Claire Beale: Sod off 2011, and roll on a positive focus for 2012

By Claire Beale, claire.beale@haymarket.com, campaignlive.co.uk, Thursday, 08 December 2011 08:00AM

For years, Johnny Hornby had a thing about the Bad News Bears.

Claire Beale is the editor of Campaign

Claire Beale is the editor of Campaign

He thought Campaign should get three guys to dress up in bear suits and every week turn up at the agency that had been the butt of the worst news of the week. They would be a very public, visible signal of an agency in the shit; a Campaign photographer would pap the bears outside the poor agency for a picture in the following week's issue.

Sometimes the bears might even turn up at an agency before the bad news had come out. So the chief executive might look out of his window, see the Bad News Bears lurking on the pavement in front of his building and know that his agency was about to get dumped on.

It was a brilliant, hilarious idea five years ago, when the industry was booming and bad news generally didn't hang around for long. These days, the Bad News Bears would be in overdrive, and very unfunny.

We don't have the budget to dress three guys in bear suits and pay them to hang around agency receptions, but if we did, 2012 would be the year for the Good News Bears. Not because I expect there's going to be a lot of good news around next year. But because we need to spread some positivity and shout about the brilliant stuff even louder than before.

So come the new year, look out for new editorial slots celebrating the amazing breadth of talent in the UK advertising industry, seeking out even more inspiring work, driving new learnings for the business and championing it at every turn.

To ramp up the fun factor, we'll also be running the Campaign Agency Olympics across next year (darts, pool, bowling ... minimal physical prowess required). Because as well as focusing as much as possible on the positives, 2012 will also be a good year to remind ourselves why advertising is such a brilliant place to work.

Yes, the general fug of gloom lowering over the industry is thickening. Yes, everyone is knackered. Yes, no-one's had enough fun this year. From increased workloads to the rise of procurement, from crippling fee negotiations to the introduction of the Bribery Act, it's harder than ever to actually enjoy earning a living.

But it has struck me many times over recent weeks as I've pitched up to one black-tie Christmas shindig after another (even including the execrable Marketing Society bash last week) how fortunate the advertising industry is to contain so many brilliant, fun and inspiring people, who generally rather like each other. So, as 2011 creeps away, there's plenty to feel good about for 2012.

Next week, we're publishing the Campaign Annual (spreading much joy, but a little disappointment too, I know) and then we're back in print on 12 January. Visit campaignlive.co.uk for your fix until then.

Happy Christmas.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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