Moan, moan, moan. Dear old Britain does love to have a moan. Pick up the Daily Mail and you will be instructed on a good dozen things at which you should be entirely furious.
Our own industry of marketing and advertising tends to attract more than its fair share of indignation.
The latest (and quite possibly most inexplicable) explosion of contention are the 500 or so complaints attracted by the Marmite Neglect ad.
First impressions here at Together were simply that this was an extraordinarily clever campaign. Fair enough, people within the industry tend to have a thicker skin to the sensibilities of the (at times delicate) British public.
But some entirely informal research amongst friends and families outside the industry revealed precisely the same kind of admiration for the intelligence and humour of the campaign.
And yet 500 individuals (albeit of a certain disposition) in the UK clearly saw something so offensive in this piece of creative work that they took the time and effort to register their distaste with the ASA.
We are, to be frank, entirely baffled.
Admittedly some brands have at times have set out (somewhat unscrupulously) purely to shock and offend.
Given the choice between an approach that tickles, inspires and intrigues the audience and one that slaps them in the face with something brash and possibly even inappropriate, we would invariably opt for the former.
But as something like the Marmite Neglect campaign demonstrates, offence can sometimes emerge from the unlikeliest of sources.
The complaint that the Marmite Neglect campaign in some way trivialises the plight of neglected pets. It doesn’t. Similarly, the objection that it is ruthlessly exploiting a serious and tragic situation for commercial gain is nothing short of ludicrous.
But this is the plight of the clever campaign. Subtlety, wit and irony especially will sail over the heads of the pedants, the moral enforcers and the petty contrarians.
It is unquestionably the duty of all agencies to pay due regard to the feelings and sensitivities of their audience. But it is also their absolute obligation to create their most imaginative, thought provoking and original work.
Moaners will moan, no matter what. At least let them moan about something brilliant.