Four Feet From a Rat

Four feet from a rat

My lovely mate State just turned me on to the fact that Mother London have started making comics.

Distributed free via Time Out and available online as portable document format files, Four Feet From A Rat are short comic stories about the hidden parts of London, written by Mother.

You can see them online here thanks to a site from Poke.

4 issues are available on the website and they are looking for ideas or story submissions - open source comics yo - and will do a microprint run if 1000 people pledge to pay a fiver for them - crowd source funded on demand printing yo - and they have an embed code - distributed the web is a platform comics yo.

[Sorry about all the yos. While I was ill I watched the first season of The Wire. More on which later possibly.]

File under: Agencies making their own stuff. It's still branded content, but the brand is the agency.

Or something.



So this WCRS ad for cycle safety, in which the narrator asks you to count how many passes the white team makes, thus diverting your attention, which makes you miss the moonwalking bear, is a powerful idea, but unfortunately it's a copyrighted one.

The original from 1999 is practically identical, and the originator was apparently not consulted.

I'm not going to get into the originality argument right now.

But if you are 'inspired' by something you have seen online, you really have to assume that someone else out there is going to have seen it. 

Today's corporations are naked in the eyes of consumers because it only takes one person to know something for everyone to know something in the networked world.

By the same token, thinking that no one will catch you ripping off an idea that exists elsewhere in the same exact form belies a staggering lack of understanding about how the digital world works, regardless of how many social sharing options you put on the website.

No one is smarter than everyone. 

Who wants an intern?

[Ripped from here]

Recently, a few bright, lovely people have been asking about working in agencies, or asking me to talk about how opportunities might develop in the future, what the right skills are and will be.

I need to think about the latter, but I thought I'd see if I could help with the former here.

Mostly they seem to be plannery types [know your audience] - looking to reintegrate their bicameral brains in business.

Now I have some standard advice about some of the things plannery types should highlight from their experience [plannery things] and some of the things to do - research a bunch of agenices, see which ones look fun to you, send the right person a nice email. Be polite and charming and that. Read lots of stuff.

It's also worth hanging out on the Ning - there's over 800 plannery types on there now, from all over the place - and Plannersphere Facebook group.

But since I'm pretty new to NYC I'm not sure what the score is here, so I thought I'd ask, on behalf of, well, people who want to know - anyone looking for any interns in NYC? Now? For the summer?

Or anywhere I guess.

Happy for people to put stuff in comments, or head over and leave stuff on the Ning.

Meta Advertising


Age old question asked of the industry: "If advertising works, why don't ad agencies advertise?"

Well, they used to. And it looks like they are starting to again.

Strawberry Frog caused a bit of a stir a couple of weeks back when Scott anounced on his blog that they would be running a campaign for themselves.

Adweek picked it up this week, talking about how agencies promote themselves, riffing around the question above.

As they point out, blogging is another way for an agency to promote itself and its thinking. A number of excellent blogs have given agencies a global voice - Leo Burnett TorontoW&K London and Fallon spring to mind, more recently joined by the HouseofNaked  - an aggregation of voices from Naked NYC,

[Disclaimer: I'm sure everyone knows this but all views on TIGS are my personal views blah blah blah - I claim all responsibility for any offence, intended or otherwise, from now until the end of the Internet. Amen.]

and Strawberry Frog NYC.

Obviously I'm slightly biased when extolling the virtues of blogging and that but it is a fantastic way for an agency to raise its profile, whilst giving a flavour of the culture and the ideals that drive it,  to prospective clients, as well as getting involved in the global conversations with other practitioners and forming big happy global families.

But another way to market your creative skills is to apply them to a specific task. Something Karmarama have taken on with these lovely roadside safety warnings for naughty cyclists.

For some reason, using interweb humour at the exact point of transgression to appeal to those of us on bikes who sometimes jump red lights seems to make sense.

Well, it did to me this morning anyway.

From Karmarama:

It’s addressed to all those rogue cyclists giving us proper cyclists a bad name and giving laughing Ken Livingstone an excuse to enforce license plates for bikes and fines for leaving the house.

But it's not bad meta advertising either.

UPDATE: All the signs on my route to work this morning had vanished.