In 1649, Oliver Cromwell beheaded King Charles I.

Cromwell became Lord Protector, a dictator much more powerful than any king.

He banned all form of parties, singing, dancing, drinking, celebrations, even colourful dress, no one dared argue, his rule was absolute.

When he died his body was buried in Westminster Abbey, as befitting any head-of-state.

But the pendulum began to swing the other way.

The King’s son was reinstated, Cromwell’s body was dug up and beheaded.

His head was stuck on a spike outside the House of Parliament where it stayed for 20 years.

Pendulums will eventually swing the other way.

In 1794, Maximillian Robespierre was the Head of the Committee for Public Safety.

He became more powerful than anyone in France, he oversaw ‘the Terror’.

He had many people guillotined, no one dare oppose or even disagree with him.

But the pendulum began to swing the other way.

He was arrested and shot, before being guillotined himself and buried in an unmarked grave.

Pendulums will eventually swing the other way.

In 1922, Benito Mussolini became Prime Minister of Italy.

As a fascist, he ruled via fear and violence, everyone obeyed him without question.

But by 1943  the pendulum had begun to swing the other way.

He and his mistress were arrested and shot, their corpses were hung upside-down from a streetlight outside a petrol station.

Pendulums will eventually swing the other way.

In 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy gave a speech in which he said 205 members of the communist party were working in the US government.

He drove a witch-hunt where anyone even suspected of being a communist was fired.

The entire country was in thrall to McCarthyism, scared to even whisper against him.

But by 1954, the pendulum began to swing the other way.

McCarthy was shunned by everyone; ignored and depressed, he became a pariah and drank himself to death.

Pendulums will eventually swing the other way.

In 1966, Jiang Qing became the Chair of the Cultural Revolution Group.

She was Mao Zedong’s wife and, after him, the most powerful person in China.

For ten years she oversaw the persecution of 730,000 people and the deaths of 35,000.

But in 1976, Mao died and the pendulum swung the other way.

She was arrested and sentenced to death.

It was commuted to life imprisonment but, in 1991, she hanged herself in the prison toilets.

Pendulums will eventually swing the other way.

Whatever the current orthodoxy, however much it can’t be questioned, history teaches us it will eventually be reversed.

However deeply embedded it seems at the moment of it’s greatest power or influence.

Young people coming into advertising are desperate to learn whatever the current orthodoxy is because they assume it is the fundamental truth of advertising.

Brand-purpose, big-data, ad-tech, behavioural science, wokeism, Millward Brown, Nielsen ratings, the Gunn report, interruption-is-dead, the campaign is dead, advertising is dead.

They don’t realise it’s just the prevailing view, the bandwagon everyone’s jumping on.

It won’t last forever, and where do you turn when the pendulum swings the other way?

Isn’t it better to learn why advertising exists, what its real purpose is, not just the current fashion?

If you learn the truth of something you can hold onto it when fashions change.

You’re not left clinging onto a pendulum that keeps swinging one way and the other.