BACKBITE

There’s a curious discrepancy between what we write in Campaign and the magazine’s ads. The journalists scoff at what we consider to be unexciting ads (sorry Nokia), then we discover from reader research that they are the ones with stratospheric response levels (well done Nokia).

There’s a curious discrepancy between what we write in Campaign and

the magazine’s ads. The journalists scoff at what we consider to be

unexciting ads (sorry Nokia), then we discover from reader research that

they are the ones with stratospheric response levels (well done

Nokia).



And let’s not forget that we never write articles about makers of

balloons/T-shirts/banners/3-D glasses/any-other-kind-of-promotional-

widget-so-long-as-it-can-damn-well-carry-a-company-logo, while these

companies advertise in our pages every week without a hint of editorial

interest.



That’s why, when I caught sight of the full-page ad in last week’s issue

(a congratulatory note from the RAC’s group strategic director, Jan

Smith, to Simon Dean and John Green at BDDH for their new RAC

repositioning campaign) I felt guilty, for I had written a poisonous

piece on this page in the same issue in which I called its new

’documercials’ ponderous and worse.



I am not moved to rethink my rash words. In fact, repeated viewing of the

RAC film only confirms my worst suspicions. So I dutifully filled in the

two blanks in its ad with the words ’a joke’ and ’pretentious’. What did

you put?



The whole episode reminds me of what agency people say when you criticise

an ad. They say, ’Well, it’s supposed to polarise opinion.’ But isn’t it

strange how you never hear people saying opinion was polarised on the

latest Tango ad, or by the new Coke work, or the Economist posters? As

Oscar Wilde might have said, good ads will out (or something like

that).



Finally, I would like to put on the record that Chas Bayfield of HHCL and

Partners is not a big girl’s blouse for saying that the Nescafe

commercial with the girl in the VW Beetle on a cliff is the ad that made

him an adman (Campaign, 25 April). Sources tell me he’s been getting a

bit of stick from the luvvies for picking such a feel-good spot. Good on

yer, Chas.



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