Let me go back then to how I ended up here and I’ll set the record a little straighter. I described myself as a copywriter. And you can tell that’s not exactly true. Well, I worked with copy writers, and designers, in fact you might describe me as more of an account executive, sort of leading the general execution of a number of campaigns across digital and physical channels.
And sure, I wrote some copy, but more often I just tweakjed it, gave my opinion, made sure that regardless of anything else, that the client was fully on board with the words and message going out.
Nothing too dramatic there.
It’s just that the company I worked for specialised in a type of client that wasn’t… mainstream.
This is the rogues gallery of campaigns I worked on. Anti-abortion, anti-immigration, anti-LBGQT, anti-government, anti-Irish, pro-Irish, anti-Europe, anti-China and any number of other campaigns that sort to ensure that minorities stayed minor, that those who wanted more freedom did not get it and that anyone who wanted to be in any place that wasn’t by historical accident the place they were born, that that was not possible for them.
Now, why would I work for such a company you ask? Well, in my defence, there’s nothing intrinsically more disgusting about helping anti-immigration campaigners than there is about helping pharmaceutical companies or anyone else.
Imagine if you like, I was working for a soft drink company for a campaign to make people drink more orange soda. Do I agree with the message? No. Is a successful campaign going to damage people’s lives a little? Yes. Am I just doing my job? Yes.
For those of you who say: The Nazi’s were just doing their job. Yes. Agree. When I started working for this company I wasn’t aware quite how dark their client list was but ultimately I was sort of trapped there. Once you start working in that industry you either burn out real quick or discover you don’t really, care, not really really. The people you meet are polite and reasonable, they just have odious beliefs they want to share.
And you could make an argument, specious but not entirely invalid, that freedom of speech requires these guys to have a voice as much as anyone.
But the ethics of this I’ve left behind on earth and you can argue with among yourselves. I was ashamed of what I did, I never told any friends or family what I did, and I never told Claire exactly what I did. The company had other, bigger, more mainstream clients after all, under different brands, and they just wanted to make money, as did I.
But in that industry you can imagine my portfolio was worth shit, which is why I was having so much trouble really finding anywhere to move on to. And that’s why that little increase in pay and profile was so important at keeping the wolves (Claire’s wolves) from the door.