What would you consign to Marketing Room 101?

As much as we all love the business of marketing, it is undoubtedly full of transient buzz phrases and concepts ripe for extinction.

For those who weren’t at Marketing Week Live and aren’t familiar with television show Room 101 – where celebrities attempt to dump their biggest bugbears – we hosted a discussion where Marketing Week columnists nominated their worst of the worst.

From gender stereotypes, to the over use of the term ‘agility’, read on or watch the video above to see what Mark Ritson, Tanya Joseph and Colin Lewis want to see banished from the world of marketing.

On the day, the audience decided what was consigned. Now it’s your chance to vote.

Don’t agree with our panellists or think we’ve missed something? You can also nominate something of your own by tweeting us @MarketingWeekEd


Gender stereotypes

Tanya Joseph, consultant and ISBA’s director of public affairs, kicked off nominations with ‘gender stereotypes’, suggesting her proposal should not come as a surprise to anyone who reads her regular columns in Marketing Week.

The two things she finds most “hurtful” are brands depicting the “doofus dad” who is incapable of looking after his children and the “woman eating salad”.

She believes this simply perpetuates stereotypes and makes men think if they aren’t the doofus dad then perhaps they aren’t normal.

“We put women up who don’t reflect real women, and we put men up who don’t reflect real men. It’s lazy,” she argued.

gender stereotypes

Mark Ritson weighed in, suggesting demographic segmentation is “total wank”.

“If demographic segmentation was right almost everyone in this room would be in the same group for everything. And gender, race, age and income aren’t just insulting because we’re starting with characteristics but they aren’t of any commercial use,” he added.


For his own nomination, Ritson was quick to slam the industry’s overuse of the term ‘digital’, arguing that “everything is digital”.

Ritson said marketers need to go back to that old age approach of starting with customers, developing a brand strategy and then choosing the best tools on the table rather than suggesting they’re going to “take a digital-first approach.”

“This is something I know very clear to be true, if you’ve got digital in your title, you’re fucked. If you’re on the client side and your title says digital, wake up, there’s no such thing as digital,” he said.

He also noted that outdoor advertising is becoming more digital and 70-85% of newspaper revenue is generated from online subscriptions.

“Show me what’s not digital. Digital marketing is just marketing,” he concluded.

READ MORE: Mark Ritson on the shit that does and doesn’t matter in marketing

Twitter hype

Colin Lewis, CMO of OpenJaw Technologies, feels strongly that “Twitter must die”, describing the platform as “bullshit and the biggest time zapper going around.

He said if you take a look at the top 100 marketers across the world, none are sitting at their desks tweeting all day. Instead, they’re working.

According to Lewis, Twitter users are spending just an average of 60 seconds a day on the platform.

“We have this belief that if a brand is slagged off on Twitter, bad things are going to happen. But let me tell you something, what’s a good judgement for a business? The market and its share price,” he said.

He then drew on last year’s United Airlines’ incident when a video showing Dr David Dao being aggressively dragged from one of its planes was shared on social media. Lewis said the company’s share price grew the day following the incident, despite negative publicity on Twitter.

“It’s all a big load of hype and Twitter has to die,” he concluded.

Ritson, meanwhile, described Twitter as a “false reality”.

Poor use of English

Joseph’s second nomination went to ridiculous marketing buzzwords, and there’s one in particular that really strikes a chord. The term, “reach out”.

Instead, she urged others to drop useless jargon while suggesting the term ‘reach out’ sounds “weird and pervy”.

FMCG dominance

Lewis also wanted to consign ‘FMCG dominance’ to Marketing Room 101. He believes there is a misconception that people who haven’t worked at big brands like Procter & Gamble or Kraft Heinz are lesser marketers.

“The amount of times I’ve gone for job interviews and people have said to me ‘Colin, maybe if you’d have worked for Heinz or Procter & Gamble, you’d have got the job’,” he recalled.

“How can this still be a common misconception in 2018, to say if you work for this brand you are somehow better than the guy working in B2B? What makes the person selling sugared water, better than the guy working in B2B?”

He then linked this idea to a recent study and feature by Marketing Week that focused on ‘marketing’s looming crisis’ and why students don’t want to work in the industry.

READ MORE: Marketing’s looming crisis – Why the industry must work harder to attract the next generation


Ritson’s second nomination is for being ‘agile’, which he believes is the opposite of strategy and instead simply means “we’ll just make it up as we go along”.

He added that a lot of marketers claim to be agile because they “don’t have a fucking strategy”.

“The vast majority of companies don’t have strategy because digital and agility is getting in the way of answering those strategic questions,” he said.

Watch the video to find out what made it into Marketing Room 101. And make your vote above.

What would you like to see consigned to Marketing Room 101? Tweet us @MarketingWeekEd to let us know. 



There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Helen Martin 23 Mar 2018

    I love the fact that the flashing ‘Job of the Week ‘ to the right of this article is… Head of Digital.

  2. Julian Pratt 26 Mar 2018

    Alongside “Agile”, I would add its cousin “pilot’ as s bullshit excuse for doing something you can’t bothered planning enough to know its not worth the effort

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