Several years ago, someone phoned me from Good Morning Britain and asked me to come on the programme.

They asked if I could talk about alcohol advertising as I’d done a lot of beer commercials.

At the studio a young woman joined me, they asked us both to go in front of the cameras.

We sat apposite Ben Shephard and Susanna Reid, and the young woman started to talk about her drink problem which started when she was 15.

Ben Shephard asked me how I felt getting youngsters addicted to alcohol.

I said that wasn’t what I did, I did beer advertising targeted at men, 24 to 30 years old.

He said nonsense, advertising was just getting young people hooked to sell booze.

I said we weren’t allowed to do that by law, all scripts had to be vetted BEFORE they were even shot: not glamourizing drinking, no sports personalities, no sex, no improved performance, etc, etc.

He said come off it, of course you want to sell more alcohol that’s all advertising is about, getting young people addicted to drink.

I hadn’t expected any of this, but I tried to explain the difference between market-growth and market-share: no brand has more than 20% of the market, so if all we did was grow the market we’d be giving away 80% of any growth the advertising created, which is why all ouradvertising was about brand-switching amongst people who already drink, that way theadvertising is much more cost-effective.

But Ben Shephard wasn’t having any of it, he decided he was the champion of the youth who were being exploited by the evil advertisers, of which I was one.

The young woman with the drink problem said, “It wasn’t advertising’s fault. I chose to drink, it was nobody’s fault but mine”.

But Ben Shephard had decided he was the new Jeremy Paxman and he’d expose the evils of greedy advertising executives like me.

Of course, no one told me it was going to be about this when they asked me along.

If they had I wouldn’t have gone, which is obviously why they didn’t tell me.

But the news media have to make their programmes seem more exciting, more energetic, more confrontational to compete with the programmes on the other 100 channels.

And with dozens of news-only channels, 24 hours a day, they can’t just report the news, they have to find a to make the news more sensational.

That’s the way it is with all media, including advertising.

No one wants to tell the simple truth about a product, what it actually does, what it’s better than, why consumers should part with their money.

It must be the job of the strategy department to make up a bigger reason to care, a grand-sounding brand purpose, a claim that this brand is making the world a better place because it cares: about the environment, about diversity, about our children’s futures.

The inference being that other brands don’t care about these things.

So never mind the trivia about what the product actually does.

If you don’t buy this brand you don’t care about these brand values, you can’t be a good person.

And, like the news media, we’re involved in making up stories instead of reporting the truth.

We are like William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate Orson Wells modelled his film Citizen Kane on.

In 1897, he sent illustrator Frederick Remington to get pictures of the war in Cuba.

Remington cabled back that there was no war, everything was peaceful.

Hearst cabled him back: “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”

Hearst didn’t report the facts, he invented them.

Just like what we do.