Are We Witnessing The Return Of The Business Bellend?

I've read here and there about a regression back towards the horrific greed is good days of the 80's; the increasing gap between rich and poor, a new wave of yuppies, selfish, chest-beating bellends barking at each other about BUSINESS! whilst eating sushi or playing tennis, their whole happiness based around the relative movement of a few numbers on a spreadsheet or whether or not someone thinks of them as a formidable business person. Looking at some commercials that have launched recently (see below) I'm starting to worry it might be true. I find it hard to believe that there are still people out there in the world who act like this, but I guess there must be. We've seen this kind of character or lifestyle depicted in movies – American Psycho, Wall Street, Fight Club or Wolf Of Wall Street etc. as part of the telling of a dystopian story or dark, troubled character, but now it seems marketers are seriously expecting us to see it as aspirational. The idea that there are some advertising people who see this as something good to put in commercials is weird enough. But that a brand like Virgin Atlantic would want to align itself with this kind of business bellendery is completely perplexing. "Fly with us if you're a complete moron" appears to be the message. Is this a reflection of the regression of society a whole, or is it more likely a reflection the cultures of modern ad agencies and marketing departments? What do you think, dear reader?

Commercial for One Blackfriars (link to the story only, unfortunately the ad has been pulled).


  1. I wonder if this is a London trend. Our poor city is in the grip of premiumisation - look at the way in which ES magazine, for example, promotes it as a paradise for overpriced consumerism.

    The reality is that most of the financial liquidity driving this trend comes from an international elite made out of bankers, Saudi royalty, Russian oligarchs etc. The kind of people who buy £4m apartments as investment vehicles, which is exactly what happened at One Hyde Park - see

    Advertising has to mystify this status quo, and has therefore seized upon the figure of the young entrepreneur as an idealisation of swaggering financial confidence. The reality is that most genuine entrepreneurs are bootstrapped and more likely to be working out of your local coffee bar than jumping on Virgin flights etc.

  2. Like the 90's w@nker Audi ad without the clever bit.

  3. These come to mind:

    Whaddaya say, Mr. Sell Sell?

  4. Intersting Anon, interesting. Both of those commercials appear to attempt to subvert the old business bellendry, but you can't help but feel that they revel in it a bit too much, like secretly they wouldn't mind if you took all that ambition puffery out of of it and mussed the subversion.

  5. The most basic problem is that surely if you're trying to launch your idea/business the last thing you're going to do is spunk ask your money up the wall on first class flights.


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