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e: A Novel

e: A Novel

4.8 12
by Matt Beaumont

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Carla Browne-1/5/00, 3:05 pm to: All Departments re: I'm leaving now . . . but before I go there are some things you should know...!!!! Set in a London ad agency desperate to land a coveted big account, e follows the bureaucratic bungling, cutthroat maneuvers, and outrageous sexual antics of a group of Miller-Shanks employees as they scheme,


Carla Browne-1/5/00, 3:05 pm to: All Departments re: I'm leaving now . . . but before I go there are some things you should know...!!!! Set in a London ad agency desperate to land a coveted big account, e follows the bureaucratic bungling, cutthroat maneuvers, and outrageous sexual antics of a group of Miller-Shanks employees as they scheme, lie, lust, and claw their way up (and down) the company ladder. Written by a former advertising copywriter, this hilarious, dead-on-target novel marks the debut of a hip and exciting new voice in contemporary fiction. With the click of a mouse, Matt Beaumont brings the novel of letters into the twenty-first century, turning his merciless, unerring eye on today's Machiavellian corporate culture-with uproarious results. Rachel Stevenson, Personnel-1/5/00, 3:09 pm to: Chandra Kapoor cc: David Crutton re: Urgent: Please delete Carla Browne's ID from e-mail with immediate effect. Thank you.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.35(w) x 7.89(h) x 0.72(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Monday, January 3rd David Crutton – 1/3/00, 8:13amto:Fiona Craigiecc: re:your butt

Take that fucking Walkman off, get your arse in here and show me how I do an all-staff e-mail. Every time I click “ok” on the address it copies it to Miller Shanks Helsinki.

 David Crutton – 1/3/00, 8:27amto:All Departmentscc:james_f_weissmuller@millershanks-ny.comre:NEW MILLENNIUM – NEW HEIGHTS

First, a happy new Millennium to each and every one of you. Thank you also for sacrificing your bank holidays today to come in and begin the bid for the Coca-Cola business. As you know, in two weeks we pitch for this most prestigious advertising account. To win it we must all perform out of our skins.

Daunting as it may seem, I know we can scale this peak. Those in doubt should take a look at what we have achieved in the last twelve months. When I joined you at the beginning of ’99 we were in the doldrums and Jim Weissmuller in New York gave me a mountain to climb.

He said, “make Miller Shanks London big again.” Pitch wins for Freedom Mail Order, the LOVE Channel and Mako Cars, the Philippines’ premier automotive manufacturer, have catapulted us back into the Campaign top twenty for the first time in eight years.

He said, “make Miller Shanks respected.” In the Marketing Week survey that asked clients which advertising agency they would most like to work with, we rocketed from 45th to 33rd.

He said, “win awards.” I brought in Simon Horne to shake up the Creative Department and do just that. His efforts are already paying off, with Pinki and Liam’s fabulous ads for Kimbelle Panty Pads scooping bronze at Creative Circle.

We can all be extremely proud of our efforts. We are still a long way from the summit, but “base camp” has been established and the final assault beckons!

Let’s break camp, attach our lines and get off to a flier in 2000 by adding an $84 billion brand to our client list.

Go, go, go!

David Crutton


 pertti_vanhelden@millershanks-helsinki.co.fi 1/3/00, 8:46am (10:46am local)to:david_crutton@millershanks-london.co.ukcc: re:NEW MILLENNIUM – NEW HEIGHTS

Your e-mail I think is coming to me in Helsinki by mistake, but it’s notwithstanding fun to be reading about my chums in London. I was not realising that mountaineering was possible in Old London Town. Most fascinating!

By the way, is there any help we give you with the Coca-Cola pitch? It is a very popular drink here in icy cold Finland, especially with our many “groovy” young folk. As fellow CEO, I am asking my red-hot creativity department to have lots of brilliant ideas for you.

While I am on cyberspacenet, can please you get me tickets for Great Balls of Grease? Mrs. van Helden and my good self will be visiting in London at 12 February. We will be packing our crampons.

Your pal, Pertti

 David Crutton – 1/3/00, 8:49amto:Fiona Craigiecc: re:your fat butt

Get your fucking nose out of Miss London and explain why, despite your best efforts, my last e-mail went to that pathetic twat, van Helden. And get me two tickets for Great Balls of Fire or Grease on 12 Feb. I don’t think the gobshite Finn knows the difference.

 Daniel Westbrooke – 1/3/00, 9:17amto:All Departmentscc: re:a new face

I would like you all to join me in welcoming Katie Philpott, who joins us today as a trainee account executive. Katie will be working in Harriet Greenbaum’s group on Mako. She will add her spark and vivacity to an already lively team. Please give her the warmest of Miller Shanks welcomes.

Daniel Westbrooke

Head of Client Services

 Rachel Stevenson – 1/3/00, 10:10amto:All Departmentscc: re:changes

Sadly, Fiona Craigie has decided to leave us and is no longer David Crutton’s PA. I am sure you will join me in wishing her well for the future. Lorraine Pallister will be temping until a permanent replacement arrives. Please make her welcome.

Rachel Stevenson


 Simon Horne – 1/3/00, 10:14amto:Creative Departmentcc:David Crutton
Daniel Westbrookere:arses in gear

You will need no reminding of the Coke pitch. This is the big one.


