Poor Barbara Nokes. As if she hasn’t been embarrassed enough times by
Campaign, it’s about to start again.
No, not this Campaign - we just keep promoting her to executive creative
director at Grey when she isn’t. No, our Babs will be mortified to learn
that Campaign, the terrible 80s TV series about advertising, is back!
(It starts a re-run on UK Gold next week.)Why will she be so
embarrassed? Well, because she was the consultant behind the scenes on
the show. Where, oh where, did she get the ideas from?
The series is based on the life, loves and work of the female creative
director, Sarah Copeland (left), who works for an agency called HFK,
which happens to be pitching for the government’s account ahead of the
general election. Copeland’s husband has left her to look after their
traumatised little boy - with only a nanny, a luxury house, a BMW, a
toyboy lover and a huge salary to console her.
Meanwhile, HFK’s managing director, David Postgate (below), is first
seen on a doubly secret business trip to New York. The two secrets are:
one, he is there to buy a New York hotshop without telling the rest of
his board and, two, that he is shagging Copeland’s secretary, Sally
(right), while her existing boyfriend (who happens to end up being
Copeland’s toyboy) is away on a shoot. He also brings in the government
We may as well introduce Nick Faulds (left) here, because he’s the
tanned hunk who returns from his trip like a conquering hero to have
most of the agency’s bimbo secretaries swoon over him (memo to any real-
life secretaries in adland: don’t watch if you value your blood
pressure). Copeland’s eyes light up with lust when she sees Faulds, but
does he only have eyes for Sally?
Stephen Hallam (left), however, has eyes for anything that moves. He’s
the classic, slimy, Porsche-driving account man, ingratiating himself
with the bufton-tufton senior management, fondling virtually every woman
and moving in on each new arrival.
Gordon Lochhead (below) is the bufton-tufton old-school manager,
forgetting the names of the female staff and patronising even his
clients. He’s desperate to grab some of Postgate’s glory, fighting the
proposed acquisition and trying to get his hands on the government
Other major characters include: Warren Greenbank (below), the old-school
cricket-loving art director with a drink problem who gets shafted by
everyone; Alessandra Castorini, the posh-tottie PA to Postgate, clearly
the Sloaney ice-maiden stereotype; Mike Sutherland (below), the stubbly,
obnoxious creative, blindly ignoring common sense and sensitivity to
push his own work; Dusty Willis (below), the young, pony-tailed newcomer
copywriter who thinks he is just so cool - until he hits on a lesbian
creative; and, of course, our Sally, who spends most of the time when
she’s not shagging the men being consoled by the women who put an arm
around her and spit, ‘men - they’re all...’
Unsurprisingly, the whole thing is awful and riveting at the same time.
We won’t reveal what happens, largely because UK Gold sent us only four
of the six tapes. Instead, if you can name the people in the real life
business you think the above characters are based on, UK Gold and
Campaign will offer a selection of 80s prizes.
Two conditions - entries are subject to libel laws and Barbara Nokes
need not enter. But you can be a judge if you like, Barbara.