Updated: Mar 16, 2019
About Mark: Gay, involved in marketing and loves old cars. Worked for a considerable time in the "macho" car industry but as a student worked in the fashion industry, having been asked in a job interview "How do you feel about working in women's clothing?" You can guess the response OK well it was "if you've got anything that fits I will give it a try"), that had the personnel manager falling off her chair laughing.
Moved to Torbay in 2002 for what was to be an early retirement. Like The Maleroom Collection, that idea didn't quite work out so now work in the tourism industry here which I suppose one could argue is about as close as one is ever likely to get to an early retirement.
Work Description: Inspired by the iconic Tennis Girl photograph
We booked a venue for 6 hours, cobbled together a few props, asked the lads in the office if they wanted a day off work and fortunately knew a professional photographer in the TV industry who later admitted “he had never done anything quite like this before and had thoroughly enjoyed the experience”.
Each photograph selected was given a brief caption reflecting the product seen in each photograph and the resulting collection was presented to marketing managers (accompanied by representatives from their advertising agencies) in major companies around the UK. They were asked to look at each photograph in turn, name the product, and at the end asked to name the target audience. The men in the meetings said "women" and the women in the meetings said "gay men".
We literally had people climbing over boardroom tables to get a better view of the photographs and you could sense a buzz coming from the advertising agency people in attendance.
Our plan was to publish a coffee table book that would be published and distributed to venues throughout the UK; with mainstream advertisers recovering their initial advertising costs through print/poster sales.
Called The Maleroom Collection, it very nearly succeeded only to be scuppered by a small handful of advertising agencies persuading their clients to use the traditional media to promote their products in the same manner we had suggested.
The rest they say is history. You may recall Halfords "Chains and Leather" adverts which appeared just weeks after we had discussed The Maleroom Collection.
Like our photographer "Mike the Fish", hope you enjoy the experience...