CAMPAIGN POSTER ADVERTISING AWARDS 2003: Posters are the purest form of advertising

I know how much you all look forward to the chairman's little bit at the front, so I'll make this as long and drawn out as possible.

Posters - as has so often been said - are the purest form of advertising. They either work in an instant or they're not posters. So you might think judging them would be easy and cause no real friction or fireworks. In which case, you'd be wrong. This year's very eminent jury had its passions aroused - egos were bruised, work ripped up, fist-fights broke out. But in the end, I think the right decisions were reached ... in most cases.

One thing that concerned me, however, as I looked through the entries was that I think we're in danger of losing sight of the point of posters - which is utter simplicity - by using some of the newer categories, such as "ambient", as an excuse for self-indulgent and frankly irritating stunts, which (in my book, at least) ain't posters and sometimes take an age to understand. If you have to stand and study the thing, it's not a poster, it's a think piece.

Perhaps we need to more clearly define this particular category. After all, what's a non-ambient poster? Aren't all posters ambient just by dint of existing? Happily, our jury was made up of very smart people, who quickly dispatched all the self-indulgent nonsense and, as you'll see, the ambient winner clearly shows, when used properly, what a important and growing medium this is. It also happens to be a very good poster.

There is some lovely work to admire, but I don't think any of us thought it a vintage year. I'd just like to finish by saying that, as chairman, I wasn't actually allowed to vote. So, if you violently disagree with any of the winners, I'm entirely blameless.

THE JUDGES

Malcolm Poynton - Executive creative director, Ogilvy & Mather

Jon Lewis - Managing director, Clear Channel (billboards)

Nigel Mansell - Managing director, Concord

Neil A Dawson - Creative partner, TBWA\London

Dave Wakefield - Typographer, Campbell Doyle Dye

John O'Keeffe - Executive creative director, Bartle Bogle Hegarty

(Chairman of the judges)

Ivan Pollard - Partner, Ingram Partnership

John Donnelly - Creative director, J. Walter Thompson

Jo Moore - Creative manager, WCRS

Paul Andrews - Marketing communications manager, BMW (GB)

Tony Barry - Copywriter, Clemmow Hornby Inge

Mary Wear - Senior copywriter, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Rooney Carruthers - Partner, Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest

James Bidwell - Marketing director, Selfridges

Ewan Paterson - Joint creative director, BMP DDB

Carole Kerman - Chief executive, Outdoor Connection

Gerry Moira - Chairman and executive creative director, Publicis

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