The Holy Grail.


The Most Famous Brand in the World.

David Crutton and Dan Westbrooke will brief us at noon in the boardroom.

Be keen.

Be sharp.

Be clever.

Above all, be there.


 Daniel Westbrooke – 1/3/00, 10:18amto:Simon Hornecc: re:arses in gear

Simon, I know this might be a silly little thing, so excuse my pedantry. I do not mind you calling me Dan in private, but to the great unwashed, please refer to me as Daniel. The diminutive sounds far too familiar, and as Head of Client Services I find it pays to remain a little aloof from the rabble! See you at 12:00.

 Daniel Westbrooke – 1/3/00, 10:22amto:James Gregorycc: re:Katie Philpott

James, my duties as Head of Client Services mean that I am far too busy to bestow upon young Katie my traditional welcome of tea and muffins. Since you are the account manager with whom she will be working most closely, may I request that you take her under your wing and make sure that she is familiar with our ways? Suffice it to say that I would not wish a repeat of what happened with the last trainee.

 Simon Horne – 1/3/00, 10:30amto:Susi Judge-Daviscc: re:Coke

Susi, darling, be an absolute treasure and make sure all the creative teams are aware of the Coke briefing at 12:00. And get me a pot of decaffeinated and some of those itty-bitty cinnamon biscuits they have in the kitchen.

 Susi Judge-Davis – 1/3/00, 10:31 amto:Simon Hornecc: re:Coke

Doing it right now, darling . . . Sx

 pertti_vanhelden@millershanks-helsinki.co.fi 1/3/00, 10:32am (12:32am local)to:david_crutton@millershanks-london.co.ukcc: re:your butt

We are loving your ironicalism. “Pathetic twat, van Helden!” There is nothing to beat English humours. Benny Hill, Love Thy Neighbour, Are You Being Severed?. We see them all on Satellite Golden Hits Station. However, we are not comprehending “gobshite.” It is in not one of our excellent dictionaries.

“I’m free!” – Pertti

 Daniel Westbrooke – 1/3/00, 10:35amto:Katie Philpottcc: re:bienvenue

Katie, profound apologies that I will be unable to sit down with you this morning. You have joined our happy family at the busiest time and I find myself caught up in getting the Coke pitch off to a roaring start. I am sure that you must feel a little dazzled by the glamour of it all, but you will find your feet in no time. I have attached a crib sheet that sets out the key roles in our agency. Previous neophytes have found it to be indispensable. Any questions, ask James Gregory, whom I have appointed your “big brother.”


CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER – il maestro, le chef de cuisine, the head honcho and the person with whom the buck most certainly stops.

HEAD OF CLIENT SERVICES – The power behind the throne, if you will. Custodian of all the agency’s clients and responsible for the performance of everybody in the Account Management Department. A crucial part of his job is to approve every CREATIVE BRIEF before it goes to the Creative Department. These unassuming forms are the “sacred texts” without which no piece of advertising can be conceived. It is fair to say that with such a spectrum of responsibilities, a Head of Client Services must possess both fierce drive and a passionate vision.

ACCOUNT DIRECTOR – In charge of day-to-day running of one or more accounts; runs a team of account managers and executives; in turn reports to the Head of Client Services.

EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR – If the Head of Client Services supplies the client with an expansive blank canvas, then the Creative Director applies those vivid splashes of cobalt, verditer and vermilion that bring his humdrum products so gloriously to life in the nation’s parlours.

THE CREATIVE TEAM – Each comprises of a COPYWRITER and an ART DIRECTOR. The Creative Director allocates creative briefs to teams and then nurtures from them their finest work.

 James Gregory – 1/3/00, 10:36amto:Katie Philpottcc: re:hello, new girl

Hi Katie. I’m James and I’ll be your account manager on Mako. Dan Westbrooke has asked me to keep a close eye on you. I’m up to my neck organising this afternoon’s Mako meeting (usual bloody panic), but I’ll clock in with you later. In the meantime, enjoy reading the attached. It was penned by some anon. copywriter and has been handed down through generations of trainees. It tells you all you need to know about how your typical agency works (or rather, doesn’t).



Some CEOs have been known to have a brass sign on their desks that reads “the buck stops here.” This is either a misprint or a bare-faced lie. It should say “the buck starts here.” The CEO is in the highly responsible position of having to designate the mug who will officially carry the can for whatever mire the agency has landed itself in. All he/she needs for this are a comfy and ergonomically designed swivel chair, an internal phone list and a nice, shiny pin. Decisions, decisions . . .


Sounds grand, and so it should because this title was invented as compensation for those witless Account Directors who will never, ever make CEO. They have no power whatsoever, but if they begin sentences with “as Head of Client Services . . .” often enough, it will make them think that they do. This title also impresses at cocktail parties where no advertising people are present.


Lightbulb Joke #1:

Q – “How many account directors does it take to change a lightbulb?”

A – “How many would the client like it to take?”

This tells you all you need to know about account directors.


All creative directors are Useless Tossers. This fact has been established in a number of clinical trials. It doesn’t matter how good they were before they were creative directors (and, no kidding, some of them were certifiably brilliant), the moment they settle into that palatial corner office with the wide-screen TV and Bauhaus furniture, they assume the mantle of Useless Tosser. This phenomenon has baffled the few scientists who give a shit, which, to be frank, isn’t many.


