Friday, February 06, 2009

Ever Ranted With The Devil In The Pale Moonlight?

Have you heard Christian Bale's rant at a lighting cameraman? There's now a dance remix of it (above) which is pretty funny, and as a bonus, reminds you of some of his cool movie roles.

The Bale rant set Scamp reader RS to wondering about rants that we in advertising have been on the receiving end of.

I don't have many to report I'm afraid.

A production company producer once sounded off at me for about 3 minutes after I suggested a change to the edit, which included the line "in my 24 years in this business, that's the stupidest idea I've ever heard."

And a Creative Director once told me: "You think you're so fucking intellectually superior, with your university education and your long words" after I exposed his lack of understanding of the difference between 'surreal' and 'hyper-real'.

Oddly enough, following those blow-ups I became good mates with them both.

Come on then, spill it. What's the worst rant you've been hit with?


Anonymous said...

Good question - I ask that of all my prey.

Anonymous said...

This was a cyber-rant.
Suit kept emailing me to say my copy was too long.
Said while the client's version took just 15 words, what I worte took 23 words.
All true.
Except although I added 8 more words in that para, I reduced the entire copy by close to 30 words.
Her reply: that's not the point.
How you like that?

Anonymous said...

A pair of creatives once told us in the initial meeting that they wanted loads of new ideas and inspiration on a great script. "We're totally open on this, go nuts! This job is yours. Treat our script as the basis to go to another even better place."
The director wrote a treatment with loads of ideas, but scaled down, so it wasn't out there. I'd always take comments like that with a pinch of salt. It was perfectly pitched. Brilliant even. We were proud.
I got a phone call within minutes of sending it. Barely concealed rage..."We wanted it EXACTLY as we'd written it. We knew that. He knew that. Why has this guy fucked with our ideas?"
We didn't get the job, strangely.

Anonymous said...

Mercifully not directed at me, but the great Lee Clow once listened to a clueless account director addressing a room for several minutes before asking: "Where's the person who knows what they're doing?"

Ben Kay said...


Scamp said...

Actually Ben, you put up the sunbed ad TWO days before me. And the Bale rant three days before. Do get your facts right.

Anonymous said...

i once saw the quitest rant ever.
it was a certain long haired bbh'er called reddy.

an un-assuming account man questioned his art direction. he proceeded to go though every single press ad in three years worth of d&ad's, describing why each one was brilliant.

the account guy left 2hours later. he sold the ad.

silent rants can be more effective.

Anonymous said...

First few days in office, in front of everyone: "If you ever wear that fucking ridiculous coat to work again it'll be your last day. I wouldn't have hired you if I'd known you were a freak."
Rather perceptive, though could have been delivered better.

Anonymous said...

yep, as a reader of both blogs it's getting pretty dull to see same posts replicated. sort it out. maybe have a weekly coffee morning and plan the weekly schedule or something

Anonymous said...

I was once escorted by a PA through Ogilvy's offices, as an older creative pinned another guy to a glass partition by his throat, screaming in his face something about not showing him up infront of the cunting client.

Anonymous said...

When faced with the tower of scripts that she'd turned down over the previous few months a client refused to look at them and burst into tears.

Bodecker said...

Back in the day when my Art Director and I were touting our folio round the agencies getting crits, we showed our work to some Art Director in the absence of his Copywriter. He gave us all the usual tips and said we should come back in a month with some more ideas when both he and his copywriter could see us.

A month later we were back in their office (Copywriter now present). As the Copywriter flicked through our book, he stopped at one particular campaign. As I watched his face for the signs of amusement that usually occurred at this juncture I started to feel a bit uneasy. Instead of the grin that I had expected, his face turned red with rage.
I held my breath and braced myself for the worst crit of my life.
The copywriter looked at me and asked me when we last came to see his Art Director.
"About a month ago", I said.
I had an idea what was probably going to come next. Something along the lines of "You've had a whole month to re-do your folio and this is all you've done."

The Copywriter then turned to his Art Director and said; "you came up with this very same ad for an idea we were working on last week."

"No I didn't" Responded the Art Director.

The Copywriter then let loose with one almighty rant at his Art Director right in front of us. Let me tell you it was a sight to see and I don't think they stayed together for long after that.

Anonymous said...

Not really a rant but once on the morning of the first day of a shoot a client once took me to one side and said that they wanted the ad "to be really good."

Anonymous said...

i tend to rant into a notebook and then once that settles me down in rip the page out and leave it on the train for someone to read. it recylces my anger into someone elses entertainment. so everyone is happy.

john p woods said...

