In recent news two highly successful, but ethically unsound and unbearably arrogant organisations have both been caught red-handed, cheating.
I refer, of course, to Cambridge Analytica and the Australian Cricket Team. They have both had their leader suspended (only temporarily, naturally) and their future put in doubt, much to the glee of journalists and the public alike.
Interestingly they were both caught doing what has been accepted practice in their own industries for years.
Cambridge Analytica used Facebook data to try and influence people's voting patterns, something which is common in the sense of trying to encourage favourable consumer decisions by showing specific messages to specific groups of people. The real issue is that the data involved shouldn't have been sold to them in the first place. Caveat Emptor.
Meanwhile, the Australian Cricket team has pleaded guilty to ball-tampering and the shit has fallen on them from just as great a height.
This despite the fact that most, if not all, test teams have at some time been seen to do the same. In both cases the real crime seems to have been to be caught and for that a pink-haired whistleblower and an eagle-eyed South African cameraman must share our thanks.
Undoubtedly the fairest punishment for their leaders would be to have them swap jobs, so I propose Steve Smith should take over at Cambridge Analytica while Alexander Nix be announced Captain of the Australian Cricket team.
That way old Etonian Nix would get to suffer a life-threatening pounding from an enraged Kagiso Rabada while Smith would have to spend his days trying to cadge money from the American alt-right. I think they'd both need strong boxes.
- Paul Catmur is the chief executive of Barnes, Catmur & Friends Dentsu.