Legend has it that the modern copywriter/art director creative team was invented in the sixties by the advertising luminary, Bill Bernbach. This is bollocks. In fact it couldn’t be more bollocks if it were wrapped in a soft leather scrotal sac and suspended between the hind legs of a bull. The truth is that the first team actually paired up after seeing David Bailey’s iconic shot of the Kray Twins. Upon viewing these infamous East End gangsters performing their patented sneer into Bailey’s Box Brownie, our embryonic duo were gobsmacked. They figured that if they too joined themselves at the hip, wore natty suits with skinny black ties and contrived to look well ’ard, it would serve to scare anyone from account management off who had the temerity to suggest “a few little tweaks” to their work.

Lightbulb Joke #2:

Q – “How many art directors does it take to change a lightbulb?”

A – “Fuck off, I’m not changing a thing.”

 Pinki Fallon – 1/3/00, 10:39amto:Simon Hornecc:David Crutton
Daniel Westbrookere:arses in gear

Sorry guys, but can you excuse me from Coke? They represent all that is wrong with the Western capitalist socio-economic model and my yoga teacher would never forgive me. In any case, Liam and I are up to our necks on the Kimbelle Super Dri Pads launch, which should keep us v.v.v. busy for the next couple of weeks. Sorry, etc . . .

 Katie Philpott – 1/3/00, 10:42amto:James Gregorycc: re:HI YOURSELF!

Thanks for the e. Didn’t understand most of it, but guffaw, guffaw anyway! Haven’t the foggiest what I’m supposed to do yet, but if I can help with your Mako meeting – pens, pads, that sort of thing – give me a shout. By the way, what happened to the last trainee? I’ve heard some rumours, but no one will tell. Katie P

 Liam O’Keefe – 1/3/00, 10:45pmto:Vince Douglas

There goes another 1,000 years. How was it for you? I stayed in with a Safeway korma, Jose Cuervo, my new Sony Vega and my Barbed Wire DVD, which includes never-before-seen outtakes of Pammy’s tits – I recommend it if you’re around for the next one. Don’t know if I’ll see you at the Coke briefing. Pinki’s just e’d Horne with another moral stand. Wonder how the sad old git will talk her round this time – watch this space.

 James Gregory – 1/3/00, 10:50amto:Katie Philpottcc: re:HI YOURSELF!

The story is that the last trainee spent his first month sitting by the fire escape waiting for a proper desk. He got hypothermia and sued. Don’t worry, things have changed. That’s why they stuck you by the big copier on the 3rd – you’ll overheat rather than freeze.

 Nigel Godley – 1/3/00, 10:54amto:All Departmentscc: re:room to let

Room to let in cosy central Balham flat.

• Near shops, buses and Jet filling station

• Pine kitchen

• Neighbourhood Watch area

• Non-smoker preferred

• Must like cats

• And gerbils

• £380 PCM

• First to see will move in!

Call x4667 – Nige.

 Brett Topowlski – 1/3/00, 10:59amto:Liam O’Keefecc: re:NEW MILLENNIUM, OLD BOLLOCKS

Unbelievable – the first bank holiday of the year and I’m sitting in the Miller Shanks creative department staring at Vin and trying to come up with a campaign for Freedom Mail Order. Told him we need a visual idea. He’s the art director, so it’s his problem now. Our Millenniums in brief. Mine’s a total blank – woke up in a skip in Westminster at five am, 1 Jan, but had a spectacular view of Big Ben as I leaned over the edge to puke. Vin was in Berlin and was so depraved he can’t bring himself to tell me what he got up to. On the way back he was gutted that the Y2K bug didn’t kick in and make the Airbus drop from sky – figures the adrenaline rush would’ve worked wonders for his hangover.

Don’t bother e-mailing him. He made a New Year res’ to get computer literate. First thing this morning he got me to fire up his Mac and log him onto Notes. He had 4,735 unread e’s. He freaked and made me switch it off. Hasn’t said a word since. I gave him some Crayolas and a pad and he’s started to recover.

 David Crutton – 1/3/00, 11:04amto:Simon Hornecc: re:hippie dipstick

Is there anything the dizzy cow Pinki will work on? She won’t do Camel for obvious reasons; Army Recruitment because she’s antimilitary; Action Man, ditto; Floréal Haircare because they torture kittens. For Christ’s sake, she won’t even work on Everest Double Glazing because they screwed up her mother’s replacement windows. You keep saying she and Liam are the best creative team we’ve got, but have you thought that her delicate political sensibilities might be better suited to a different business? (African famine relief work comes to mind.) Look into it, because if we don’t win Coke and she hasn’t lifted a bloody finger, I’ll have her on the next flight to Somalia.

 Simon Horne – 1/3/00, 11:24amto:David Cruttoncc: re:hippie dipstick

Leave it to me. I’ll have a word in her ear.

 Simon Horne – 1/3/00, 11:33amto:Pinki Falloncc:Liam O’Keefebcc:David Cruttonre:Coke

Pinki, I respect your principles, but we really need you and Liam playing ball with l’equipe ‘A’ on this one. Can I say a couple of things before you make up your mind?

