Marketers Jeer as Novelist Bites the Hand That Fed Him

22 November 2001

Addressing the pre-conference dinner of Britain's Marketing Society on Wednesday evening, journo-novelist Will Self had his audience on their feet – heckling, jeering and demanding that he resume his seat.

The controversy-seeking writer, as widely known for his dedicated Self-promotion as his literary accomplishments, had been hired to favour conference delegates with a speech entitled ‘2001-2010, a Marketing Odyssey’.

Predictably, given his predilection to headline grabbing, Self chose to focus less on a subject of which he knew little and concentrate instead on alienating his audience. His speech, scheduled for twenty minutes, dragged-on for forty-five as he first assured delegates that he “had respect for what you do; I really do” before stating at length his opposition to everything for which the Society stood.

By mid-performance some sections of the audience were standing and demanding that he shut-up. But Self, well versed in heckle-management, gave as good as he got and at the end of his harangue was politely applauded.

The well-staged dramatics left Self with several fans among the delegates: “They paid him to be controversial and that's exactly what he did,” said one attendee, a senior media executive. News source: CampaignLive (UK)

News source: CampaignLive (UK)