Feature

Diary: Adland neatly captures the 'tat' in Tatler

Advertising agencies will do anything to get on a pitchlist these days. Even having no hope of winning the brief doesn't seem to put them off, as evidenced in the 300th anniversary issue of Tatler magazine.

Tatler asked four agencies to create a cover for its anniversary issue that would sum up its last 300 years of Bolly quaffing and monocle popping. It was all just for a laugh and agencies had total creative freedom. However, their efforts would hardly set a WHSmith newsstand alight.

Tiger Savage at M&C Saatchi produced a retro cartoon of a 20s party populated with people from Tatler's 2009 "most invited" list, such as Pixie Geldof, Daphne Guinness and Nicky Haslam. Oddly for an agency famed for its flagrant self-promotion, M&C didn't take the opportunity to sketch Maurice Saatchi into the scene.

One of the better efforts was from DDB, which put together eye-catching strips of old Tatler covers. The image looks artistic and edgy, but is not recommended viewing if you've got a hangover.

Erik Torstensson at Saturday Group came up with a picture of Sarah Ferguson in a fright wig - again, not recommended for the faint of stomach. Torstensson said he wanted to find someone who embodied Tatler's sense of fun, sophistication and style. Sophistication and style? Fergie?

But the dullest of all the efforts has to be CHI & Partners'. The image is a rolled-up magazine made to look like a tree, with datelines of key moments in Tatler's history. The creative Nigel Roberts thinks the cover "like Tatler, says everything it intended to, with style and a smile". But it looks just like a boring luxury ad to us.

In the end, Tatler went for the safe option and plonked the Queen's profile on the front, which obviously got everyone's stamp of approval.

Topics