Campaign Press Awards 2006: The industry must harness its creative talent more effectively

I always used to hate it when previous chairmen said: "This is not a vintage year." I used to think that they were basically kicking out any genuinely new work because "it's not as good as when we first did it".

But if the answer to this problem seems quite simple - be open-minded - then why am I echoing the sentiment and saying "This is not a vintage year"?

Well, leaving aside for a minute the possibility that I'm a rank hypocrite, let me put forward two hypotheses.

1. Maybe we didn't find the breakthrough work - which could be down to the judging procedure. Whenever I judge work, anywhere in the world, I find stuff that I love in the early rounds of judging that never seems to get through.

2. Maybe less breakthrough work is being produced - which could be down to the general confidence levels in this industry. I'm probably not helping this by saying that I think we're in something approaching a state of crisis right now. Brought about by fundamental changes in the relationship between client and agency (one very influential client told me recently that his company didn't work with any regular agencies at all) and the massive changes in the media landscape.

Maybe it does help, however, if I say that I am a huge admirer of the evocative copywriting skills of the Millett's "Long List" ad, the inventiveness and wit of the Stella Artois campaign and the audacity of the Marmite baby ad.

I fundamentally believe that our industry has the requisite creative skills. But we have got some pretty serious issues to face up to.

THE JUDGES Kim Papworth - Creative director, Wieden & Kennedy Jeremy Craigen - Creative director, DDB London Ewan Paterson - Creative director, Clemmow Hornby Inge Danny Brooke-Taylor - Joint creative director, TBWA\London Graham Fink - Creative director, M&C Saatchi Steve Henry (Chairman) - Creative director, United London Timothy Ryan - Director of brand, AOL Philip Gladman - Director of innovations, Diageo Katie Vanneck - Marketing director, Telegraph Group Mary Wear - Copywriter, Freelance Claire Myerscough - TMXL development director, News International Paul Silburn - Creative director/copywriter

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