This week, I made a fatal error in a marketing boardroom. I walked in with a takeaway Seattle coffee. My client’s eyes widened like saucers and I felt them burning through me. I should have just sustained my caffeine desperation and waited for a cup of my client’s own brand of coffee. It’s an easy mistake to make, but avoidable if we allow ourselves to live with the duality of being consumers and advertisers. There is something fantastically old-fashioned about being brand loyal. At Ogilvy, my first agency, brands that weren’t part of Ogilvy’s stable weren’t welcome in the building. Directors had to drive an Audi, the agency’s premier account, and I would have driven one too were it not for my meagre junior salary. At Ogilvy, this loyalty was made law, but there was merit in it because it allowed you to believe in, and fall in love with, the products you tirelessly tried to sell. We’re in a world that deals in the politics of choice and because of this, brand loyalty is perceived as...

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