All Hail the Chubby Welshman

Posted by on Oct 22, 2009 in behaviour change, Science | One Comment

BIG PROPS to both the IPA and it President Rory Sutherland for two big initiatives in recent weeks which show a previously staid, establishment organisation taking big steps into the present.

First, the IPA social initiative (which I've discussed here before) which a. acknowledged a problem with their previous attempts to engage with the issue b. opened itself up to the community to provide a correction c. embraced the recommendations of the community to engage in d. a conversational format for the session.

While Rory wasn't directly involved here, his presence elsewhere is one of the reasons why Nigel, Patrick, Pippa, Felicity and co all felt able to go in the direction we pointed them (more on this anon, btw).

Then, yesterday I attended the public reveal of Rory's big Behavioural Economics initiative at the RSA. The fabulous Matt Grist talked about the Social Brain Project we've been working on, the brilliant Nick Chater revealed some of his great work on decision-making and the lovely Nick Southgate did a great piece on beginning to work out some of the implications for adfolk of these new insights into human behaviour.

For me, this is a landmark initiative, a public recognition that the embedded models of human behaviour in the industry's practices are not the be-all and end-all; that might even be wrong…and that we need to do something about them, pronto

Regular readers will know that I've long championed the science that points to other models than either rational choice or the standard social science ones which have dominated our thinking for generations – indeed, that's really the HERD gig, tbh. To turn this into action, they've set up a series of seminars/training events next month for different disciplines in IPA member agencies.

The IPA & their self-proclaimed Chubby Welshman are on the move. Well done both.

So here's Rory and his lookilikee for you (or is it the other way round?)

1 Comment

  1. Tom D
    October 29, 2009

    I applaud the thinking and the initiative. And Rory is a great speaker and certainly the ad agencies need a good kicking up the arse.
    But is Behavioural Economics really any less of a ‘pseudo science’ than accounting, astrology or marketing speak?
    I wouldn’t be hanging my hat on the ‘hard science’ of it.
    To me, they’re switching one ‘bad science’ for another.
    (Where is Ben Goldacre…)