maandag 8 december 2014

Guest Post I Am Ella. Buy Me. Tour

Boom or bust?
How flat-chested author Joan Ellis survived Adland in the 80s.

Size mattered in the 80s. Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher ruled with the same iron rod as she measured us against. I wish someone had told me then, bigger was not necessarily better.

Back then, in Adland, women could be hired and fired on the size of their busts. If you were lucky enough to be well-endowed, your cup runneth over with job offers.  One comely girl was rumoured to have been paid in Porsches. I was flat-chested; you can do the math.

At a time when pay rises were calculated in direct ratio to the length of a woman’s legs, I never stood a chance at just five foot.

Just like Ella, in I am Ella. Buy me, I was a girl in a man’s world, macho Adland where men were men and women were, well, just women.

We were employed either as drop-dead gorgeous secretaries and receptionists or to work on female accounts. Us girlie copywriters really lucked out. When we weren’t penning adverts for nappies, sanitary towels and tampons, we were escaping the office leech. Wolves in wolves’ clothing, they stalked the corridors of power, disempowering girls in their wake.

‘Oh you’re wearing that cushion cover again,’ remarked one, referring to my skirt and drawing deeply on his cigarette. ‘I like it. Wear it more often.’

With an approving glance, he flicked his ash on the carpet and swaggered off leaving me wondering why I’d bothered going to college when all I really needed to have done was nip into Topshop and pick up a few flattering tops.

I was high on the radar when it came to attracting all the wrong attention, yet invisible in meetings.  People never heard what I said but were all ears when a male colleague spouted the same thing.

Yet, for all that, there were plenty of good guys. I teamed up with some of the best art-directors in the business, worked with wise, supportive creative-directors and had clients brave enough to take a punt. The resulting commercials went on to win awards and shape my career well beyond the 80s. 

Those gentlemen deserve my thanks and so do the rest. Without the chauvinists, there would be no Peter. Or Ella.

About The Book

Title: I am Ella. Buy me.
Author: Joan Ellis
Genre: Humor / Chick lit / Romance
‘I am a ginger tom. I am a boy racer. I am a housewife. I am a pain in the arse.’
Ella David is Bridget Jones meets Peggy from Mad Men.
Working in Soho’s mad, bad Adland in the sexist 80s, Ella is a rare beast – a woman in a man’s world, dodging her sleazy boss, Peter.
Based on Joan’s experiences in Soho’s mad, bad Adland, this fast-paced, funny tale is set against a backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain when money trumps morals
and lust is a must. Thankfully, Ella knows love is more powerful but can two unlikely friendships help her go from a girl in the firing line to a woman calling the shots?

Author Bio

Joan Ellis
Award-winning advertising copywriter, comedy writer, performer, lecturer – Joan Ellis has been them all. With a full-time job in a top London advertising agency and a new baby, she did what any right-minded woman would’ve done and set up a comedy club. She even appeared on the same bill as Jo Brand. Once.
A career highlight was casting a black and white moggie as Humphrey Bogart for her award-winning cat food commercial. Other great performers who brought her words to life include Penelope Keith and Harry Enfield.
As a lecturer, Joan taught comedian Noel Fielding all he knows about advertising before encouraging him to showcase his talents on a wider stage.
Working for The Press Association, she tutored Wordsworth’s
great-grandson in the art of copywriting: Buy a host of golden daffodils and get a blue one, free!
She was a lecturer in PR and Advertising at Bournemouth University.
She penned a regular column about her daughter for parenting glossy, Junior. Sophie is now eighteen and refuses to read a word her mother writes.
Suffering from swine flu and sweating like a pig, she moved from London to her beloved Isle of Wight where she writes and eats cream teas with her long-suffering husband, daughter and cat.
She recently launched her books at The Ventnor Fringe and the Isle of Wight Literary Festival.


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