Gail Gallie is the chief executive of Fallon London
Gail Gallie is the chief executive of Fallon London
A view from Gail Gallie

Gail Gallie: Why it's important for adland to get into the Olympic spirit

I recently flew into London on a clear blue day straight over the Olympic Park at Stratford.

It was quite a shock, in a good way, to see that the buildings are already up and shining, waiting for the Games to begin. Even if you didn't manage to get tickets, there's no way any of us will be able to miss the fact that the eyes of the world are once again coming our way. And even if we had somehow missed it, the close-to-£1 billion being spent by the Games' principal sponsors will drum home the message that London is the place to be.

But what about the advertising Olympics? The UK may not be sure-fire winners at the 100m, but London is pretty much still the biggest and most influential advertising centre in the world. Can we use 2012 to showcase our collective talents, and make this the best-advertised Olympics there has ever been?

The last outpouring of creativity on this scale was around the World Cup in South Africa last year. And the most exciting work there, arguably, came from the social initiatives carried out by the brands for the people of South Africa and beyond, rather than the communications surrounding them. Campaigns such as Coke's "Water for Schools" and Nike's "Lace Up Save Lives" continue to have a meaningful impact long after the tournament has ended and, hopefully, for years to come. Can we make sure the work that we create around "our" Olympics ups the game even further?

Of course, at Fallon, we will continue to do our best work for Cadbury and Eurostar, and I'm sure all agencies with Olympic sponsorship clients will do the same. But what if all the "Olympic agencies" got together to work on the brief of "creative 2012"? Could we come up with a new model of sponsorship communications? A lasting legacy for London? Might we even reclaim London's position as the most creative city in the world?

If all the lead agencies of tier one and two sponsors pooled, say, 10 per cent of their billed time to create a shared campaign for London 2012, I think we could really break some new ground. By combining the resources, minds and expertise of the advertising industry, we can make a real difference to how this Games is seen on the world stage.

So I'd like to invite all of the Olympic agencies to get together to define the most exciting brief we can, and see if we can collaborate to make this the most creative Olympics there has ever been.

There may just be some way of truly raising the bar, and help the millions of pounds spent make all of those who watch, take part and live in London after the Games value both them and the brands that supported them for years to come.

Gail Gallie is the chief executive of Fallon London