I must confess that when it comes to advertising awards I am
biased. The British Television Awards are my favourite.
First, because the jury is a very broad (but very wise) church. Clients,
agency people and production company people sit in equal number. This
year, to reflect the times we live in, we added a juror from the media
world and a dotcom guru.
Second, all you see is British work. I’m aware this might make me sound
like a ’little Englander’, but that’s not the point. The work is
British, and it’s judged by a British jury. Which means there’s every
chance they’ll have some idea of how well it played outside the hothouse
environment of the judging theatre. And that is a good thing.
Third, I like the BTAA because the overall standard of entries is so
high. These days no one parts company with the entry fee unless they
think they’re in with a shout. Consequently the shortlisting is a
genuinely enjoyable process. There are many pearls and really very few
Finally, I like the BTAA because it runs so smoothly. The entries are
incredibly well organised. The judging is simple and fair. Lunch is
always excellent. Peter Bigg and his team deserve a gold.
So is the 25th year of the BTAA a ’bumper year’? I think so. Since we
judged, I’ve had the amazing privilege of meeting up with almost all 25
chairmen of the previous years. We reviewed the golds and silvers all
the way back to 1976. The winners this year make a handsome bunch by
Admittedly there are weak points and weak categories. The campaigns
category did not set the world on fire. Nor did cinema. Whatever
happened to ’domestic appliances’?
And although the golds are of a fantastically high standard, their style
and structure seems quite conservative. No real breakthroughs in the
fundamental way we use the medium. And I don’t think we’ve quite got the
hang of dotcoms yet.
However, with my little Englander hat on, I can confidently report that
the British advertising industry is probably still the best in the
world. This year’s winners prove it.
Let’s not rest on our laurels. But let’s celebrate tonight.