Eleanor Roosevelt said that 'No one can make you feel inferior without your prior consent.'

Anonymous said...

Bob Brooks was one of the best directors in town (he did Smash Martians amongst others).
But he had a New York temper, and we used to hold a sweepstake on the shoot to see exactly what time he'd lose it.
Everyone would put in a quid and the nearest took the pot.
Usually people would provoke him as it got nearer their time.
It always started "God-fucking-dammit......"

Anonymous said...

my creative director came back regularly from lunch completely drunk, i suggested to my copywriter that i thought he had a drinking problem, he overheard this and then proceeded to chase me around the office pool table swinging a pool cue at me, spitting as he shouted 'who the fuck are you to judge me you lazy fucking pixel fucker' strangely when i saw him the next day he had no recollection of the event.

Anonymous said...

'lazy fucking pixel fucker'

Wow! Wish I'd thought of that.

Anonymous said...

while we were on placement at DDB a team (who'd got a big golf ad out at the time) ranted it at us for 20 mins, shouting at the tops of their voices while they 'critted' our book.

they were so full of hate, shouting at us to put washing machines in and "if the CD saw this book he'd kick you out of the building right now!" (even though the top team there had got us in, on that book)

we said thank you very much and then went back to our office and pissed ourselves laughing.

Anonymous said...

christian bale should take lessons from my cd. the guy is never finished after 4 minutes - he can do that for the full length of a movie. and besides "fuck", he knows how to use an additional term: shit.

Phil said...

I got sent home from work in the 90s after I found out the entire company hadn't been paid (it was during the dot com crash). I had whipped my outraged colleagues into a frenzy when my boss stormed in from the next room and said "Phil, go home NOW!". He invited me to come back in later in the afternoon once I'd calmed down. The same guy eventually got us paid too, so it all turned out alright in the end.

Anonymous said...

The legendary Derrick Hass. In the middle of the Grey creative department when I was on placement.

He'd suggested some art direction and even drawn them up. But I didn't really like what he'd done and tried a few of my own.

He went ballistic when he saw mine and slagged me off really loudly. looking back it was very funny - everyone knew he was a lunatic so it didn't so us any harm.

I did think he was a bit of an arse at the time though to be honest, but now think there aren't enough people like him in the business these days. Where are the eccentrics?

Anonymous said...

Not really a rant, but once got in an argument with a Building Society client in a presentation. We'd spent two years defining why they were better than a bank in ads, DM, point of sale etc. Then new management came in and started using shitty tactics – like not telling mortgage customers when their discount period ended so they'd automatically pay a higher rate. I told them they were "betraying their customers by behaving like fucking shysters." We didn't keep the account long. But those same managers lost their jobs not long after. So at least i could smug about it.

Charles Edward Frith said...

Bust ups can be good things. Its stuff left unsaid that festers.

I bet I could track down the planner in Dusseldorf who got my the Frith Fury if we tried. You can hear it from the horses mouth then.

Anonymous said...

my art teacher screamed at me once

'your like a blind man, in a dark room looking for a black cat that isnt fucking there'

Anonymous said...

while at Watford, we went and saw Dave Trott for a mini crit where he'd give us a brief we'd go in and show him the work. Whilst critting my work, he began to say i wasn't taking this seriously and said i was still 'willy, bum, poo' which me and my pal thought was hilarious. Dave look at me and started ranting at how i better liven up etc. I tried my hardest not to laugh as i could see my mate out of the corner of my eye, shitting himself.

Ahhhh, good times.

Anonymous said...

sorry, all the rants at me, the people concerned: could still kill me..

but ~ this could possibly be the best Christian Bale remix so far..

Anonymous said...

A copywriter friend of mine was in a client meeting presenting his work. After all the work was presented the client started going on about how you need to make the ad more impactful, you need to make a lot of noise to get noticed he said.

This friend of mine tried to reason with him but the client wouldn't let go of it. Finally, worn down by all this, the creative got up and very quietly walked round the table, stopped right next to the client then shouted really loudly in his ear. The poor client was shocked and partially deafened by this outburst.

Then the creative said, "You see, no one likes being shouted at"

The writer was fired the next day.

Anonymous said...

i witnessed a CD being called the Antichrist and his team; satans disciples by the agency ceo.

In front of a client.

Anonymous said...

One of the first days at a new job (one of my first jobs too, as it happens) when my creative partner was sick, I was presenting alone to our CD.

