As It Happens

Convince us James Blunt isn't 'a waste of air' and you'll get the job, says Swedish ad agency

If you want to work at David Borg’s advertising agency in Sweden you need powers of persuasion so enticing that you can get the office to like James Blunt.
James Blunt is shown in the video for his hit song You're Beautiful. (James Blunt/WMG/YouTube)

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The following is a job posting from an advertising agency in Sweden:

Can you convince us that half the planet is way off the mark and James Blunt's new pop album is absolutely world class? We're looking for people with a creative streak, but also someone who is such a good seller they can convince the entire office that James Blunt's new album should be played through the speakers on repeat.

David Borg, a partner at the Stockholm-based Borg and Owilli content agency, has tasked prospective employees with what he sees as a near-impossible challenge.

He spoke with As It Happens host Carol Off about his beef with Blunt — and his respect for ABBA.
James Blunt performs on stage during a concert in Shanghai, China on Aug. 21, 2011. (VCG/Getty Images)

Carol Off: Mr. Borg, what's your problem with James Blunt?

David Borg: He's, like, symbolic for emptiness. It doesn't mean nothing, his music. It doesn't mean nothing, what he writes. It's a waste of air, I think.

CO: Ouch. Well is there any specific song or anything you can point to?

DB: [Laughs] No, I don't think your audience wants me to sing to them.

CO: OK, there's the song You're Beautiful — what's wrong with someone saying, "you're beautiful?"

DB: He's high and he follows a girl that is married to someone else. So he is like a stalker. That's quite dark.

CO: What are the other lyrics in the song, besides "you're beautiful?"

DB: "I saw your face, in an empty place, and I don't know how to do."

CO: You have it memorized? You know the song by heart?

DB: I've heard it like 500 or 600 times — he's more like Bryan Adams.

CO: Bryan Adams!? Oh my gosh, you're going after all the icons.

DB: Yeah. He has had like one hit and also like a vacuum of music.

CO: OK, well how about ABBA?

DB: ABBA has like 15 or 20 hits, I think. ABBA has some great, great songs actually. [James Blunt] is actually quite funny. He is hilarious sometimes. I also think that he doesn't like his own music. I think he has figured out how to do music that he can earn money on. 
James Blunt performs on stage during a concert in Ischgl, Austria on Nov. 29, 2014. ( Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images)

CO: But he is very, very popular.

DB: Yes, but that's also, like, here in Europe, you have the alt-right movement — they are also popular but not good. Donald Trump also, and he's not good. So that doesn't mean anything. 

CO: If you were the one applying for this job and you had to come up with an argument, give us your best pitch for why someone should listen to James Blunt.

DB: Okay. James Blunt is a genius. He is just provoking the world and in any moment, he will tell the world it was all a joke. Maybe?

CO: All right... that's your best pitch?

DB: I will fire myself tomorrow.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. For more on this story, listen to our full interview with David Borg.


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