I have to say, I absolutely loved The Apprentice this week! The task set to them was to create and publish a ‘Freemium’ (free magazine) and then sell advertising slots to three top agencies! The team with the highest advertising revenue earned would then win. Team leader this week for team Venture was Jim and on team Logic it was Natasha, both of which were decided by Lord Sugar himself.
Team Logic decided to go for a lad’s mag called Covered, basing this decision on the concept that “sex sells”. Helen and Tom seemed to completely grasp the concept that they should go a bit more upmarket as they spoke to a focus group who explained their dislike towards the stereotypical lad’s mags. They pinpointed the ideals of a fun but more serious magazine than the current typical lad’s mag which you would have assumed that team leader Natasha would have embraced! Don’t be silly, of course she didn’t! The front cover featured a half-naked girl and a finance feature called “How to Blow Your Load.” Lovely.
Going completely in the other direction, team Venture decided to focus on people aged over 60 for their Freemium. Some of the names they came up with were truly awful and sounded like bad perfumes and eventually they ended up with the name Hip Replacement. The whole point of the Freemium was to be saying that 60 is the new 30 and for it to be an uplifting magazine for people of that age range. Something which they seemed to quickly forget! It turned into the exact opposite and was patronising with so called Technology Features explaining how to make a phone call. Oh how uplifting.
With their Freemium published, they had to pitch their shiny new magazines to 3 of the biggest buyers of advertising space. For Logic, their magazine ‘Covered’ received very mixed reactions, with one of the buyers calling it out-dated and another saying that it needed toned down. For Team Venture the name was rightly branded “terrible” by all of the buyers and the mismatched tone and loss of irony in the name of the magazine was also picked up on. One buyer however, did think that it was an ideal niche market and that the contents of the magazine looked good. Jim’s lack of negotiation and resistance to offering discount was not well received which ‘Bambi’ aka Susan clearly pointed out.
Next step – the boardroom. It really did seem like team Venture had it in the bag with their mag for the “oldies” however, team Logic swooped in at the last moment and were saved by the last agency who offered to take all the advertising pages which equalled a grand (winning) total of £60,000 to their revenue. This of course meant that Jim and his team were headed for a grilling from the Sugar monster himself. How Jim managed to stay I have no idea! He came across terribly by alienating his entire team and being ridiculously arrogant. Karen even described him as “passive aggressive.” However, somehow he escaped from the taxi of doom and it was Glen that we said farewell to. Not a great loss to the show, but it is safe to say that a lot of people now eagerly await Jim’s firing! Bring on next week as they jet of to Paris. Let’s hope we will be saying au revoir to Jim!!!