Bluff Your way in Advertising!

In this small book, you can learn the lingo, who’s who in the mess of mystery advertising agency titles, and how to panic appropriately during deadlines. Like all Bluff books it’s very funny, and sometimes so true it’s scary.

Image of Bluff Your Way in Advertising (The Bluffer's Guides)
Author: Nigel Foster
Publisher: Ravette Pub Ltd (1996)
Binding: Paperback, 64 pages

Art Directors.
Art directors are in theory responsible for the visual aspect of an advertisement. In practice, art directors will direct practically anything, the campaign, the account, the commercial, the agency, the client, and the personal lives of anyone they find attractive. What they think they do;

  • Produce superb advertising
  • Co-operate with all their colleagues.
  • Battle bravely on despite those around them.

What they actually do;

  • Insist on trying to do everything themselves.
  • Reluctantly allow a small amount of copy to appear (But only if its set in six point).
  • Stare moodily into space for days on end.
  • Call in a freelancer when stuck for an idea.



Copywriters have the hardest job of all because everyone, from the Art Director to the Client, Knows that they can write as good copy as the copywriter, but of course they have much more important things to do with their time. What they think they do;

  • Produce superb advertising.
  • Posess a unique insight into the client’s problems.
  • Write like a dream.
  • Have the ability to think visually.

What they actually do;

  • Spend days looking through books on great ads of the past for an idea.
  • Argue marketing with the account handlers.
  • Drive the Art Director wild with suggestions for the visual treatment of an ad.
  • Insists on writing camera directions for a commercial.
  • When blocked, work on their novel.


Account Executives.
Account executives were once known as contact people because they were in day to day contact with the client and are now known more affectionately, or derisively, as suits. Sometimes even as empty suits. It is their sad lot in life to explain agency thinking to the client and client thinking to the agency. Not surprisingly, many develop split personalities (both of which will be paranoid).

What they think they do;

  • Mastermind brilliant campaigns.
  • Keep the account profitable.
  • Act as a focal point for all agency activity.

What they actually do;

  • Hide from the creative department on those rare occasions when they are genuinely needed.
  • Over spend the media budget.
  • Deliberately lose at golf.
  • Try to set up their own agency.

* note, since we moved to a new system old books are now re-posted here, in case you felt like you had a deja-vu. This was originally posted back in 1996.

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