How to Get Ahead in Advertising

The very model of a successful '80s man, with a lifestyle to match, advertising executive Dennis Bagley (Grant) has a severe zit problem: he can't work up a pitch for a new pimple cream campaign. Things come to a head when he has a very real commercial break, realises that what's wrong with the world is advertising's fault, and proceeds to rid his home of anything that is contaminated with the deadly virus of the promoters. Pustules are forgotten, until a check in the mirror reveals a talking boil on his neck. As Bagley's disgust at his profession grows, so does the carbuncle, a wretched alter ego taking over his life. Grant, as the charmingly meglomaniac Bagley, turns in a high-energy, bravura performance. The opening half-hour is outrageously brilliant, but descends into a pot-boiler of repetitive, if animated, soapbox preaching about the manipulation of punters by the denziens of Madison Avenue and their international brotherhood. That said, writer/director Robinson's dark comedy is bursting with inspired scenes taking the pus out of this powerful industry, and is spot on.

Release details

Duration: 94 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Bruce Robinson
Screenwriter: Bruce Robinson
Cast: Richard E Grant
Rachel Ward
Richard Wilson
Jacqueline Tong
John Shrapnel
Susan Wooldridge
Roddy Maude-Roxby
Tony Slattery
Sean Bean
Mick Ford
Jacqueline Pearce
LiveReviews|0
1 person listening