Editor's Perspective: Ten reasons for a merry Christmas in adland

By Claire Beale, claire.beale@haymarket.com, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 03 December 2010 12:00AM

Over the course of the past 12 months, I've written far too much in this column about fee squeezes, bad procurement practices, agency capitulation and all the other depressing aspects of the downturn that are helping to erode the status of the advertising industry.

No more. Well, no more this week. It's my final column of the year, so it seems far more appropriate to finish by applauding some of the great things about adland's 2010.

You'll find plenty more reasons to celebrate (and forget) 2010 in our Annual, out next Thursday, but here's my personal top ten bloody brilliant things about the industry this year:

1. The Campaign A List. Or, rather, the 450-odd people in it, and all their staff. Because they have (mostly) kept everything going through some of the most difficult challenges the industry has ever faced. And they've (mostly) come up smiling despite it all.

2. The work. From Nike to John Lewis, Ikea, Virgin Atlantic, Stella, French Connection and, thankfully, plenty more, creativity was still pre-eminent this year, despite a general sense that many clients were keener than ever to play it safe.

3. The clients. The good ones. And there are still plenty of those: the ones that push for brilliance and are prepared to pay a fair price for it. See the work listed above for evidence, and see next week's Annual for a list of the best marketers out there.

4. 7.7 per cent. That's the amount that UK ad expenditure is expected to have grown over the course of 2010. It might not have felt like it at times, but we're in (fragile) recovery mode.

5. Entrepreneurs. All those people who, despite (or is it because of?) the dismal conditions out there, have had the balls to take a bloody great risk and try a different way. It's the spirit that built British advertising into a world-beater and it's more vital than ever.

6. The party. That's the Saatchi & Saatchi/M&C Saatchi 40th anniversary party. For reminding us that advertising can be (should be) sexy, glamorous, important, magical, as well as effective and cost-conscious.

7. Blockbuster telly. The X Factor, Downton Abbey, I'm A Celebrity: big appointment-to-view TV extravaganzas are driving a new era of blockbuster ads and perhaps even a creative renaissance.

8. Rory Sutherland. The soon-to-be ex-president of the IPA and one of its most successful of recent times. His behavioural economics agenda might just have given the ad industry a whole new field on which to play.

9. News International's pay-wall strategy. Great content does have a value, and a cost. If we can't start charging consumers for it, then quality will inevitably decline.

10. 31 December 2010. No matter how much there is to celebrate about adland's year, one of the best things about it is that it's nearly over.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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