing some copy I'd written, at which point he said, "Now, I haven't actually read this, but –" and kept right on critiquing. There was no embarrassment, no shame, no recognition of how he had demeaned us both.

    He was Ratbert, VP of Marketing. And I worked for him. Until, mercifully, I didn't.

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