The most fascinating thing about last week’s D&AD awards was the
fact that the dual-venue ’experiment’ received such a resounding
thumbs-down from the creative community. ’Do you know how to spell
crap?’ thundered one creative director. ’It’s got one P!’ And the cats
from Saatchis did not let the theft of two pencils (Alex won’t be cross
if you send them back immediately) and a creative director’s credit card
(ditto young Mr Kean) tarnish the enjoyment of their shed-full of
But some of the complaints about the night are less excusable, and even
less explicable, such as the people who called the event an unmitigated
disaster while staying until 3am, dancing their socks off and turning up
for work late the next day.
And boiling in oil is too good for all of you who’ve been burbling on
for years about the industry’s premier awards night not being inventive
enough, and who now are longing for the Grosvenor House Hotel - complete
with its surly East European waiters, its brown carpets, its drink
supplies that inexplicably dry up without warning and its Come on Eileen
groovy discotheque. Give me Boy George on the decks in his Philip Treacy
hat, any day.
I hope D&AD responds to its critics in two ways. First, by sending us a
letter or an opinion piece. Second, by setting up a working party to
crack one of the hardest briefs in town: how to stop you lot showing
zero respect for your peers’ work as they trudge up to the awards stage
to receive their pencil, while keeping the 1,400-strong crowd in one
room, giving it a drink before 9.30pm and showing the work on a
decent-sized screen. Separating design and advertising is one obvious
way to make the event more manageable.
Me, I had a brilliant time, but then who could fail to enjoy the racy
company of John Bartle on one side and big Bruce Crouch on the other?