Sunday, August 05, 2012

Sex In Advertising

I was reminiscing the other day, with a charming and highly experienced agency boss, about 'when the industry was fun'. We agreed there were more characters, that it was easier to sell good ideas, and then he asked a rhetorical but extremely simple question:

"What happened to the sex?"

I couldn't answer him.

But I've been thinking about it. There certainly seems to be less of it about nowadays. 

Let's do a quick historical analysis:

1960s and 70s
Mad Women by Jane Maas has an entire chapter called 'Sex In The Office'. Remember where Peggy lost her virginity to Pete Campbell? That's right. On the office sofa.

Quoting from Neil French's hilarious and no doubt only partially-reliable memoirs, Sorry For The Lobsters: "I have to confess that I spent that night with the gloriously, fabulously, crazy girlfriend of a guy from the agency… she was, and probably still is, the sexiest lady I've ever met. And yes I've still got the Polaroids." Not much changed when 'Frenchy' moved to Australia. "I discovered that Aussie girls were a free-thinking, healthy, and energetic bunch who would happily run a chap around, and expect nothing in return but a barely adequate bonk. The demand was so great that I was, in the end forced to take 'em by the pair, and before breakfast."

A director friend of mine who worked at BBDO New York in the 1990s reports couples openly having sex in the creative department during parties.

If two people in an advertising agency have a snog (Aus: pash), it's a major news event. If they have sex, they have to get married afterwards.

Is this accurate, or am I just getting old?

How much sex is there in your agency?


Anonymous said...

Wait, Neil French worked in Australia?

Anonymous said...

"couples openly having sex in the office during parties"


Couldn't they just get a room?

Anonymous said...

Two words: Sexual Harassment.

Baccus said...

Sexual Harassment. That's what happened.

Anonymous said...

AT CDP, John O'Donnell was informed that a pair of nubian male buttocks were seen pounding up and down atop a leather sofa by a security guard and told to send a memo drawing attention to such behaviour.

He duly did, finishing it with‘I thoroughly approve – there isn’t enough shagging in the place!’

Whatever happened to J O'D? A staggering talent and a sickeningly good looking bastard with a line in abuse that made Malcolm Tucker seem tame.

Hugh jarss said...

I haven't had sex in the agency since 1958, and it's now 22.07.

there's a lack of effort going on, lift your game Australia!

Two reasons why said...

1. The rise of digital media
2. The rise of wanking as a direct result of point one

Unknown said...

Have sex in the office and you'll lose your job today...

Unknown said...

"couples openly having sex in the office during parties"

Wouldn't bet money on that one Simon - I had a lot of friends at BBDO in the 90s and never heard anything remotely like that. Biggest urban myth of that era was the art director who got fired because she left the office for about 12 hours during some useless Pepsi gang band to attend her sister's wedding.

One of those stories that got bigger and better with every retelling.

Scamp said...

So they did have gangbangs