Monday, September 29, 2008

Are You A Sociopath?



This handsome fellow is Tim Lindsay, president of TBWA London. I think he looks rather like Ian McShane, the actor who played sociopaths in Sexy Beast and Deadwood. Tim Lindsay, of course, is not a sociopath... but he does work with some. Us.

Explaining to The Guardian why people in advertising need 'diagonal thinking', he says that "most of all you need it to manage creative types - often borderline sociopaths who just don't play by the rules."

I do hope he was misquoted. Especially in the light of today's news...

29 comments:

LimitedTimeOffer said...

He'll always be Lovejoy to me.

Anonymous said...

he isn't necessarily wrong (hey, I at least I admit I have questionable morals) but allowing yourself to be quoted with such a line in the guardian?

that's why I love advertising. there is always a bigger screwup just around the corner.

Anonymous said...

He looks like a skinny Ian Dury

Lunar BBDO said...

For the unenlightened:

A sociopath is a person who has antisocial personality disorder. The term sociopath is no longer used to describe this disorder. The sociopath is now described as someone with antisocial personality disorder.

The main characteristic of a sociopath is a disregard for the rights of others. Sociopaths are also unable to conform to what society defines as a normal personality. Antisocial tendencies are a big part of the sociopath’s personality. This pattern usually comes into evidence around the age of 15. If it is not treated, it can develop into adulthood.

Visible symptoms include physical aggression and the inability to hold down a steady job. The sociopath also finds it hard to sustain relationships and shows a lack of regret in his or her actions. A major personality behavior trait is the violation of the rights of others. This can appear as a disregard for the physical or sexual wellbeing of another.

Although these symptoms are all present, they may not always be evident. Research has shown that the sociopath is usually a person with an abundance of charm and wit. He or she may appear friendly and considerate, but these attributes are usually superficial. They are used as a way of blinding the other person to the personal agenda behind the sociopath’s behaviour.

Many people with antisocial personality disorder frequently indulge in alcohol or drug use. They may use these substances heavily as a way of heightening their antisocial personality. The sociopath sometimes sees the world on his or her own terms, as a place of high drama and risky thrills. The sociopath may suffer from low self esteem, and the use of alcohol and drugs is a way to diminish these feelings.


On another point, TB's relationship with TBWA is like a bungee (Bungay) rope, or the line in The Godfather 3: 'Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.'

I for one hope this happens. TBWA has been a sleeping giant that would have loved BMB's last year of work. Trevor, Andrew and Bill would give it its best shot of becoming great again.

Anonymous said...

Ian dury, he looks like Del Boys kid brother in Only fools and Horses.

ooohhh stop it said...

I don't think I'm a sociopath but I find making voodoo dolls of the shit people I want extract pain on helps me get over the stupid, misguided things they have done. taking them to Sundance and fire-ing them into the cool nights sky in a rocket stuffed full of bull cum helps me find that sen like moment.
So I'm not a sociopath, I don't do it for real, I don't want to hurt anyone. I just want to see their faces covered in Cow cum.

Anonymous said...

Diagonal thinking my arse. Not playing by the rules my arse. Sociopaths my arse.

I love it when advertising creatives tell themselves that they're somehow dangerous or daring or different. The reality is that they're just highly paid office workers with funny glasses and stupid T-shirts. But because they hate themselves for being frighteningly normal, they try everything they can to convince themselves - and others - otherwise. If they really were diagonal thinkers, sociopaths or non-rule players, they certainly wouldn't be in advertising.

kiki said...

that diagonal quiz thing took me ages to do and I have no idea what it all meant in the end...

Stellathomas said...

Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.
-----------------------------------------
Stellathomas
Viral Marketing

Anonymous said...

sounds more like a definition of account handlers to me...

Slider said...

I don't think I am a sociopath but I do think I have a touch of Asperger's. But if you ok at the symptoms most blokes seem to have it.
And I hurt my knee a bit but the physio seems to be helping.
I am, rather interestingly, what is known as a slider. When I walk past street lights they turn off. It happened last night as I walked home (Look up Slider in Wikipedia if you don't believe me. Go on. Look it up).
And it happens more often if I'm stressed. I once turned off a row of them in Clapham, one after the other. And there's a sign just before a low bridge in Balham that lights up when an overheight lorry approaches the bridge to warn it to turn back. I turn this on too.
And when I worked in Drury Lane I occasionally set off a fire alarm outside a shop on Longacre, simply by walking past it.
Anyway. No one can afford to be different in advertising these day. You'd lose your job. Clients demand samey, bland work these days so best not to rock the boat by behaving like a spoiled brat.

Anonymous said...

So is it true then. Is TB saving their bacon?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps TL said 'absolute cunts' and the Guardian poshed it up a bit? You couldn't argue with that. (Although if I were him, I'd sue.)

Anonymous said...

The use of the word "Borderline" indicates that TL comment was a cloaked compliment. There is a fine line between being a Genius and being insane.It should be celebrated that we are a department of Stanley Kubricks.

Anonymous said...

To 9.20am stop stealing my life.

Sloper said...

@ Slider,
I often do the opposite. If I walk towards a flickering street lamp it will often flick on and stay on as I approach it. Never really wanted to mention this before. Glad there are other freaks like me out there.

Anonymous said...

He's nicked that from a recent book by Gordon Torr called 'Managing Creative People.'

Anonymous said...

did anyone else fill in that diagonal thing?

got an average and a high.

think that means i might get sacked.

Slider said...

@sloper
It's more common than you think. You're a slider too.
It's like having a pointless superpower.

Anonymous said...

yeah i did the test, got high and average. but i think the fact i had time to do the test is a better indication that i'll be fired.

sloper said...

@ slider,

Bollocks. Best take the cowl and cape back to Topman then. Anyone want a utility belt? One crap owner.

Anonymous said...

i did the test and got high and high and all i wrote was rhubarb over aned over again in the second part of the test

FishNChimps said...

Diagonal thinking? My kids do that when they play snakes & ladders. Tim Lindsay though... my ladies preferred him with longer hair.

Paul Sacks said...

I failed the diagonal test.
But its okay coz I have a fixed wheel bike, plimsol's and a nice cardigan.
They could never give me the sack.

Anonymous said...

I've heard bishops do particularly well at the diagonal test


*gets coat*

penny said...

So what kind of thinking does a creative need when he or she is managing account-types?

Anonymous said...

10.29

It's called 'cunty thinking.'

Anonymous said...

"Diagonal" thinker test?? Are you kidding me?

How about a book of what you can DO?

Enough with all these hyperintellectual asses who talk talk talk all day and create models and charts and theories but don't make a goddamn thing.

If you don't have a book, if you don't make or DO, and if what you DID has not been lauded as very good or great - you have NO ROLE in the formation of judgement of creative ideas FULL STOP.

Not even if you pass a silly fucking 'diagonal thinking' test and get a certificate.

Gordon Torr said...

I described the creative type as open to experience, flexible in thinking, ambitious, arrogant, hostile, self-confident, norm-doubting, anxious, introverted, aloof, lacking warmth and borderline psychotic. Very different from the sociopath that lunar bbdo helpfully defines. If Lindsay's review of my book is anything to go by he could indeed have been quoting me.