Jeremy Lee: Can Stephen Fry and the whiners leave us to enjoy the Games?

Weary of the attendant glee with which the Daily Mail reports on every minor foul-up that inevitably comes with hosting the Olympics, I was going to write this column on an initiative that demonstrates why these two weeks are not only among the greatest in our lifetimes, but will be economically beneficial for the creative industries and for the country as a whole.

Aside from the obvious whinges about further stress on London's creaking infrastructure, what was particularly irksome was the craven apology to the foul and repressive North Korean regime, and media demands for an act of public expiation for a mistake about a flag.

While the opening ceremony was rightly acknowledged as a triumph, it has been a peculiarly British thing to bitch and moan about pretty much every aspect of the Games - a fact that social media has allowed to become amplified. Mid-Games, I hope the bleating will stop.

And while the Olympic ads themselves, constrained by regulations, might not have been as breathtaking as one had wished, the creative community will hopefully benefit from an initiative held at Lancaster House earlier this week.

The sometime Olympic torch-bearer Sir Martin Sorrell joined speakers including Moray MacLennan and Sir John Hegarty to promote and showcase the UK ad industry to visiting global business leaders.

The Government hopes that the series of Global Business Summits will generate upwards of £11 billion for the UK economy. Surely, even for those most die-hard puritanical anti-Olympians who find nothing to celebrate in London hosting the Games or the benefits that it has brought to a run-down area of the capital or the sense of community and nationhood that it has engendered, there might be something worthwhile in that?

I was going to write about this brilliant initiative and ignore something that has irritated me - that only dodged a brush with the Campaign Turkey-baster due to its other production values - until I read this week's Private View, which confirmed that there are two words that are so overused in British advertising that they couldn't go without mention. I refer, of course, to "Stephen Fry". Currently appearing in a Bartle Bogle Hegarty ad for Virgin Media, Fry has also featured in commercials for Alliance & Leicester, Heineken, Trebor, Royal Mail, UK Online, Coca-Cola, Kenco, Orange, Tesco, Walkers, Arla Foods and Twinings. Oh, and Direct Line, WHSmith, Calor Gas and VisitEngland.

While no doubt great for his bank balance, Fry as advertising shorthand for intelligent and trustworthy is getting a bit lazy, so please let it stop. It makes a mockery of all the other great things the industry has to celebrate.

0
SHARES
Comment

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs
Thousands of jobs across advertising, creative, marketing and media

Just published

Feel you're missing out?

GET THE
BRANDREPUBLIC
BULLETINS
Sign up

The Wall Blog

From our partners

3 great ads I had nothing to do with: Brian Cooper

3 great ads I had nothing to do with: Brian Cooper

3 great ads I had nothing to do with: Catherine Kehoe

3 great ads I had nothing to do with: Catherine Kehoe

A day in the life of Jozef Wallis

A day in the life of Jozef Wallis

A day in the life of Arthur Kay

A day in the life of Arthur Kay

A day in the life of Daniel Kaplansky

A day in the life of Daniel Kaplansky

Have an exciting Christmas in EC1

Have an exciting Christmas in EC1