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December 08 , 2008

Someone Could Lose an Eye


An ad campaign for a filthy rich cyber-entrepreneur who uses his considerable means to run for office as a Marxist; a menagerie of endangered species that escape and wreak havoc at a gala fundraising event; a fundamentalist Muslim couple who are mistakenly cast in a dating site commercial. It’s all in a day’s work for Marc Templeton, a 40ish, gay Brit working as a creative director at an advertising agency in New York. While he navigates the unpredictable seas of advertising in America, he encounters a parade of bizarre accounts, capricious clients, out-of-control creatives and nagging suits. Think of it as Mad Men with less booze and cigarettes and a lot more laughs.

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Marc, 40ish, is in a long time relationship with his partner Anthony, who figures into many of the stories, as do his sisters who have also immigrated to the Big Apple. He mixes a healthy dose irreverence for the ad culture that envelopes him with a desire to ultimately make things right for his bosses and his clients—sort of a cross between Russell Brand and Basil Fawlty.

While humour is the main event for most plotlines, there is also an undercard of weightier issues, such as the dehumanizing nature of consumerism, the power of marketers to shape culture, and the slipperiness of corporate responsibility.

Someone Could Lose an Eye is for is for sophisticated readers who enjoy a good laugh from well-crafted books, stories and essays by the likes of Terry Pratchett, Christopher Moore, David Sedaris and Stephen Fry.

The Accounts

Prologue – The prologue explains how Marc came to be in NYC and why he stayed, while allowing him to take some initial shots across the bow of American culture.

A Dog’s Breakfast – In a perfect example of Murphy’s Law run amok, a commercial shoot for a new dog food turns into a romp, on all fours
Brainstormy Weather – Marc Templeton and his team of creatives at Ordonez, McAllister, Goodhue (OMG), cultivate a garden of not-quite-ready-for-prime-time ideas for a chain of vegetarian restaurants while he struggles to avoid working on an account for a fundamentalist bible college.

Stop! Thief! – It’s a violent world out there, which provides many profitable prospects for OMG, and ample opportunity for people to act on their baser natures.

Fever Pitch – Marc is required to make a pitch to a prospective new client at OMG. The problem is that the creative, which is not of his issue, is execrable.

What is This Thing? – Love can be a powerful tool for marketers and a curse on the home front. Marc wields Cupid’s bow to triumph in both arenas.

A Pig in the Window – Obsessions can take many forms. Marc finds that he has to deal with more than his share when he shills for a political candidate on the far left while coping with fixations of his partner, Anthony.

Virtuoso – While doing an ad for the WTF (Wildlife Trust Federation), world renowned tenor, Massimo Daniele, has a brush with death… and enjoys it. This turns into a marketing goldmine with a mother lode of headaches for Marc.

Crash Course – When a German car company dangles a prize campaign in front of OMG, the agency shifts into high gear, except for Marc who decides to put principle ahead of personal gain.
Love Game – When OMG engages a rising Bulgarian tennis star to endorse a new sports drink, Marc has to handle some tough volleys during the commercial shoot in Miami.

Too Good to be True – The advertising practitioners at OMG are asked to flog faux products in two categories—food and gifts. The offerings are fake but the pitfalls are real.

The Sapling – They say that youth is wasted on the young. When the partners decide to infuse some young blood into the agency, we find that the adage is painfully true.

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