Campaign Poster Advertising Awards 2004: Recession is a weak excuse for poor work

The wonderful thing about juries is that you make loads of friends judging. The horrible thing about juries is that you make loads of enemies when the results come out. So I'll start by thanking a wonderful jury, who had a fantastic attitude. We were not a generous bunch, but I believe we were a fair bunch.

Although we were encouraged to give silver in each category, we believed that each year a bar is set, and the duty of next year's entrants is to reach or leap over that bar. So how did the work this year fare?

I think we were genuinely shocked at the poor standard of the body of work. Excuses abound about the state of creative work in our industry at present, with the recession and its knock-on effects being the prime culprit.

But I believe the greatest recession is the recession of ideas and courage to produce those ideas. I am not just blaming the agencies for this; I am blaming the collective that produces advertising - clients, agencies, market research companies, the lot. Fear of failure should drive us to greater things. Right now, it's not.

Now to the winners. There is some good work here, with the odd sprinkling of freshness. As usual, the jury took into account the categories and their varying difficulty, and we endeavoured to give quite a few merit awards, for you to see the competition the winners were up against.

In conclusion, there is some good work to celebrate.

But we don't deserve too much of a hangover. And to my new-found enemies? I really thought your work was great.

It was the rest of the jury that didn't like it.

THE JUDGES

Steve Parker - UK buying director, Starcom Motive

Bill Wilson - Operations director, OAA

Julie France - Managing director, ClearChannel UK

Neil Dawson - Creative director, TBWA\London

Alan Simmons - Chairman, Concord

John Tisdall - Designer, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Matthew Bull (Chairman of the judges) - Chief executive, Lowe London

Jeremy Craigen - Creative director, DDB London

Andy Jex - Art director, Mother

Simon Clift - President, marketing, HPC, Unilever

Rosie Arnold - Creative director, Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Ben Priest - Creative director, RKCR/Y&R

Nick Georghiou - Photographer

Alison Wright - Former managing director, Manning Gottlieb OMD

Alison Copus - Marketing director, Virgin Atlantic

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