Naturellement, we share your concerns vis-à-vis the Coke/Mammon scenario. It is a vexing state of affairs.

David promises to register forcefully our feelings when next he meets their people.

Secondly, if we do not win it, people will lose their jobs.

I am certain you would not want additions to the unemployment statistics to prey on your mind.

I hope we will see you at the 12:00.


 Pinki Fallon – 1/3/00, 11:39amto:Simon Hornecc:Liam O’Keefe
David Cruttonre:Coke

I phoned Master Shenkar and he’s cool. I know this account is worth more than the GNP of Guatemala, but David won’t accept the business unless we can present them with a more holistic alternative to capitalist imperialism, will he?

 David Crutton – 1/3/00, 11:41amto:Pinki Falloncc: re:Coke

Trust me, I’m an adman. See you at the meeting.

 Susi Judge-Davis – 1/3/00, 11:56amto:Creative Departmentcc: re:Coke

Please make your way to the Coke briefing in the boardroom. Simon asks you to bring pads and not to be late.

 Zoë Clarke – 1/3/00, 12:30pmto:Carla Brownecc: re:that bastard!!!

Un-fucking-believable!!!!! Have you heard what the bastard Crettin did to Fi? She’s gone!!!!! He made her clear her desk that minute. She didn’t even have time to meet me in the loo for a good cry!!!!!! Can’t believe he fired her on a bank holiday!!!!! We shouldn’t even be here!!!!! The story is he did it ’cos she couldn’t make his stupid e-mail work!! Incredible!!!! I’ve been trying to get her on her mobile all morning. She must be able to do him for wrongful something or other. Let’s talk at lunch!!!!!!! See you in Bar Zero? Zxxx

 Carla Browne – 1/3/00, 12:35pmto:Zoë Clarkecc: re:that bastard!!!

I heard, poor cow!! Doesn’t that shit know this is a bad time for her – did you see how much she put on over Christmas? And, apart from her weight, she was a fucking brilliant PA. Anyway, no chance of me coming to lunch. I’ve still got the hangover from hell – glad these bloody millennium thingys only come once every ten years. And I’ve got to start Desperate Dan’s Coke presentation. God, you should see this document. Bloody, sodding pie charts everywhere!!!!!!!! Who reads this bollocks? Looks like I’ll be in all night – I can forget step. If you get hold of Fi, e me back with details!!!! I feel so sorry for her!! Cxxx

 Liam O’Keefe – 1/3/00, 12:42pmto:Brett Topowlskicc: re:tossers

Is the Coke brief the biggest wank-off yet, or what? Do Crutton and Westbrooke really think we can write decent ads on a strategy like that? “Coke: lifeblood” – what the fuck does it mean? And what’s a “carbonated lifestyle delivery system” when it’s at home? Even Pinki says it stinks. Major worry – I rely on her magic touch with shit briefs. See you in BZ in 15 and we’ll talk tits: i.e. how the fuck I can get Alison Armitage’s award-winning melons into a Kimbelle Pads ad without Pinki having me up for Grievous Political Incorrectness.

 Simon Horne – 1/3/00, 12:45pmto:Creative Departmentcc:David Crutton
Daniel Westbrookere:arses in gear II

I am sure you will join me in thanking David and Daniel for a staggeringly inspirational briefing.

“Coke: lifeblood” is a truly incisive strategy – one that gives you the chance to do some really famous work.

No doubt your creative juices will be flowing like the Ganges in flood.

I would like to see first thoughts early next week.

Let us get out there and grab the advertising Rottweiler by its hairy testes.


 Brett Topowlski – 1/3/00, 12:49pmto:Liam O’Keefecc: re:tossers

BZ at 1:00. By the way, you got any idea what creative juices look like? Vin just blew his nose and I think his are now in a Kleenex.

 David Crutton – 1/3/00, 12:59pmto:Chandra Kapoorcc: re:e-mail

When the Microsoft ads ask me “where do you want to go today?,” I do not reply with “Finland” – after Latvia, the dullest country in Europe.

As Head of IT (a bloody misnomer if ever there was one – you’re laughably short on both Information and Technology), surely you can answer this simple question. Why is it that every time I send an internal e-mail it ends up in Helsinki? One member of staff has already lost her job today because of this. Sort it out now.

NB: do not blame this on the Millennium Bug. This is the sorriest excuse since “the dog ate my homework.”

 Zoë Clarke – 1/3/00, 2:10pmto:Carla Brownecc: re:the dirt!!!

Boy oh boy!!!! Finally got Fi on her mobile and we went for a quick one at Bar Zero. Just got back!! Un-fucking-believable!!!!! She’s in such a state, poor thing!!!!! Gotta go. Stupid Pinki’s yelling at me to book her shiatsu and that bitch, Susi, won’t lift a finger!! Who the fuck does she think she is, stuck up cow?!!!! Zxxx

 Carla Browne – 1/3/00, 3:00pmto:Zoë Clarkecc: re:the dirt!!!

God, poor Fi!!!! But what about me?!!!! Don’t tell a soul, but Rachel whatsit called me down and says the bloody Crettin wants me to work for him!!!! No one lasts five minutes with him (Fi broke the record at four months!) and ’cos I’ve been here the longest, they think I stand a chance of sticking it out. Bloody hell!!!! What do I do now!!!!? Desperate Dan will have a fit if he loses me, but Rachel did a good sell on it. It’s 5k more!!!!! Cxxx

 Zoë Clarke – 1/3/00, 3:03pmto:Carla Brownecc: re:the dirt!!!

