There’s a narrow line between humour and cruelty.

As creatives, a lot of what we do rides on that edge.

To be noticed, we need to do something different.

To be different, we need to break the rules.

To get away with breaking the rules, we need to be clever.

There it is.

We’re always trying to get away with something.

To sail as close to the wind as we can without capsizing.

For instance:

Castlemaine lagers campaign, Australians wouldn’t give a XXXX for any other lager.

The poster campaign for French Connection UK: FCUK FASHION and FCUK ADVERTISING.

The shop in Kings Road that sold brass front-door fittings, called Knobs and Knockers.

The Sun’s headline when Tammy Wynette died, COUNTRY STAR TAMMY: D-E-C-E-A-S-E-D.

Eddie Izzard’s joke, “I come from a very traditional family. My granddad hanged himself on Christmas Eve and we couldn’t take him down until January 5th.”

This is a naughty, schoolboy, playground sense of humour.

It could explain why men outnumber women in creative departments.

It’s puts laughter above niceness.

In the creative department, you can get away with anything, as long as it’s funny.

When I worked at BMP, the Head of Television commuted in from Brighton every day.

He started reading The Exorcist on the train.

He said he thought it was the most evil book he’d ever read.

In fact, he said it was so evil he couldn’t finish it.

So, at the weekend, he went to the end of Brighton pier and threw it as far as he could.

So I went to the bookshop.

I bought another copy.

Then I ran it under the tap.

And left it in his desk drawer.

For him to find.


As Dawn French says, “If it’s funny it’s not bad taste. And if it’s bad taste it’s not funny.”