When I say I worked with him, I didn't really. George spent most office hours in the betting shop, so it was only during licensed hours - lunchtime and evening - that we bonded.
But, in those days, and as George makes clear, it was during extended licensed hours that most of the work of our agency was carried out. By the time we met, in the '70s, the events which George describes in his wonderfully foul-mouthed and politically incorrect book (he writes as he talks) were almost over. But not quite. There were still people like George around who were determined to drain every last drop from the bottle.
These days, George writes his AdScam blog, which daily records the stupidities and inanities of those he calls the 'fucktards' and 'douchenozzles' of the advertising industry. His book, despite its breathless prose, is actually a more considered version of all his columns, punctuated by some great stories.
Some of them I have heard before - the one about how he almost lost his life on the world's most expensive TV commercial shoot. Others are new to me - for example, his argument with a client over bullet points in copy: George won by quoting spurious statistics from the equally spurious Institute of Datametric Cognitive Studies. That's creative.
The stories are great, but they are there to illustrate a serious point about marketing in general and advertising in particular. As an insider, as well as initiator and active participant in much of the idiocy, there can be few people still alive with better credentials to expose, judge and warn.
His title, of course, alludes to both the recent TV series Madmen and to David Ogilvy's famous book. But really, it references George himself. When I first met him, he bore a striking resemblance to Animal, the drummer in The Muppets. He probably still does, but he's stuck out in the sticks in Idaho so I haven't seen him since a very modest reunion lunch in Wilde's a few years ago.
George was sufficiently sane to buy into the insanity which he found in the advertising industry on both sides of the Atlantic and to exploit it ruthlessly. His colleagues and employers probably thought him mad, but actually he was the sane one. He knew advertising was, as he respectfully quotes Orwell, "the rattling of a stick inside a swill pail". And George could rattle the stick pretty good.
These days, for all I know, he is still charging some insane day rate to BDAs (Big Dumb Agencies) and presenting shit to douchenozzles at BDCs (Big Dumb Clients). But I do know he is still drinking, because he tells us in his crazy blog at: www.adscam.typepad.com. You've got to be pretty involved in the industry to go there every day, but there are enough great moments for even outsiders to relish.
Or of course you could go buy the book on Kindle. It's worth a great deal more than the £3.50 or so that he and Amazon, between them, will charge you.
Today's listening: Elbow, Build a rocket boys. Paul Bernard in Florida and the Mercury Prize nomination prompted us to take another listen today. Sorry paul, still not convinced.