We don't wag the dog. We blow up the dog.
There's one magazine that has followed me around for the past twenty-odd years. It's called Werbung & Verkaufen, or WUV. It's a German advertising magazine, and it's based here in Munich. I've fallen in and out of love with it at least a hundred times since 1998. We're currently experiencing a lengthier period of romance that might have my wife worried.
I can clearly remember holding a copy of it in my hands for the first time at Ammirati Puris Lintas in Frankfurt: I think it was lying around in the account management (Kontakter!) department and if I'm honest, it baffled me. You see, Lintas had just hired me out of a promising career as a mediocre artist and into the world of something that they called "New Media". The only "industry press" I'd known up until then was FLASH ART international - but here was WUV and the mysterious world of German advertising.
Much has happened to WUV and MJHB since then. We're both older, wiser and both of us has lost weight. I think we've aged well. We're an odd couple.
It would be difficult for me to imagine writing The Passing Trilogy performances without having WUV sitting on my desk as a constant source of inspiration, irritation, frustration, facts, figures and hilarity.
I'm delighted to announce that I'll be writing a column of fiction exclusively for WUV. It's called "Blow Up The Dog". It's a twelve-part series about the most successful communications agency the world has never heard of: The Black Operatives Department.
The Black Operatives Department has appeared in one form or other since my first performance hack, The Snowden Pitch, back in 2014 and Blow Up The Dog will give readers and loyal followers of my work the first behind the scenes look at the agency that changed the world one KPI at a time. The series looks at everything from adtech, agile transparency sessions, protagonist tropes, programmatic politics, trust, influencers and whistleblowers. It's also a tale of agencies, terrible pitches, underqualified clients and interdepartmental infighting.
The series starts today with episode 1: The Whistleblower Pitch, with a new story appearing every month for the next twelve months.
The Black Operatives Department is a global agency, their story is universal, and so WUV has decided to publish the series in its original language - English, which is marvellous for those of you who don't speak German.
I'm sincerely excited about the stories and genuinely honoured that WUV is jumping into the world of the Black Operatives Department. Do go and have a read. Subscribe. I really hope you'll enjoy the series.
Let the chaos begin. Blow up the dog.