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The big sell

The less attention we pay to advertising, the more it succeeds

By Will Self   June 2012

A Saatchi-designed poster for Castlemaine XXXX lager in 1991, when “the big, creative ad lumbered through the world”

When I was in my mid-teens I went to stay with my American uncle who, following a pioneering triple-heart bypass operation (he was always an early-adopter, for reasons that will soon become clear), had retired to Montserrat in the Caribbean. There are lots of things I still recall about that month in the intense sun—the sulphurous fumaroles on the top of the island, ones that years later were to erupt to such devastating effect; the red hair and dark faces of the…

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