Burning Down The House

Neil Boorman, a literary Englishman, will burn all his branded worldly goods–including Jacobson chairs, Christian Dior shirts and a Louis Vuitton bag–on August 26 in attempt to rid himself of consumerism.
Boorman will then offer a consumer packed good to the public in 2007, as his book Bonfire of the Brands will be released by Canongate. His torching, while dripping with irony, seems like great theatre, and grand PR style. My hat’s off to the man. Promoting a book is no easy task in a media saturated society.
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Let’s hear from Boorman:

When I first started this book project, I was adamant that it would not turn into a simplistic, all-out brand bashing exercise. I thought (and still do) that the arguments raised by people like Naomi Klein were just a little bit simplistic, and that I would use this book/ documentary/ blog to argue for some sort of third way. The fact is that branded consumerism sustains competition in the marketplace. With no competition, there is no impulse for manufacturers to producer better products with greater value for money. Brands are wealth creators; they provide employment across the globe, and ultimately they make our lives infinitely more comfortable. So I have been keen to avoid the No Logo supporters’ calls to ‘bring it all down’. Yes, I am burning all my own branded possessions, and I will be attempting to live my new life brand-free, but the book is really an experiment to see if it is actually possible to disconnect from branded consumerism.

According to Off-Centre, Neil was the publisher of Shoreditch Twat, the cult abrasive fanzine that is now synonymous with East London’s burgeoning creative scene. Circulating 25,000 monthly copies, contributing to several major exhibitions and a show on Channel 4, Shoreditch Twat stamped an indelible mark on London club culture.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.