10 Must-Try Diet Tips for Adland in 2020

January has become the national month of ‘not’, a time for pasty abstinence and some punitive self-correction. Dry January has now joined hands with Veganuary to make sure there is zero fun till Feb. But, as abstinent January approaches its tricky third week, maybe it’s time to conclude that if you cannot beat them then it’s time to join them.

In the spirit of the season, what follows are 10 things for adland to cut down on in January 2020 and beyond.

1. Talking about the death of brand purpose as enthusiastically as we once spoke about the desperate need for brand purpose.

2. Big data chat. Big data requires big data sets. And we don’t got none. Ask Martin Sorrell.

3. ‘Personalisation’. Christmas cards to your nan are personalised (hopefully). Bits of digital marketing that sniff about your data trail aren’t.

4. ‘Leaning in’ to things that aren’t wind. Likewise use of  ‘superpowers’. Example:- biting cynicism is an ability, possibly a curse, but nobody is making an origins story about it anytime soon.

5. Virtue signalling. Decency, inclusion and respect are better done IRL than in press releases.

6. Generational stereotyping. Just because people listen when we talk in vacuous alphabetical commonalities doesn’t mean it’s not bollocks.

7. Fibbing. As selling good ideas has got harder, so has our willingness to scrape together any possible argument or evidence to justify our recommendation. Harry G. Frankfurt’s “On Bullshit” was a warning, not a manual.

8. Slitting each other’s throats on the money whilst patting each other’s backs at the awards do. We need solidarity on price, not just quality.

9. Overestimating the marginal just because the middle is quieter.

10. Reducing complexity into vacuous, snackable media formats. Ahem.