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Campaign Promotion: The London Long Copy Challenge - Meet The Panel

The London Long Copy Challenge provides us with the opportunity to prove that the art of writing in advertising is still alive and well.

CBS Outdoor, in association with Campaign, is challenging advertising creatives to devise a long-copy ad targeted at Londoners. It's the unique three minutes of dwell time, as well as the welcomed nature and sheer scale of cross-track posters, which offers advertisers the perfect platform (excuse the pun) to tell a brand story. We are proud to present a selection of our esteemed judges below. Also on the judging panel are: David Droga (Droga5), Yvonne Ossman (The Economist) and Mike Moran (CBS Outdoor).

- James Lowther, Founding partner, M&C Saatchi

With more than 35 years of advertising experience, James' achievements include: his COI road safety ad that appears in The 100 Greatest Advertisements and his Castlemaine XXXX campaign that features in the Oxford Dictionary Of Quotations. His work has spanned a wide spectrum of the agency's business including British Airways, NatWest Bank, Foster's, the Home Office, GlaxoSmithKline and many more.

James on long copy: "So, people don't read long copy any more, do they?

Right. So why are more books published in the UK now than at any time in our history? Why do our Sunday newspaper publishers feel moved to flatten the pile on our doormats under an unparalleled tonnage of lengthy articles every weekend? What are those funny paperback thingies we see people devouring on the Tube and beach? Maybe it's not that they don't want to read long copy. It's that we've forgotten how to write it. Come on. Prove me wrong."

James on London: "If most writers were offered the chance to expose their limpid and keenly honed prose to the largest, most sophisticated and most cosmopolitan market in the world, they'd bite their left arms off (obviously not their writing arm)."

- Andy Corcoran, Head of ideation, Universal McCann

Andy leads creative strategy at Universal McCann, particularly within the field of non-traditional advertising. He helps develop the stories of UM's brands, harnessing the creativity and innovation of the organisation.

Andy on long copy: "Effective long copy relies on great storytelling. Effective long copy isn't just communicating information, it's creating a one-to-one connection. Brands wanting to provoke reconsideration or reinforcement of their character, would do well to tap into long copy's ability to quickly establish an emotional link. I think this type of storytelling offers the most value used in combination with other media, especially broadcast, as it allows a brand to illustrate deeper attitudinal characteristics which are harder proven elsewhere. But it takes a special talent to craft something that attracts then holds the attention, yet leaves the reader with the desired result."

Andy on London: "Londoners love talking about advertising, and considering the capital's commercial chatter it's something they are correctly considered experts on. But it's this constant commercial exposure that leaves Londoners wide open to engaging with truly great advertising. Tie that to this unique commuting environment - tell them a great story, laugh with them, and they'll respond."

- Gavin Kellett, Head of copy, Publicis London

Gavin has been a copywriter since 1991. During this time, he has enjoyed two long stints at Saatchi & Saatchi and a brief spell at Bartle Bogle Hegarty. He assumed his current role at Publicis in the summer of 2003.

He has created work for clients including Renault, the Army, McVitie's, Zurich, Monster.com, Lexus, NSPCC and Cadbury.

Gavin on long copy: "No-one seems to have any time these days. We're all so busy, or at least we claim to be. So if, as advertisers, we get the chance to hold consumers captive for just a couple of moments, we should make the most of that opportunity. Long copy, especially on the Underground, can do just that. Sure, it can inform, but more importantly, it can amuse. And reward the reader for lending us their precious time."

Gavin on London: "Ever tried to get a reaction from a fellow passenger on the Tube? A smile. A nod. The faintest acknowledgement that you exist? While I don't think this ability to shut down makes Londoners unique, it does make them rather easy to advertise to. They'll read anything rather than engage with the nutter trying to make eye contact with them."

- Adam Skinner, Senior business director, OMD

Adam could be described as an OMD lifer. After reading Economics at Bristol University, and a brief stint at Zenith Media, Adam joined OMD UK (then BMP Media) in 1997 and has worked in a range of roles across nearly all their clients. He is currently a business director running a portfolio of accounts including Peugeot, Channel 4 and Coty Cosmetics.

Adam on long copy: "Advertising doesn't often have much time to leave an impression. People are busier than ever before, and more adept at filtering out marketing messages. As a result, lots of advertising is image based and by necessity is reductive and fleeting in its nature. There aren't too many media apertures that have a long dwell time combined with limited competition for that time. So long-form copy, using cross-track, is a valuable and increasingly rare commodity."

Adam on London: "Londoners, and Londoners on the Tube specifically, have an attractive audience profile. They tend to be young, upmarket, affluent and opinion forming. For these reasons, they are often an important part of our campaigns."

- Claire Beale, Editor, Campaign

Claire Beale has been the editor of Campaign for six years, rising from media editor of the magazine. During that time, she has broadened the focus of the magazine across the marcoms disciplines and has extended the brand online and into new areas such as bespoke events and new industry awards. She has written extensively on advertising and marketing for the national press, including a column in The Independent, and is a regular media commentator on the industry.

Claire on long copy: "Reading beautifully written long copy in ads these days is a rare pleasure. Too rare. Some say it's a dying art. I hope not because long copy carries a tremendous impact. Not only because it's relatively unusual, but because there's something wonderful about the power of words to draw us in, to create worlds in our minds and to take us to places that pictures simply can't go."

Claire on London: "London is the world in miniature. Except that it's far from small. You can find everything and everyone here if you try and it's as exciting a place as you want it to be. For marketers, that's a tremendous opportunity to be bold and brave and to create a buzz in one of the buzziest cities in the world. And the buzz in London has a habit of being infectious."

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