SOME of the most creative minds in advertising gather together to come up with a concept for a TV campaign for one of their big-name brands.
Each of those gathered around the table take home in the region of £500k a year with the opportunity to make massive bonuses if the company in question gives their innovative campaign the nod.
The guru at the head of the table throws the floor open.
"I've got an idea," says concept genius No 1. "I'm just throwing it up in the air, seeing which way the wind blows, wondering whether it will fly..."
"Go ahead, No 1. You've come up with some brilliant ideas in the past... pot noodle, mashed potato, car insurance... how on earth can you top that?"
"Well," explains concept genius No 1. "I thought maybe we could make it topical. I am thinking: What's going to be going on over the next month, what will get hours of TV time, what is one of the most popular sports in the world? I know it's a bit of blue sky thinking but... why don't we link it to the football World Cup?"
The faces around the table begin to light up as they consider such a novel idea.
"Brilliant!" says one concept genius.
"Outstanding!" says another.
"No one else will think of that. I can really pick the ball up and run with that one," says a third.
"Ok No 3," says the boss. "how can you actually visualise this working?"
"Well," says concept guy No 3. "We are trying to advertise cars. And we are trying to link it with the World Cup so... what about we get some cars, paint them in the colours of football teams, and get them playing football?"
"Wow! Brilliant. Tremendous. An absolutely mind-bending concept. Why don't we all give ourselves £1m bonuses and run with it."
The heads around the table nod vigorously.
"Right, that's one sorted. Now, there is this website advertising for people to sell them cars. Apparently they will buy anything. Any thoughts on this one?"
Concept guru No 2, feeling left out of the earlier discussion, chimes in... "Why don't we get a girl sat behind a desk as if she is reading the news. Then some catchy little jingle starts up with the words 'We buy any car' and suddenly... a football bounces across, she grabs it and then, along with six or seven dancers, she plays an impromptu game of keepy uppy, before sitting back down at the desk again."
"Superb!" says the boss. "That's a £1m bonus to you too, No 2."
The amount of advertising with tenuous links to the world's greatest sporting event is enough to make me rant at the screen. It has to be said that some of them are pretty clever - the Carlsberg England team talk and the ad which was updated with the boys in the middle of the desert asking about the World Cup scores are pretty inventive.
But when EVERY advert somehow manages to contain a football, or reference to the event in South Africa, you really start to despair. I wonder how that chocolate bar, famous for being deep fried in Scottish chip shops, is selling north of the border after pinning itself totally to the England cause. It is no wonder our footballers seem to move twice as slowly as some of the other teams in this competition if they have been indulging in sweet treats during the build up.
By all means advertise food high in protein or carbohydrate, but not the kind of stuff that, when eaten with gay abandon, makes you feel so bloated and cumbersome that it makes it a major feat to touch your toes. Perhaps England's goalkeeper Rob Green had been indulging a bit too much on free supplies of chocs from the England team sponsor before his glaring boo boo cost them the match in the 1-1 draw with the USA on Saturday.
There is a week to go before the big one - no, not England-Slovenia but the day little Rippers is brought into the world. Tense stuff.
Mrs Rippers and I are trying to relax as much as we can before the big event - and fortunately for me this means resting in front of the TV watching every match I possibly can.
I am already starting to wonder, though, whether this might classify as one of the more boring World Cups. There have been some decent stories but none of the football thus far - bar those blasted Germans - has really set the World alight. Mind you, we still have Brazil and Spain to come.
My little Clio Ramsey was supposed to be named after the famous Scottish chef by virtue of the fact he was a wee bit temperamental.
Now I realise that Gordon actually spells his surname with two a's. Sir Alf - manager of that England World Cup winning side of 66, does spell his name with an e, however. An omen?
God, I am starting to sound like all those people around me who know b**ger all about football but don England shirts, fly the cross of St George and endlessly talk themselves into believing we can win the damn thing when all the evidence says otherwise.
These bouts of "false" jingoism, no doubt inspired by marketing men and advertisers conning them out of their hard earned cash, really get on my t*ts.