Our office mailbags are groaning with letters pointing out the
curious coincidence that the five agencies that signed a recent ad in
Campaign reminding the D&AD jury that ’it is ideas that move people not
techniques’ are the very ones that do rather well at the D&AD
prize-giving every year.
Of course, our correspondents do not venture to suggest foul play on the
part of Souter, Hegarty, Cox, Delaney and Weinberger ... it’s just
that ... er ... it smacks of old fartism ... and ... well ... it’s a bit
I could have understood it better if the creative directors who signed
it had been snubbed by the D&AD in its jury selection. But all five
agencies were represented last year, and of the 13 agencies represented
this year, five are ’we, the undersigned’.
I could have understood it better too if it had not been signed by Peter
Souter. For Souter’s agency - Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO - created Volvo’s
’twister’, which won the only gold award (for Tony Kaye’s directing) and
four silvers at last year’s D&AD. ’Twister’ also ran into (undeserved)
flak for being a triumph of visual gimmickry without an idea. But Souter
wouldn’t have the inclination, never mind the bad manners, to torment
his own agency.
I’m told that the point of the ad is to trumpet the view that it is easy
to lose sight of what makes advertising function - selling - in the face
of craft skills. Take the argument on and clients might as well give
briefs straight to production companies. Perhaps the creative mafia have
a point after all.
But it seems odd they should be so critical of D&AD judging when each of
them could probably cite recent examples of ads from their own agencies
that are not good advertising ideas but that have won D&AD awards. That
suggests something about the very basis of the most respected awards
scheme in advertising, and I’m afraid what it suggests isn’t very