British Design & Art Direction has launched the call for entries to
this year’s awards with a series of risque ads that focus on the
unashamedly phallic qualities of the D&AD pencil.
Two print ads feature pencils nestling between an assortment of
vibrators in a bathroom cabinet and stuffed down the front of a man’s
The design on the new D&AD brochure centres on a model of a Viagra pill
with the D&AD pencil embossed in the middle.
The ads, which are part of an attempt to give D&AD a younger, sexier
image, have already caused consternation among the D&AD board. Several
members have complained, questioning the ads on grounds of taste.
But in the next issue of its house journal, Ampersand, the organisation
is unrepentant, making the bold assertion that the D&AD pencil is about
stimulation and that winning one is ’better than sex’.
The D&AD president, Tim Mellors, who chose the ads, described them as
’contentious, not crude’.
He added: ’D&AD should be seen as edgy rather than as a nanny or aged
auntie, which it has been viewed as in the past. It is a call for
entries so it has got to be attention-grabbing. There is no way it is
not going to get noticed.’
The ads were the joint creation of Adam Kean and Alexandra Taylor,
respectively joint executive creative director and joint creative
director of Saatchi & Saatchi, and Mark Farrow and Jon Jeffrey of Farrow
Design. Photography was by Rankin of Dazed & Confused fame.
The campaign launches on 20 October and will run nationally and
internationally in the trade press until January 1999.