How to Get Ahead in Advertising

Synopsis: Dennis Dimbleby Bagley is a brilliant young advertising executive who can't come up with a slogan to sell a revolutionary new pimple cream. His obsessive worrying affects not only his relationship with his wife, his friends and his boss, but also his own body - graphically demonstrated when he grows a large stress-related boil on his shoulder. But when the boil grows eyes and a mouth and starts talking, Bagley really begins to think he's lost his mind. But has he?
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
Director(s): Bruce Robinson
Production: Image Entertainment
Rotten Tomatoes:
90 min


Let me try and clarify

some of this for you.

Best Company Supermarkets

are not interested

in selling wholesome foods.

They are not worried

about the nation's health.

What is concerning them

is that the nation

appears to be getting

worried about its health.

And that is what's worrying Best Co,

because Best Co wants to go on

selling them what it always has,

ie, white breads,

baked beans, canned foods

and that suppurating,

fat-squirting little heart attack

traditionally known

as the British sausage.

So, how can we help them with that?

Clearly, we are looking for a label.

We need a label brimming with health.

And everything from a nosh pot

to a white sliced

will wear one with pride.

And although I'm aware of the difficulties

of coming to terms with this,

it must be appreciated

from the beginning

that even the nosh pot

must be low in something.

And if it isn't, it must be

high in something else.

And that is its health-giving

ingredient we will sell.

Which brings me to my final question.

Who are we trying to sell this to?

Answer, we are trying to sell this

to the archetypal, average housewife,

she who fills her basket.

What you have here

is a 22-year-old pretty girl.

What you need is a taut slob,

something on foot deodorisers

in a brassire.

I... I'm not quite sure we can

go along with that, Mr Bagley.

If you look at the market research...

I don't need to look

at the market research.

I've lived with 13 and a half

million housewives for 15 years.

I know everything about them.

She's 37 years old.

She has 2.3 children,

1.6 of which will be girls.

She uses 16 feet six inches

of toilet tissue a week

and fucks no more

than 4.2 times a month.

She has seven radiators

and is worried about her weight,

which is why we have her on a diet.

And because we have her on a diet,

we also encourage her

to reward herself with little treats,

and she deserves them.

Because anyone existing

on 1,200 calories

of artificial, synthetic,

orange-flavoured waffle a day

deserves a little treat.

"We know it's naughty,

but you do deserve it.

"Go on, darling, swallow a bun."

And she does.

And the instant she does,

the guilt cuts in.

So here we are again with our diet.

It's a vicious,

but quite wonderful circle,

and it adheres to only one rule.

"Whatever it is, sell it."

If you want to stay in advertising,

by God, you'd better learn that.

Bagley. Look, it's not in my nature to be

a pain in the arse with such consistency.

It's being forced on me.

I just had them on the phone.

They are phoning me back.

I've got to give them something.

- Tell them it'll be wonderful. Hi, Harry.

- All right?

I did. They're over the moon.

Apart from 15 calls a day wondering where

the f*** it is, they couldn't be happier.

They're getting impatient. We promised

them the animatic over a week ago.

I'll be frank with you, Bagley.

I'm running out of bullshit.

- Try massaging your temples.

- I've got to give them a date.

Either a date or you give me some idea

of what you're coming up with.

I'm coming up with a brilliant advertisement

for a very dull pimple cream.

Then why can't I take a look?

Why can't I see something?

You know, just a storyboard

or some roughs,

anything so as I can give them

an idea of the direction you're going in.

No. I don't show work in progress.

- Any calls?

- Mr Bristol called again, twice.

- I hope you told him I was out.

- Yes, Mr Bagley. You were out.

- Good. If he calls again, I'm still out.

- Bagley, you have got to give me a date.

All right, try Monday on him.

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Bruce Robinson

Bruce Robinson (born 2 May 1946) is an English director, screenwriter, novelist and actor. He is arguably most famous for writing and directing the cult classic Withnail and I (1987), a film with comic and tragic elements set in London in the 1960s, which drew on his experiences as "a chronic alcoholic and resting actor, living in squalor" in Camden Town. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "How to Get Ahead in Advertising" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 20 Aug. 2022. <>.

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