Can’t believe it! Fi was on 5k more than us? That bitch. She was shit anyway and she’s got a right mouth on her. She deserved everything she got!!! Do you know she told me about you and Brett T. at the Christmas party? Wasn’t going to say, but you deserve some honesty! Anyway, do you really want to work for the Crettin? Money isn’t everything!!!!!!!!! Zxxx

 Carla Browne – 1/3/00, 3:07pmto:Rachel Stevensoncc: re:our meeting

Rachel, thanks everso for the offer. I’m thrilled that Mr. Crutton suggested me for the job. Obviously it involves a huge amount of responsibility, with plenty of room for personal growth, so it’s not a hard decision to make. I’d love to accept – Carla

 james_f_weissmuller@millershanks-ny.com 1/3/00, 3:15pm (10:15am local)to:all_departments@millershanks-london.co.ukcc: re:NEW MILLENNIUM – NEW HEIGHTS

I write to endorse wholeheartedly the sentiments contained in David Crutton’s stirring all-staff note earlier in your day.

The Executive Board in New York are unanimous in their delight at the efforts you put in last year to push the peanut forward and keep us on our toes in the Big Apple.

Under David’s outstanding leadership, Miller Shanks, London is well on the way to reclaiming its rightful place as lead office in our European network. I look forward to seeing the evidence with my own eyes when I visit to lend my support to the Coca-Cola pitch.

Winning that one really would be a feather in our caps. Keep up the tremendous work!

Jim Weissmuller

President, Miller Shanks Worldwide

 Zoë Clarke – 1/3/00, 3:21 pmto:Rachel Stevensoncc: re:hooray!

I’m so pleased for Carla that she’s been offered the chance to work for David! She really, really deserves it and I hope she says yes. I think it’s brilliant that we work for a company that’s prepared to give second chances. That embarrassing thing with the Arabian Airways client wouldn’t have been treated nearly so sympathetically by a lot of agencies – Zoë.

P.S. I know you swore her to secrecy, but I hope you don’t mind her telling me – I am her best, best friend in the world!!!!!!!!

 pertti_vanhelden@millershanks-helsinki.co.fi 1/3/00, 4:13pm (6:13pm local)to:david_crutton@millershanks-london.co.ukcc: re:FASCINATING FINLAND

Oh, how your last e-mail has ignited a debating! “The dullest country in Europe?” We are compiling a small list of “Finnish Delights” to provide you with foodstuff for thinking.

• The noble reindeer.

• 397 different flavours of vodka.

• The Autumn Skate-a-thon in Raahe, which is lasting for four days and nights!

• Reindeer à la Grecque, the speciality of the head chef at the Helsinki Holiday Inn.

• The annual clubbing of the pilot whales on Björkoby Island.

• The National Museum of the Herring in Våasa.

I will be making sure to send to you a copy of the Finnish Board of Tourism and Fisheries’ illuminating booklet, “Finland: the Culture, the History and the Fish.” I think you will be finding it most stimulatory!

Tally-ho! Pertti

P.S. My own creativity boffins are now working out their first “well-wicked” Coca-Cola concepts. You are baiting your breath, yes?

 Daniel Westbrooke – 1/3/00, 4:16pmto:Rachel Stevensoncc: re:Carla Browne

Carla tells me that she has been offered the job of Personal Assistant to David. Pardon my French, but I am getting really bloody hacked off with this place. Why am I the last person to find anything out? I would stand more chance of knowing what is going on here if I went to the Groucho Club and heard it from the chaps at Saatchi and Bartle Bogle.

This is bloody awful timing. I am in sole charge of the most important pitch in this agency’s history. How am I supposed to manage without adequate secretarial support?

I have been at Miller Shanks for fifteen years and it would be nice just for once to be treated with the respect due to the Head of Client Services.

 Daniel Westbrooke – 1/3/00, 4:24pmto:David Cruttoncc: re:Carla Browne

I am so thrilled for Carla that she has decided to take you up on your fantastic offer. She is a cracking girl and her time in the exacting role of PA to Head of Client Services has prepared her well. Much as I will miss her, I am certain you will be brilliant for each other. If there is anything, anything at all, that I can do to help her make the transition to the seat outside the Big Office, please do not hesitate to ask. Superb choice!

 Brett Topowlski – 1/3/00, 4:43pmto:Liam O’Keefecc: re:PHWOOOAR!

Seen that temp who’s in for Crutton? Vin picked up her pheromones in no time – I swear that boy’s dick is a divining rod when it comes to muff. Find an excuse to use the copier by her desk, then look at the bird on p46 of Swank(36DD/whipped cream/torque wrench). It’s her twin!

 Zoë Clarke – 1/3/00, 4:59pmto:Carla Brownecc: re:SLAPPER!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have you seen the Crettin’s temp yet? Talk about cheap!!!! Just saw Vince Douglas dribbling all over her cleavage!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you believe I used to think he was cute? Zxxx

 Ken Perry – 1/3/00, 5:08pmto:All Departmentscc: re:carpeting

You may have noticed that new carpet tiles went down in reception during the Christmas break. To ensure even wear and tear across the full width of the carpeted area, could employees below the level of group account director please make the short journey from front door to lifts by stepping round the perimeter of the foyer? This will leave the all-important central tread zone for senior management, clients and other visitors.

