For David White and Laurence Percival, below-the-line advertising, or
through the line as they prefer to call it, is a bit like Africa. It’s
exciting, and few people go there so it’s a good place to make your
Percival puts it this way: ‘Mainstream advertising is ten years older
than us. Agencies have been there and done well. The only barriers left
are international advertising and integrated.’
Last month, White and Percival joined the through-the-line agency,
Interfocus, a former Omnicom-owned shop that was bought out by its
managing director and chairman. As creative partners, their role is to
come up with the ‘big idea’ which will work through all aspects of a
campaign. They will liaise closely with the creative directors, Mike Cox
and Drew Saunders.
In the seven years they have been together, White and Percival say they
have always looked for advertising strategies that ‘fall naturally’ out
of the company or its product; ones that will work on direct mail and
TV. Their work, from Mizuno sportswear through Samsung to Cobra, shows
this. They coined the famous line: ‘There’s a lot going on between the
covers’ for the News of the World and created ‘The Sunday Times is the
Sunday papers’ for News International.
More recently, the duo came up with a new look for the fledgling
airline, British Mediterranean Airways. If ships and trains can give
consumers a luxury feel by having a retro look, then why not an airline?
White and Percival are both copywriters and art directors, but White is
the one with a graphic arts degree. He started at Grey, before linking
up with Percival as joint creative directors at Publicis Focus in 1988.
Percival started his career at an agency called Euro Advertising, before
moving to Crawfords, and then to Grey. The pair left Publicis Focus in
1989 to work at Arc Advertising. Two years later they set up their own
consultancy, but the lure of working in a bigger arena steered them to