Say what you will about Boris Johnson, former mayor of London and newly minted U.K. prime minister, but it can’t be denied that his bright blond mop of hair, penchant for the limelight and history of gaffes while in office at least give him a distinct personal brand (albeit one that’s drawn comparisons to America’s President Donald Trump).
Now that he’s officially taken on the U.K.’s top job, some creatives at Huge London have put together a set of brand guidelines for Johnson that include, according to the agency, “suggestions for tone of voice, typeface, art direction and personal values.”
Although it may look official on the surface, “Boris: The Brand” is really just a compilation of his worst offenses to date.
For instance, it’s recommended that he take heed of the saying “all PR is good PR,” a reference to his history of sexist, homophobic and racist remarks (last year, he said that Muslim women wearing burqas look like “letter boxes”).
In a comical list of “dos and don’ts,” it’s suggested that Johnson not mention the fact that his failed Garden Bridge project, which involved building a bridge covered with trees and flowers over the River Thames in central London, ended up costing taxpayers £43 million. Instead, the guidelines propose that he position the abandoned project as a “shining example” of the vision he had for London during his time as mayor.
“Boris: The Brand” hones in on the ephemeral ethos of the U.K.’s newly appointed leader: “polarising, ludicrous, baffling,” Huge London said.
While it’s meant to be satirical play, some are finding it to be all too real. Andy Oakes, founder and managing director of London-based communications agency Bluestripe, said it’s likely that a number of Johnson’s right-wing comrades are in the midst of putting together a document that’s eerily similar.
“The thing to remember about these guidelines is that whilst they are a grimly appropriate parody, there will be a set somewhere which won’t be that far from these put together by [Steve] Bannon, Lynton Crosby or Carrie Symonds, all heavily inspired by the Trump playbook,” said Oakes.
Agency: Huge London
Creative Directors: Hari Bajwa and Cátia Oliveira
Technologist: Ant Galvin