He didn't like what he saw.

"Your ideas are so cliché you should work with coming up with stock imagery!"

Anonymous said...

This happened 2 years ago at Fallon.

Me: hey, we came up with this, Juan.
Juan: (Silence for 3 minutes)
Me: so what do you think?
Juan: (More silence).

I suppose that's the way he rants.

Anonymous said...


"fucking shysters"
at a client meeting?

Hats off to you.

Nasty building societybankerwankers.

Hows life at The Gate?

Anonymous said...

My CD once told me, "Don't make me fire you right before Christmas!"

Anonymous said...

Talking of that Christian Bale rant, the BBC news put it out unedited for long enough for Chris to get a good "Fuck" out at 7 in the morning. Almost made the shitty day ahead seem worth it.

And as for rants, not aimed at me, but there was a great one from Tom Baker ripping into a poorly written radio script doing the rounds a while ago. Anyone got it?

Anonymous said...

just don't confuse passion with rage. or i'll kill you.

Anonymous said...

We were working in the creative department of an agency which occupied two separate Georgian mansions. Creatives in one, and across the road were account handling and management.

My partner and I were pretty lax about time keeping as was the creative director so we usually rolled up about 11. Little did we know the chairman had been clocking us for weeks and finally saw red.

He came storming into our room calling us good for nothing, fucking wasters. He ranted on like this, getting redder and redder then finally stormed out. But not out of the office, mistakenly into a cupboard.

He seemed to be in there an age, as we sat stifling our sniggers.

Finally he blundered out " tidy that cupboard it's a disgrace"

Indra said...

"This is the worst fucking headline I've ever seen" - of a 33-word headline I'd written for an Amnesty ad - which ironically then got the biggest response we'd ever had.

Anonymous said...

please tell me the name of that client indra?

MrMann said...

On the subject of the 'Christian Bale Remix' we give you...


Anonymous said...

An art director from a well known London based design / ad agency had emailed me after seeing my work on a blog and said to keep in touch. He was very friendly and seemed like a nice guy.

I was involved with the mailing list for our degree show. Unfortunately, on one invite, the stamp fell off. This is how I found out:

Re: ******** Degree Show
From: ********@*******
Sent: ********
To: ********; ********@********
Cc: ********

Hello ********...

I received your design cluster pack this morning...

When I say 'received' I mean I had to walk to the post office and pay £1.27 for the privilege of receiving this item... As whoever sent it out, and I can only presume it was you, neglected to put a stamp on it... I know students are skint but that is quite frankly ridiculous...

So I shan't be attending your degree show as I think this is shoddy and a quite preposterous lack of attention to detail...

And I would think long and hard about employing or even interviewing a student from ********...

I hope this is an isolated case, otherwise you will have annoyed quite a large selection of the design and advertising community...

It's a real shame as you've obviously shown a lot of care and attention in designing this pack... And you've done a good job... From my student days I remember this to be a pretty thankless task...

Must try harder...


He had cc'ed in my creative partner on the project and my course director. I was so shocked - I emailed back apologising (no point explaining to this guy that the stamp might have fallen off)

When I next saw my course director and head of year - they said "What an asshole. We've already been on the phone to the CD of his company and they apologised for his behaviour."

I then got an email that said: "Apologies if I over reacted. You can never trust a postman".

Anonymous said...

Andy Dibb walking out of a client meeting after they'd questioned his judgement;
"Everyone here's a cunt except me".

Anonymous said...

About 10 years ago, in an annual review -
"You need to buck your ideas up and knuckle down. You'll never get anywhere if you spend half your day looking at and talking about the internet"

Anonymous said...

We had a Ford dealer client who didn't like a rather good campaign we'd done. Called me up to explain how it needed more impact etc., the usual stuff. The art director had won a Gold at Cannes, and I certainly thought I was a good writer. So, as the CD, I patiently gave him all the usual arguments about why it was so right. But he would have none of it.
Gradually I built up a head of steam and, as the account director listened in wide-eyed and open-mouthed, I launched into questioning why he thought he was qualified to challenge the judgement of two experienced advertising specialists such as ourselves, what the hell did he know about art direction for mass communication? etc., etc.
Finally I shouted, "I tell you what, if you think you're so fucking creative, send me your portfolio tomorrow and I'll judge whether to give you a job in this fucking creative department!!!", and slammed the phone down.

The next day he fired the agency. But amazingly, and to his credit, the CEO didn't fire me.