What links the following? Encyclopaedias, pinball machines, model ships, a barbershop pole and a deer head.

Movember. That's what.

I can’t really take to Movember. The cause is fine but most aspects of their execution is puzzling or worse. Its whole could be so much better. I’ve always felt there was a content problem – see previous posts. There are several ‘style’ problems too.

Try this one. It's about the American office.

I quote [after the opening reference to the CEO’s contemporary townhouse and paddle boarding habit – he lives in California] “The sectioned-off, main room is decked out in masculine finery – wood, leather, antique-looking rugs and taxidermy. There are pool tables, a barber shop, and a Faema e61 espresso machine…..“I’ve been practicing my skills as a barista – we all have,” he [CEO Adam Garone] says over the hum of the coffee grinder.”

The American office sounds cool. Lovely for a creative ad agency. Less lovely for a charity. The styling is entirely un-self conscious. Remarkably so. This is not a compliment.

A charity’s PR team in the UK would not, I suggest, be quite so sanguine about showing off the personal lifestyle of a charity chief executive, alongside a professional one where he and his staff have time to hone their barista skills, in an environment that sounds quite so expensive. I don’t actually mind that the CEO can walk to Venice Beach for a paddle. He has a private life; and a private income, for all I know. But whoever is doing Movember's media coverage should pay more attention.

It’s all gone a bit ‘shades of the Bullingdon Club’ all of a sudden.       

The Faema e61espresso machine is costly - £4-6,000 on Google Shopping. Go and check. I expect it was a donation. I’d expect it to be a donation. But then again, charity in the US might have a whole other ethos there. I wouldn’t know.

So how are things in the Australia office?  “In pride of place are bound encyclopaedias, pinball machines, model ships, a barbershop pole and a deer head with a 10-point rack.”

O deary me. What are they referencing? It’s not men’s heath or prostate cancer. Might it be mental health?

The barbershop pole [like the whole barbershop in the US office] could be a prop for Movember events, but the rest? Like the US it’s not particularly hair shirt in Australia, either – not that that is the look I’m demanding; just something that is a little more sensitive to donors’ likely expectations and less directed solely to the entertainment of their office staff. It still matters, even if the interior design was a donation because it is how things look that is the issue in PR, not how things are. If staff salvaged the eclectic bric a brac and provided it themselves, say so

The Australian media piece also covers Movember’s niggling anxiety about just how much their 2013 income dropped. That is definitely something of which it is worth keeping track.  I’m still puzzled about why, against that backdrop of that loss of income, they haven’t considered that the self-indulgent frivolity implied by pinball machines and model ships isn’t a great message from a charity dependant on public donations.

They've been winged by their own PR, through the proverbial misplaced gunshot.