BEST OF THE BEST AWARDS: Best Agency Producer

The maxim dictates that the longer a head of TV stays in a job, the more consistent the output. So it's no wonder, then, that Charles Crisp has won the agency TV producer of the year award.

Crisp has been head of TV at Lowe for 13 years - a feat matched only by Nigel Foster at J. Walter Thompson and trumped only by BMP DDB's Howard Spivey, who was the agency's head of TV for more than 20 years. At Lowe for two years before he was made the head of TV, Crisp also worked with the late Peter Harrison, the head of TV at Ogilvy & Mather, for five years as a trainee producer.

Crisp, though, gives full credit to the creative teams and the directors.

" People such as (the creative directors) Vince (Squibb), Tony Barry and Damon Collins do the real work," he says. "And, needless to say, the people we work with, such as Frank Budgen, Chris Palmer (both from Gorgeous) and Kevin Thomas (Thomas Thomas) all bring something into the mix."

Crisp's personal favourite among the ads he has produced is Reebok "sofa".

"That was certainly the most challenging," he remembers. "The genius of Frank Budgen meant that there was no compromise. Frank wanted a sofa that could move so the ad wouldn't be restricted too much by post-production. So we built a couple of sofas with people inside them, bending this way and that. I'm still not quite sure how The Mill ended up making it all look so fluid at the end."

The judges viewed the "blackmail" ad for Heineken, where Crisp had to co-ordinate a collection of fading stars, as a particular producing tour de force.

The grand finale saw the likes of Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee, Peter Stringfellow and Tony Blackburn being thrown to the lions.

Crisp comments: "The Heineken ads were quite satisfying, especially as we didn't pay the celebs that much. To be fair, they were all game, and entered into the spirit of it. They weren't afraid to take the mickey out of themselves."

Having tackled everything from an aggressive sofa to a dancing mouse for Aero via lions hungry for has-been celebrities, Crisp is flexible and able to fulfil even the most unusual requests. "Everything throws up challenges as everything you work on is completely different from the last job."

Sir Alan Parker, as chairman of the judges and one-time agency creative, stressed that the standard in this category was extremely high. As a director, he said, he asked himself the question: how difficult is it to put together the mixture of ads on each producer's reel as a body of work? He stressed to the jury that they should judge the whole body of work, not just one commercial.

On this basis, Crisp was voted as the winner as, in each case, the jury could see how the excellent production of the ideas had added enormously to the finished product.

The judges were also impressed by Andy Gulliman, a senior TV producer at BBH, who produced the Levi's "odyssey" spot. Sarah Case from Mother was also a favourite with the judges.

Shortlist: Matt Buells (Mother), Sarah Case (Mother), Richard Chambers (BMP DDB), Sara Clementson (McCann-Erickson Manchester), Andy Gulliman (BBH), Sarah Hallatt (Lowe), Kim Knowlton (Ogilvy& Mather), Chris Moore (Saatchi & Saatchi), Helen Williams (BMP DDB).

CHARLES CRISP, Head of TV, Lowe

AWARDS 2002

Reebok "sofa": BTAA (gold, silver); Cannes (gold Lion); Creative Circle

(one platinum, four golds, one bronze); D&AD (silver, three silver

nominations)

Heineken "blackmail/nearly there/treat": Cannes (gold Lion); Creative

Circle (two bronzes); One Show (silver)

Orange "ice": BTAA (bronze)

Nestle Rowntree Aero "delivery man": D&AD (silver nomination)

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