Thank you for your co-operation.

Ken Perry

Office Administrator

 Liam O’Keefe – 1/3/00, 5:36pmto:Brett Topowlskicc: re:PHWOOOAR!

Just clocked her. Registered 9.6 on the pussy scale. And when she opens her gob she sounds like Daphne inFrasier. Brace yourselves. I happened to get chatting to her – like you do – and she’s coming to BZ with us. Be there in fifteen. Her name’s Lorraine – Lol to her close mates.

 David Crutton – 1/3/00, 6:09pmto:Simon Hornecc: re:where the fuck’s my creative department?

I just walked our Freedom client through our “energetic, buzzy creative department” and it’s like a ghost town – tumbleweed in the corridor wouldn’t have been out of place. Even your hot shot Pinki was rushing out – late for Zen aerobics apparently. I caught that dozy secretary, Zoë, putting on her eyelashes. She said they were all in a research debrief. Bullshit! More likely in Bar Zero researching the tits on my temp.

This is the first working day of a new century. If this carries on, I’ll be more than happy to live up to my trigger-happy reputation. I operate on the tried and trusted principle of “last in, first out” (which would put you at number five on the list).

 Simon Horne – 1/3/00, 6:42pmto:David Cruttoncc: re:where the fuck’s my creative department?

I have only this minute stepped out of a heavy meeting with Mako. You are right, this situation is quite untenable.

It is time to apply Timberlands à derrieres. Leave it to me.

By the way, Mako is turning into the proverbial smelly one.

Apparently they bombed out our campaign before Christmas, but even though she is supposed to be running the business, Harriet “forgot” to mention it.

We have already booked Little and Large to appear in the TV spots. As a top billing comic double act, I doubt they will take kindly to being cancelled.

We are up a creek by the name of shit.

Sans paddle.

As if trying to make a car assembled by the Filipino peasantry seem alluring is not sufficiently difficile in the first place.


 Simon Horne – 1/3/00, 6:44pmto:Susi Judge-Daviscc: re:teams

Susi darling, do me a teeny-weeny favourette: have a look-see round the department and tell me if any of my bloody teams are still here?

 Harriet Greenbaum – 1/3/00, 6:48pmto:David Cruttoncc: re:Mako

Just to keep you in the loop, we’re running into trouble on Mako. Before Christmas I made Simon aware that our clients would never approve Little and Large. To be frank, I share their misgivings – L&L are about as unfunny, unhip and downright unattractive as it’s possible for comedians to be. Despite this opposition, Simon remained committed to them. As Creative Director this is his right. However, at today’s meeting, Mako were surprised and disappointed that we were re-presenting the same work.

Time is not on our side. The launch date for their new model is fixed, and we have to present them with a new campaign on Friday.

 Susi Judge-Davis – 1/3/00, 6:50pmto:Simon Hornecc: re:teams

Not a soul in sight, I’m afraid, darling . . . Sx

 Harriet Greenbaum – 1/3/00, 6:59pmto:James Gregorycc: re:Mako

You were at the meeting, so no need to tell you how deep we’re in it. I suggest you join me for a post-mortem. Grab Katie. She might as well be introduced to the unpleasant realities of advertising.

 Simon Horne – 1/3/00, 7:28pmto:Creative Departmentcc: bcc:David Cruttonre:your careers

A nightmare is developing on Mako.

We have yet to crack Kimbelle Super Dri.

And we are about to embark on the biggest pitch any of us will ever work on.

Why, then, is my department deserted? Am I the only one who gives a tuppenny damn?

Starting tomorrow, I expect to hear the ear-piercing squeak of permanent marker pen on paper as the precious ideas lodged in your crania tumble forth onto layout pads.

And before you bring me the fruits of your labours, ask yourselves just one question:

Is it a gold?


 Nigel Godley – 1/3/00, 11:34pmto:All Departmentscc: re:anybody out there?

It’s 11:30 and I’m still here, collating time sheets. E me back if you, too, are still “at the coal face”!


 Carla Browne – 1/3/00, 11:36pmto:Nigel Godleycc: re:anybody out there?

Yes, I am!!!!!!!!! Who are you? What floor are you on? And can you make those stupid wedge shapes in pie charts in PowerPoint? If you can help, e me immediately – I want to go home!!!!!! Carla on the 4th.

Tuesday, January 4th David Crutton – 1/4/00, 7:57amto:Harriet Greenbaum
Simon Hornecc: re:Mako

Last night the entire dress circle at the Royal Opera House was disturbed by my mobile phone. The Marketing Director of Mako UK wished to know how many times he has to tell us he doesn’t like Little and Large before we get the message. What were his precise words? “Putting comedians who’re about 20 years past their sell-by date behind the wheel of my £22,000 executive car is not my fucking idea of sexy car advertising.” I think he made his point.

