Some Light Begging

As most of you know, I’m now a full-time student with no income save for the few dollars per month the blog ads bring in (which covers hosting and anti-spam). Now I’m not in danger of starvation, but it would be nice if I could get a few quid coming in, especially now I’ve launched the podcast.

To that end I’ve set up a Patreon page where wealthy, generous people can pledge a portion of their hard earned cash to ease my burden when writing about social issues, politics, management, and, erm, polyamory and carrier bags. There’s no obligation of course but if anyone who enjoys my output on a regular basis wishes to donate, it would be much appreciated. And if Laurie Penny can get nearly £$4k per month…


Rogue Adverts

I’ve had a couple of messages regarding rogue adverts which pop up and take over the browser. If this happens, drop me a line with the URL of the advert in and I’ll get them blocked.

Sorry about that.


Open Thread

I’m busy for the next few days – exams, seminars, and company visits – so I’ll not post anything today, and maybe not Friday or Saturday either. So it’s another open thread I’m afraid.

The good news is I’m working on another podcast and am sorting the hosting out; the first one can be found here for those of you who had trouble before:

I’m also on iTunes, Apple having deemed I’m not a Nazi, at least for now.

In the meantime, talk nicely amongst yourselves.


TV Advertising

Does anyone know anything about how TV advertising works in the UK? I’m doing a case study for my MBA and need to know a bit about how it’s structured.

I assume there is an intermediary, some sort of advertising agency, between (say) Coca-Cola and (say) ITV. So Coca-Cola produce an advert and rather than take it directly to ITV, they go through the intermediary. So, does anyone know:

1. Who the main intermediaries are in the UK?

2. What their role is? Do they get a list of slots from ITV, etc. with a price alongside each one, and fill them accordingly with ads their clients have given them?

Or have I got this wrong somehow? I’m looking for the basic structure of the business here, not whether it’s outdated, relevant in today’s world, etc. Any help would be much appreciated.



About once a week I get an email from some company, usually to do with energy, telling me about some development or other which might interest me (I seem to be on some list as an energy blogger). Normally I delete them but I’d just been given an assignment as part of my studies so decided I’d reply to one I got two weeks ago. First I rang the person who’d sent it to express my interest, left a message, and they emailed me back. Then I sent this email:

Many thanks for getting in touch. I am currently an MBA student Geneva, and I wonder if I may talk to one of your spokespeople about the change. In particular, I’d like to ask:

1) Why XXX was split off from YYY and sold?

2) What opportunities will arise from XXX being a stand-alone company? For example, will they have easier access to capital for new products or research projects?

3) What, if anything, will change in terms of management style of the company? For example, will regional offices be able to act more independently within a more streamlined approval process?

My time zone is GMT+2. I’m generally available weekdays between 9am and 4pm (my time), or after 10:30pm. Are any of your spokespeople based in Europe?

I never heard back from the person I’d spoken to. So why do you reckon that is? They actually read my blog and decided they’d better stay well clear? They don’t want to waste their time with students? Or my questions were stupid of awkward?

Amusingly, I also got this email the other day from someone who definitely doesn’t read my blog very closely:

My name is Sonya, and I’m the founder of Her Aspiration. I wanted to reach out to you after coming across this page of yours:

We recently put together a piece Donald Trump’s quotes about women… an annoying subject for all of us. We think with the elections coming up, the more people we educate about his attitude towards women, the better. 

Here it is:

Would you consider adding a link to it in the page of yours I mentioned above? It’d really make my day 🙂

Let me know what you think!

Well, I’ve posted it, although not in the place requested. Do you think I made her day? Answers in the comments, please.


Open Thread

I’ve got lots I want to write about but I’m rather busy at the moment with school stuff. So let’s have another open thread.

To kick things off, I was at a conference yesterday where someone representing a large, influential supranational organisation known by its acronym said the following:

“Our global goals have been agreed between governments and private business.”

Is that good or bad?



So the university staff have found my blog; I wondered how long it would take. They’ve not made any remarks, other than an offhand comment from one of the professors at a party last night that he’d read what I’d written. The next question is how long it’ll take my fellow students to find it.

Yesterday one of my professors, who is Indian-born and trained as a lawyer in his home country before moving to Switzerland, remarked he doesn’t like socialism, is in favour of anarcho-capitalism, and is a libertarian. I was rather cheered by this. Would I have got a professor echoing similar sentiments if I’d gone to a US college, or Manchester Business School? Or would I have had to listen to anti-Trump diatribes and monologues on the virtues of Barack Obama?

I’ve only been here two weeks, but thus far I’ve seen no sign that ideological conformity is demanded from my school; on the contrary, robust debate and contradictory opinions seem to be encouraged. That alone is probably worth the monthly parking fees in Geneva.


Professor Worstall

Today I sat a test to benchmark my knowledge on business, finance, economics, organisational behaviour, etc. at the start of my course. The idea is I’ll sit the same test at the end and see whether anything has sunk into my thick skull, or it all went in one ear and out the other.

I’m not sure how I did because they don’t give you the results, but some questions I had absolutely no idea about. Of the ones I did, I’d say a good three quarters I was able to answer mainly because I’d spent the past ten years reading Tim Worstall’s blog. Perhaps we should start calling him Prof.



Apologies for the lack of post yesterday: I am moving house and all my stuff got delivered yesterday. I’m sure most of you know what that’s like.

Posting will be a little sporadic over the next few days. I’m flying to Thailand tomorrow, then from 13th to 22nd September I’ll be in Perth visiting friends down under. If any Perth-dwellers wants to meet me for a drink, let me know. I am assuming William of Ockham and Bardon will nip over from the east coast, so I’ll not be alone.


Open Thread

I’m off to the south of France for a couple of days, then onto Annecy. I doubt I’ll be doing a whole lot of blogging, but we’ll see. In the meantime, why not discuss stuff among yourselves? I might even join in.