The Apprentice Episode 7 Review, By Glenn Ward..

THE APPRENTICE: Wednesday 15th June, BBC1, 9pm

After last week’s ‘rubbish’ episode Lord Sugar opted to raise the bar for this week’s task, ‘Freemium Magazines’. What’s a freemium magazine? Well it’s a hip new term for publications like ShortList, Stylist, Vice, etc; free magazines offering premium content. Alan also decided it was time for a switch up, so Jim moved to Venture and Natasha to Logic; each was assigned the role of team leader..

Glen: “I knew what Jim was like, I knew he was a strong character and I was glad to have him onboard. When he arrived I was pretty confident…â€?

After a pep talk at ShortList, the teams were sent off to create a concept. Jim subtly bludgeoned through his idea of an over 60s magazine: “It gives us an opportunity to be classy rather than cheap, and they’ve got the highest circulation figures as well.â€?

Glen: “Based from the figures put in front of us it was the right idea to go with, 70-80% of the wealth in this country is held by the over 50s, so that’s just fantastic material to present to advertisers.

While Logic’s Natasha liked the idea of a Lads’ mag because, “Lads’ magazines are about lads, yeah?â€?

Glen: “[Their magazine] looked pretty interesting, I think their concept was right; the idea of being a little bit more high-brow than the rest.â€?

Cue – yes, you guessed it – focus groups. Venture split into two teams; Glen and Susan visited a bowling club, in what turned out to be one of the most entertaining scenes of the show. The pensioners are not what you’d expect; reading publications as varied as Viz and The Economist. They rubbish Susan’s title suggestions of ‘First Lady’, ‘Eternal’ and ‘Vital Life’ – “that sounds like something I’d feed my cat,â€? says one.

Glen: “They were great, obviously well educated, well rounded guys and they were giving us great ideas. The way it comes across it looks as though me and Susi had never met anyone over 60 in our lives.â€?

Helen and tom were tasked to talk with a student rugby team, who suggested aiming Logic’s lads’ mag more upmarket than the usual affair.

Next, the teams had to come up with a title to aptly describe their concept. Logic decided on ‘Covered’ while Jim took the pensioners’ feedback a little too seriously and jumped on Zoe’s suggestion of ‘Hip Replacement’ – yes, you are reading that correctly.

Glen: “The concept was we were gonna go with disruption; we were gonna shake up the mould a little bit. Hip Replacements is a good name for this magazine..”

(Most other people who appeared on the programme: “Hip Replacement is a terrible name for this magazine..”)

Hundreds of photos were taken by Venture during the cover-shoot but team leader Jim decided to showcase a cardigan-clad old couple in a fairly forced looking embrace.

Logic’s Leon pushed for an innuendo laden editorial and his ‘How do you blow your load’ idea was embraced by the rest of the team, who took to the streets in search of interviewees; cringe.

Jim’s optimistic outlook took a turn when he asked, “Where are you at with the pitch, and who’s buzzin’ to deliver it?â€? No one stepped up, so Jim ‘put his head on the line’ and agreed to do the pitching. However, Jim’s subordinates soon regretted giving him such unopposed power after he refused to budge on the price-point of advertorial during a vital pitch.

Glen: “Well it was obviously a mistake, hopefully Jim will learn from it, although it clearly contributed to the end of it all.â€?

Logic’s pitches were handled by Leon. However, it was hard for him to get a single sentence out without control-freak Natasha butting in. Consequently, when Natasha decided to take on the next pitch Leon couldn’t help but comment:
“Let’s just hope you can get through the whole pitch without being interrupted,â€?
“Say that again Leon.â€?
“Actually, it was more of a joke… err… I think you’ll be fine.â€?

Back in the boardroom we learned Jim’s inflexibility cost Venture the task and he opted to bring back Susan and Glen. Insults were banded about and Jim compared Susan to all manner of animals. “It looks as if we’re all trying to shoot Bambi.â€?; “You’re a meek little mouse; all style no substance; you lack passion, enthusiasm, contribution.â€?

Glen: “Susan is a nice girl. But obviously it wasn’t like shooting Bambi in the end because she came out fighting.â€?

And as Nick said earlier, “Trying to nail anything on Jim is a bit like trying to nail a jelly to a wall.â€? In the end Glen goes. How did he take Alan’s decision?

Glen: “I felt like I had a poor boardroom. The other two guys, Jim and Susi, attacked each other and ultimately that gave them the chance to defend themselves.

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