I’d like the pair of you in my office in thirty minutes and perhaps we can work out how not to lose this account before we’ve made a single ad for them.

 pertti_vanhelden@millershanks-helsinki.co.fi 1/4/00, 8:02am (10:02am local)to:david_crutton@millershanks-london.co.ukcc: re:Mako

It’s good to see you starting off your day with the early worm too! How we are loving your Little and Large here in Finland. All of their 70’s Seaside Specials are on Satellite Golden Hits Station. Such a pity Mr. Mako isn’t sharing your cutting-edge excellent good taste. Oh, well, clients like these are the crutches that we who are choosing advertising must be bearing.

Pip pip! Pertti

 David Crutton – 1/4/00, 8:09amto:Chandra Kapoorcc: re:P45’s

Yesterday lunchtime I informed you that my e-mails were misrouting to Finland. I expected an immediate response. So far, sweet fuck all. I’ve met plumbers more reliable than your department. Do you actually want to end up washing windshields on the Mile End Road?

 David Crutton – 1/4/00, 8:17amto:Rachel Stevensoncc: re:IT

In the midst of some grief I’m having with my e-mail, I had a brainwave. During WW2, when the Nazis were having difficulties with the French resistance, they’d round up the population of an entire village. Then, for every hour that the partisans didn’t give themselves up, they’d shoot a villager in the head.

I’d like to do something similar with our IT department. I suspect that shooting is out of the question, but how about firing one of them for each hour they don’t sort out my problem?

I’d be obliged if you could check out the legality of this under current employment legislation.

 Rachel Stevenson – 1/4/00, 8:32amto:David Cruttoncc: re:IT

David, I’m so sorry. I just got Chandra on the phone. He was unaware of your trouble. If you’ve been trying to reach him by e-mail, he hasn’t been getting them. He says IT is extremely busy but he’ll get straight onto it.

 Nigel Godley – 1/4/00, 8:43amto:All Departmentscc: re:for sale


• Jasmine yellow finish

• Nearly new

• Includes adapter to make perfect toastie sandwiches!

• The perfect way to “toast” the new Millennium!!

• First to see will buy

• £12 o.n.o.

Call x4667 – Nige

 Harriet Greenbaum – 1/4/00, 9:04amto:Simon Hornecc: re:Mako

For the record, Simon, I didn’t forget to tell you about Mako’s dislike of Little and Large. There was no need. You were at the client meeting before Christmas to hear it for yourself. If you’re going to tell lies to David about what I have or haven’t done, I’d prefer you didn’t do it when I’m in the room. It insults my intelligence.

 Simon Horne – 1/4/00, 9:10amto:Harriet Greenbaumcc: re:Mako

Do you realise the pressure I am under?

I am expected to manage and inspire a department of twelve creative teams.

I am required to represent the agency’s creative product to our clients – philistines the lot.

On top of that I have somehow to find the time to deliver creative coups de grâces of my own.

If occasionally I forget some little thing a client says in a meeting, well, I am only human.


 Simon Horne – 1/4/00, 9:11amto:Susi Judge-Daviscc: re:stress

Migraine, migraine!

 Susi Judge-Davis – 1/4/00, 9:12amto:Simon Hornecc: re:stress

Coffee and Migraleve on the way, darling . . . Sx

 Harriet Greenbaum – 1/4/00, 9:16amto:Simon Hornecc: re:Mako

I’m sorry to split hairs, but I wouldn’t have defined the client saying he not only hates Little and Large, but thinks them totally outdated for a technology-led brand as a “little thing.” All this, though, is academic. I suggest we now co-operate on finding a new campaign. Friday feels horribly close.

 Brett Topowlski – 1/4/00, 9:35amto:Liam O’Keefecc: re:no-go zone

If you and Space Cadet First-Class Pinki are planning to show Horne any ideas today, don’t. He’s in a right fucking mood. Vin and me took him our Reeves and Mortimer scripts for Freedom. He pissed all over them – said it was hardly the first time he’d seen them in an ad campaign. Vin pointed out that this was the first time anyone had used them in a mail-order shopping ad, but it didn’t wash. (Vin didn’t mention that the only reason we wrote scripts for them was so he could boast to his mates back in Liverpool that he’d spent 2 days shooting with Britain’s Dandiest Comedians.)

Anyway, who the fuck does he think he is, going on about originality? Poxy Little and fucking Large? Tosser. You know Barry Clement used to be his art director? My mate Nick is in his group at Abbott Mead now and apparently Clement claims Horne didn’t have one original thought in the four years they were together. Clement used to come up with all the ideas and all Horne ever said was “yes, love, but is it a gold?” They haven’t spoken since they split up and Clement nearly lamped him at D&AD last year.

Anyway, what happened to you after BZ last night? You were all over that temp like chicken pox. Vin’s well pissed with you. Says he saw her first.

 Susi Judge-Davis – 1/4/00, 9:39amto:Creative Departmentcc: re:Simon’s diary

Si’s having a terribly stressful morning, so if you have work you need to see him with, could you keep it till later, please. If it’s frightfully urgent, give it to me and I’ll try to get it in front of him. Thx . . . Susi.

 Melinda Sheridan – 1/4/00, 9:39amto:Harriet Greenbaum
James Gregorycc: re:bat suits

A dickie bird tells me that we are no longer to produce three forty-second commercials for Mako featuring Messrs Little and Large.

Why are us mugs in the TV production department always the last to hear information of crucial relevance to us?

