credibility for sale

Last week I did two ‘cultural’ things: I went to see the Picasso exhibion at the National Gallery, and I went to ‘Classic FM Live’ at the Albert Hall in the evening. (Don’t ask why I was at ‘Classic FM Live’. I just was.)

The Picasso exhibition was okay – not Picasso’s best stuff, obviously, but a telling idea of how much an artist has to study the past masters before they can really do anything original – but the thing that really caught my eye was this huge, cringeworthy text on the wall by the way out:

cringey ad 1

What? Seriously, what the…? Are Credit Suisse – a bank, whose sole purpose is basically just to move numbers around on computers – saying that they are ‘like’ Picasso? Why did the National Gallery let them do that? I can understand sponsorship (though the ticket was still pretty expensive), but surely somebody at the Gallery should have said, ‘alright lads, we’ll take your money and you can stick your logo all over the place, but this text is just fucking embarrassing. You aren’t like Picasso. You’re a fucking BANK.

And then I went to ‘Classic FM Live’, and on the back of the programme was this full-page advert:

cringey ad 2

Do Benecol honestly think that people think to themselves, ‘well, I have been eating a lot of pizzas and chips recently. I suppose I’d better stick Mozart’s Requiem on’? No – it’s a shitty, moronic advert that isn’t meant to be taken seriously but that at the same time makes genius music into a part of their crass little sales pitch.

The point is that neither Picasso, nor Classical music concerts, need this bullshit. And I wonder why they accept it. People would still buy the tickets if they were £1 or £2 more expensive, but for some reason the whole culture industry – even the Comedy Store – have got used to the idea that unless something is sponsored then it must not have value, so they always go looking for sponsors like they can’t operate without it. And so credible organisations like the National Gallery let companies who have no credibility of their own (like Credit Suisse and the frankly ridiculous Benecol), buy their credibility without realising that when someone buys something from you, you don’t have it any more.

So the National Gallery have made themselves a joke by putting that ridiculous text on their wall. And as for Classic FM, who for years have been a kind of Radio 3 for people too retarded to notice the crassness of the adverts…they have no right to the music they broadcast at all. Grasping bastards.


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