BACKBITE

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.

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

self-important, innit?



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

wholesome.



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