My admiration for Julia Gillard began back in June 2010 when I realized we have this incredible psychic connection. At the time, I was working in a large multi-national ad agency as an Account Exec, where I supplemented my salary by writing an Insider column for the adland bible B&T.
My column spilled all the goss and secrets about what it was like to be an underpaid and overly-exploited attractive young female in the testosterone-fuelled world of Aussie advertising. My readers particularly enjoyed my under-the-covers manipulations of various libidinous creative directors; an activity I quickly learned was by far the easiest and most effective way for an ambitious young AE to get her briefs looked at ahead of all the other suits. The rest of my time was spent fending off CEO’s and CFO’s who seemed to think the fact that they occasionally put a tiny stipend into my permanently-depleted savings account gave them unfettered access to whichever parts of my body happened to be on display that day. (Well, it does get hot in those CBD boardrooms, and I quickly learned that you can show all the power points and pie charts in the world but nothing gets a client’s signature onto an over-inflated purchase order faster than a low-cut Cavalli.).
One of our many high-profile clients was a government account, which gave me lots of insights into the hectic world where politics and PR collide. OMG! Before too long I found myself adding the tantalizing words ‘spin nurse’ to my resume.
In early June 2010 I wrote a column about how I’d been called into a secret PR brainstorming session to draw up plans for a change at the very top of the Labor federal government. ‘Studio have done a whole series of mock-ups of what the hypothetical new PM might look like, and they’ve drawn her as this fierce ranga chick with a thin, pointy nose and equally thin lips’ I wrote. The hypothetical name of this mysterious new leader was ‘Jennifer’. In my story, our Executive Creative Director (who, let’s be frank, had the hots for me like an Islamic jihadist at a Cronulla bikini contest) came up with the slogan ‘Jenn 10’ which he thought was really clever until somebody had to explain to him that Jennifer was a hypothetical name for a hypothetical leadership challenger and therefore the slogan didn’t make any sense because it probably wasn’t the actual challenger’s real name.
Anyway, what was incredible was that the very same day my article was published (I had to write it about two weeks before it came out because of the printing deadline) Julia Gillard toppled Kevin Rudd in the middle of the night, just like I’d predicted!
Mumbrella – the cool media website – were gobsmacked. Who knew about the Gillard coup first? Inga van Kyck was their lead story next day. It said: ‘While Dr Mumbo has always had deep admiration for his counterpart at B&T, Inga van Kyck, the columnist has achieved something close to ESP in the latest edition of the magazine. The column… features Inga working on a highly topical piece of business: ‘OMG! We’ve been asked to work on a top secret creative development project for the Federal Labor Party called Operation Carrot Top.’ If only Kevin Rudd had subscribed to B&T he’d have had the warning he needed.’ Sooo true!
From that point on, I felt a real affinity for our first (woo hoo!) female PM. After all, it was like we had a special bond. Both of us are fiercely competitive; we had to fight our way up through the quota system to get to the top. I’m just glad I didn’t have to snuggle up with any smelly old union bosses or anything like that. (Our agency has to employ one token intern chick each year to prove that it isn’t sexist, so the competition is ultra fierce and you really have to be ‘hot as’ in order to win a place.)
Plus Julia and I both believe that misogyny is real and that it’s man-made.
On top of that, Julia and I both prefer to hang out with hairdressers because they don’t paw you the whole time like most guys do and you save a fortune on foils!
So I can’t wait to rush out and buy a copy of My Story. Coz it isn’t just Her Story. It’s mine too!
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Inga van Kyck is a freelance writer
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