Neil French Says Top Creative Career Incompatible With Kids


Neil French's sudden non-appearance at a Singapore AdAsia conference, held November 21-23, isn't news. What's news are comments he made in a Singapore newspaper article run a day prior to the show in which he tried to claim it's not just woman who are "crap" because they make time for family, it's men too. French claims, according to Ad Age, children are "incompatible with the long hours needed to become a top creative." Egoistically proving his point and hinting fatherhood is for wimps, French told the paper he hasn't seen his only child, an eight year-old boy in months. Keep smokin' that cigar, Neil but humbly suggest you give that Harry Chapin song, Cats in the Cradle, a listen. It's got an important message for you.

Of course, one could claim the above is written from an overly PC, American viewpoint. If you flip the coin and acknowledge cultural differences between America and Singapore, where French has spent most of his career, French comes out smelling like roses as indicated by a comment reportedly made by a creative who said, during a dinner attended by French and, we assume, the Ad Age reporter who reported it, "You have to look at this through a cultural filter. In Singapore, its still legal to beat your wife." While we find that hard to believe, we're not making it up.

by Steve Hall    Nov-21-05   Click to Comment   
Topic: Industry Events, Opinion, Trends and Culture   

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That's Harry Chapin, not Cat Stevens.

Posted by: RichW on November 22, 2005 12:21 AM

Physical abuse is legal here? That's new to me. That person has obviously never heard of the Singapore Women's Charter - or Singapore.

Posted by: scheep on November 22, 2005 2:25 AM

No it's not legal to abuse your wife in Singapore. Singapore isn't some 3rd world country. Get your facts right.

Posted by: Jyh Yeong on November 22, 2005 6:15 AM

I wonder if a top creative with no children is the best option for creating a campaing focused on childs.

Posted by: Gonzalo G. Cotorruelo on November 22, 2005 6:22 AM

Sexpo 2005 included exhibits from the Chinese Ancient Sex Culture Museum in Tongli, China.

Visitors peeped erotic paintings and gawked at a curious 5,000-year-old artefact called the "Donkey's Saddle" - a torture device used to punish adulterous women. Porduction of replica saddles are now available through our store. Plans to extend SEXPO to make it a yearly affair and would try to push the boundaries gradually.

You can only beat your wife if you feel she was looking at another man in an untoward fashion and then only in your own home. Jhh is correct, public beatings of wayward spouses is not tolerated. {;P

Posted by: bob on November 22, 2005 10:54 AM

The problem with neil French is that he is partially right. It is very hard to do justice to your family and work the long hard hours you need to in some parts f the ad business. But not every agency has long hours. In fact most agencies wouldn't need to have them if they were actually able to organize things efficiently, kept to deadlines and paid to huire the staff to do the work (most agencies are massively understaffed which means everyone has to do more work and keep long hours).

Posted by: mark on November 22, 2005 11:20 AM

Neil French is a lily-livered, chicken-scratching, pink-eyed heyna, who thinks the sun shines out of arse and when he pust his hand behind there's an eclipse.
And I am being a bit polite.

Posted by: Sunil Shibad on November 22, 2005 12:05 PM

Neil, this is your brain on cigar! Be a responsible father and go see your child.

Posted by: Rex on November 22, 2005 12:08 PM

Mark wrote: TIn fact most agencies wouldn't need to have them if they were actually able to organize things efficiently, kept to deadlines and paid to huire the staff to do the work ...

Ain't dat da troot! (trans. Isn't that the truth?)

As for PC American:

1. USers work longer hours and have less time off than Europeans and, from what I've read, we have little to show for it in terms of real productivity. Alas, I haven't boned up on that lit erature in about 2 years.

2. In the West, the notion that fathers slay the dragons in the market and polity (away from home) is relatively new -- brought about by industrialization and the separation of work from home.

I don't know what PC American means in this context, but Neil's view of the world rests on a way of organizing our society that hasn't been around that long and certainly isn't impervious to change.

Bitch | Lab

Posted by: Bitch on November 22, 2005 12:33 PM

Since the cigar is for your mouth, Neil, the rest of this must be coming out of your ass.

Posted by: Geoff Bush on November 22, 2005 3:01 PM