It appears that to publish a photograph of someone smiling is against
Campaign’s editorial policy. If you don’t believe me, flick through last
week’s issue. You’ll find as many smiling faces as UK-based Saudi
dissidents. I understand that the cool grey range of markers was
invented to accurately render the London sky, but does a similar
blankness of expression have to adorn every mugshot? Page after page of
zipped lips, half smirks, pained expressions and the odd nervous tic. To
be more specific, look at the ‘faces of ’96’ last month. We’re in for a
grim year, for sure. Why are all these people unhappy? Hang on - Jeremy
Davies managed a smile. Either that or he went to bed with a coat hanger
in his mouth.
It doesn’t have to be like this. Or maybe it does. Recently I worked in
Amsterdam for a year and came across a Dutch proverb which roughly
translates as: ‘Don’t smile in the morning for by the afternoon you may
have reason not to.’ Perhaps there’s a European cultural aversion to
smiling at work here, or is it a disease unique to UK advertising trade
I’m not, for a moment, suggesting Tony Blair impressions, for his
choppers are the stuff of children’s nightmares. But if you can’t smile
next time you’re photographed for Campaign, at least wear a shirt like
I haven’t written 400 words. Because this is about pictures and they
speak louder anyway. I could go on and on about nothing but I’ve already
heard a research debrief today.
Want to rant? 400 words, please, to Stefano Hatfield at 174 Hammersmith
Road, London W6 7JP.