Campaign Annual 2007: Top 10 things to forget

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 14 December 2007 12:00AM

1. The ban on junk-food advertising

In spite of all the evidence that points to a lard-laden diet and near total lack of exercise as the primary culprits, advertising took the rap for the crime of creating a generation of obese children, and TV spots for everything from Turkey Twizzlers to full-fat milk were banned from kids' TV. Ofcom relented on the milk front, but the damage was done, and adland will be hard-pressed to stop further bureaucratic encroachments on its freedoms.

2. The phantom election campaign

Cast your minds back just a couple of months. Snap election speculation was at fever pitch. Labour appointed Saatchi & Saatchi in a PR coup; the Tories recruited Euro RSCG to counter-strike. The posters and websites were all ready to go ... and then Gordon Brown claimed he never intended to go to the people in the first place. Chicken.

3. Big Brother

Car-crash telly is uncomfortable at the best of times. When it concerns someone you vaguely know through the pages of a trade magazine, it's even worse. Jonathan Durden had just joined Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy when he opted to go into the bungalow of doom. Lurid tabloid headlines duly followed.

4. Monster.com pitch

Monster.com lived up to its name with the pitch from hell. After three rounds of pitching and leaving agencies on tenterhooks for months on end, the recruitment website announced it was expanding the European review, making it global in scope. BBDO won the account, although quite how long for is open to question. Monster has pitched five times since 2000.

5. Not-so-Innocent smoothies

For a company that claims to be as nice as its drinks, Innocent revealed a disturbingly Machiavellian streak in the manner in which it dealt with its ad agency, Lowe London. First it called a surprise pitch, then it cancelled it ... only to reopen conversations with agencies, arguing that holding chemistry meetings with other shops was "business as usual".

6. Trident Gum

Cadbury and JWT plumbed new advertising depths with the launch campaign for Trident, starring an Afro-Caribbean poet going bonkers in his quest to tell the world about soft gum. Thankfully, Fallon's "gorilla" work has brought Cadbury into a better place since then.

7. Dawn Airey quitting Iostar after just eight days

If Airey has made worse career decisions, we'd love to know about them. Just eight days after joining the TV start-up Iostar, she'd quit, citing a major breach of contract. Turns out the company didn't have the funding in place. It went under shortly after.

8. TV phone-in scandals

Who'd have thought it? Callers to TV quiz shows didn't stand a chance of winning! Anyone with an ounce of common sense would have realised this after a minute watching the box on late-night ITV. That the scandal would eventually involve the Blue Peter cat was an altogether unexpected development, though.

9. The chief executive talent drought

Adland appears pathologically incapable of growing enough talent to fill its vacancies. So bad is the drought, it's now poaching clients (David Patton left Sony to join Grey) and, in the case of Robert Senior at Fallon and Saatchi & Saatchi, handing two roles to one man.

10. Bang Bang Chicken goes off the menu at The Ivy

For a horrible couple of months this summer, The Ivy monkeyed around with its menu and retired the fabled Bang Bang Chicken starter. No matter that it claimed it was a temporary change - the damage was done. Adland decamped to St Alban in its droves ... is nothing sacred in 2007?

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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