The outdoor industry has lashed out at D&AD's decision to award its
only Gold Pencil for advertising to Mother for its Britart.com campaign,
accusing the design body of condoning the illegal practice of
Britart.com took gold last week in D&AD's ambient media category, for
work which included flyposters tied to everyday items such as lampposts,
railings and pavements, describing them as pieces of art. Industry
leaders in the outdoor sector have spoken out against the award because
they feel that it does not help their cause in improving the standards
of outdoor advertising.
Alan Simmons, the chairman of the outdoor specialist Concord, said:
"Those like the D&AD who, with their actions condone flyposting, are
doing a great disservice to the outdoor industry and all who work within
its accepted rules." He added: "It really is an underworld business
which is growing, with the agencies conniving with clients to do
guerrilla advertising to the detriment of the outdoor business."
David Pugh, the director of sales and marketing at Maiden Outdoor, said:
"I'm deeply dismayed at seeing a campaign involving flyposting being
given an award because, in effect, it is condoning an illegal
Annie Rickard, the chief executive of Posterscope and newly appointed
head of IPA Outdoor, believes that such an award reduces the skillbase
of outdoor buying. She said: "While on the one hand I can see how
incredibly relevant this campaign was for Britart.com, at best some of
the activity is borderline and some of it is blatantly illegal. It is
more work to do it cleverly and legally than to be clever and illegal.
There's a lot of this sort of thing going on and it has already made
mainstream planning approval difficult to get."
Trade bodies such as the IPA and ISBA have, within their policy
recommendations to members, urged them not to get involved in flyposting
campaigns. The taking over of paid-for outdoor sites, as well as using
public spaces illegally, is prompting bodies such as National Heritage
to object to outdoor advertising. While outdoor companies pay local
authority rates for legal ads, flyposting is deemed illegal.
David Kester,the chief executive of D&AD, said: "If it was acknowledged
that the regulators had been onto this campaign, that might have been an
issue. We wouldn't endorse anything that is seen to deface or adversely
affect another medium. The fundamental ideas at the heart of this
extensive campaign were what the jury was rewarding."
Stef Calcraft, a founding partner of Mother, added: "Britart.com is a
multimedia campaign that extends from press, posters and direct
marketing to ambient media. It exploits perfectly today's media
landscape for Britart."