It represents no loss to me – personally I find L&L about as amusing as a trip to my gynecologist. However, Simon assured me that the scripts were as good as signed off by the client and you must be aware that we have contracts with these alleged gentlemen of mirth. They will expect money. They have also been to four wardrobe sessions, so I now have a pair of made-to-measure bat suits with pink Lycra capes in my possession, as well as an invoice for £16,000.

It never rains, darlings . . .

 Nigel Godley – 1/4/00, 9:39amto:Carla Brownecc: re:help mate

Top o’ the morning! It was so nice to be able to help you with your document last night. Remember that creating presentable charts in PowerPoint is easy-peasy so long as you remember Nige’s Handy Hints! Any time I can be of service, look me up in my little cubby in accounts – Nige.

P.S. want first option on the waffle iron?

 Carla Browne – 1/4/00, 9:52amto:Zoë Clarkecc: re:fuck, fuck, bloody fuck!!!!!

Fucking hell!!!! I’ve done the stupidest thing!!!!!!! I only got that dick Nigel who does the time sheets to help me with the Coke document last night. I’m a fucking idiot, I know – but it was nearly midnight and I just wanted to go home!!!! Now I can’t get rid of him!!!!!!!! Think he fancies me!!!!!! What am I gonna do?!!!!!! He wears grey slip-ons and he’s into the Shopping Channel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cxxx

 James Gregory – 1/4/00, 9:54amto:Harriet Greenbaumcc: re:it wasn’t me!

Meet the Author

MATT BEAUMONT is a creative director at an ad agency in London, and is the author of e and five other books.

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E: A Novel 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
... you must read this. You will not put it down, you will laugh out loud 'even if you ususally don't' no matter where you are, you will buy a stack of five and give it to your best friends as never-wrong presents. I have the UK version of this 'which probably is even a tad more on target, as it uses the local peculiarities of TV programmes, celebrities, etc.', and I pick it up and read it again once or twice a year. What I like most about it that after a few pages, you would not even have to read the headers of the various emails, the writing style gives it away immediately - the attention to detail of each personality is remarkable. And personalities there are many: The best description is on the back, for example introducing CEO David C. as holding an MBA from the Joseph Stalin School of Management. And he does live up to that reputation... Side effects of reading may inlcude: - complete disrespect for the advertising profession - serious concern on what the money you spend on everyday products really pays for - strong desire to actually swap into the plot as one of the characters (Vince, anyone? - Liam is taken!) Get it and enjoy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Common sense tells us that it isn't advisable to do it's laughing out loud to yourself on the NY City public transportation system. While reading this book, I found myself unable to do anything during my commute to my job in advertising - and I couldn't put 'e' down. If you've ever worked for an ad agency, or media, PR or fashion oriented company, or known anyone who has, you'll immediately recognize the cast of ultra trendy, self-aggrandizing, self-centered and ultimately appalling characters in this most delightful and hysterical book. From the temp secretaries to the CEOs and everyone in between, you'll get a rollicking e-mail exchange between computer challenged, overpaid and under worked leeches who live on booze, drugs, cigarettes and beer and live to party at company (or supplier) expense - except for the token hippie. Though based in a London ad agency during its pitch for the european arm of a US account, readers from all over the world are guaranteed to be laughing a host of stereotypes, including many outrageous, politically incorrect international jabs. Don't miss this book - you'll find yourself returning to it when you're really in need of a laugh.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hands down, 'e' is one of the funniest -- if not the funniest -- books on my shelf. If only for the e-mail/return e-mail format alone, this is one of the most clever books I've ever read. Spend the money; it's worth it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Without a shadow of a doubt the funniest book I have read in years(if not ever). The format of E-Mails telling the story creates such a pace that you simply cannot put this one down(a much over used phrase, but in this case TRUE). Whatever sphere of life you live in, you know somebody(s) in this book, enjoy assigning the characters to people in your world. You'll never see 'em in the same light again. The sequel about the Christmas party (The E before Christmas)is every bit as good. Keep up the good work Matt.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the funniest books I have EVER read! Hysterically funny and insightful, but you should be warned: Do NOT read this book in a public place unless you want people staring at you when you laugh, which you will do often.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I'm a college student and one day I was in the bookstore and was looking for a book. After carrying this one around the store for a while, I just decided to get it and I'm soooo glad I did. It was not only very hysterical, but it was also VERY enlightening! A fabulous pick for anyone at all interested in business, technology or simply a good story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you work in advertising, this book is hysterical. I couldn't put it down. And if you're thinking about a career in advertising, this will give you an idea of what you're getting yourself into.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Matt Beaumont gets inside the head of a London advertising agency, through its email system. One of the most laugh-out-loud funny books I have ever read...read it on an airplane, and thought the flight attendants were going to duct tape my mouth shut. Wonderful use of a new genre, 'email' as a story telling vehicle. Fabulous and poisonous, and can't-put-it-down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that you just don't put down. Its a brilliant cocktail of office politics, genius (and not so genius)scams and British humour. Anyone who's ever worked in an ad agency will automatically recognize the kind of characters in the book, but the laughs are universal. We've all worked with backstabbers, bullxxxx artists and people who are way to caught up in themselves to realize that they're walking comedy. Odds are, you'll enjoy this read.