Thursday, December 18, 2008

Doing Over Mills & Boon

Mills and Boon, the UK romance publisher owned by Harlequin have contracted with an ad agency to revamp their book covers as part of a scheme to appeal to a younger audience. Stephen Brook in his blog post (Organgrinder) imagines what one ad exec in particular will be subjected to over the next several months as he comes to grips with the assignment.

As Caspar approached the office of the executive chairman to have a preliminary chat about the client he sensed something of a trap about his assignment. The whole agency had been delighted to win the account, but in the days following key executives had melted away, leaving him in charge.

"Nonsense, dear boy, this is a great British institution," the boss reassured him. "Mills & Boon are 100 years old, sell 7m books a year and are desperate. If you successfully bring them into the 21st century it will make your name. Think M&S and Twiggy. Think the Daily Telegraph and Will Lewis."

"Think big," the chairman urged. "Nothing is off limits. Cybersex. Eoghan and Diana. Take That elope with Girls Aloud. Go to town."

Stephen looks so good at this I think he has a cunning plan to ditch the Guardian gig. (I liked the TakeThat Girls Aloud one).

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