Agony Jim: A Question of Quality

July 12, 2016 / Humour

By Jim Watkins

Veteran producer and sage cum digital native Jim Watkins solves your advertising conundra.
This edition: The transcendental joys to be found in quality management certification.

Dear Jim,

I was asked this question by a client as part of our engagement, and, though, answering the second part took several months, it took myself and my organisation on a journey deep inside ourselves. I thought I would share its thought provoking content with your readers.

“Does your organisation hold a recognised quality management certification for example BS/EN/ISO 9000 or equivalent?”

“If you do not have a quality certification or a quality management system, please explain why”

Hubert Von Achtsneunzehn


Dear Hubert,

There comes a time in all our lives where we must face the issue of whether we hold a recognised quality management certification for example BS/EN/ISO 9000 or equivalent.

I myself have held such a certification since 1928, when, as a young man, I was one of the first (alongside Bertrand Russell and JM Keynes) to attend a box ticking session organised by a faceless management organisation somewhere in the Midlands. It may have been Daventry, though at the time I was experimenting with early hallucinogenics.

What JM, Bertie and I understood, was that it is unfair to expect anyone - a client, a friend, a passer by - to engage with another individual or organisation on any level without being assured that someone else whom they have no detailed understanding of or particular reason to trust, has first given that individual or organisation a complicated sounding stamp of approval.

The certification itself, particularly the much revered BS 9000 (a lithe, sleek reimagining of the trusty old BS 8000), mitigates against unfortunate and eminently preventable instances of clients being held to account for their own decisions.

Should anything go wrong, the certificate activates a 'magic gas', which obliterates anything in its path, including the mistake, thus wiping history clean and restoring things to their rightful place. In the meantime, it guarantees peace of mind. Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM, as they used to say before IBM fell from grace, causing several people no doubt to be fired.

Personally, I have never regretted holding the certification, and keep it framed on the wall above my bed. I have found it invaluable, not least with lady friends, who, upon entering the bedroom to the dim twinkle of candlelight and the sound of late-era Marvin Gaye oozing from the Radiogram in the corner, are reassured to know that the standard of service they will be receiving has been internationally recognised as 'adequate'.

Yours in advertising,



If you have a production problem you think Jim Watkins can help with, please email, quoting Agony Jim.

Comments (1)

  • Well. Quality is the most important thing in whatever field you choose or whatever work you do. The buy essay uk also focuses on the quality. I really appreciate this post for its perfect content and all.

    by Lilly on 2018 05 10

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