Bad year for press advertising at D&AD

-- It has been another thin year for press advertising at the D&AD Awards, with only one nomination made this year for copywriting, and none at all for press advertising or art direction.

-- It has been another thin year for press advertising at the D&AD Awards, with only one nomination made this year for copywriting, and none at all for press advertising or art direction.

D&AD's director, David Kester, described the overall performance of press advertising this year as "poor", but added that it was "not as stark" as in 1996, when no copywriting entries even made it into the D&AD.

"It's difficult to say why the quality of press advertising is so low," he said. "You can't write this off as a freak occurrence, because three different juries — art direction, copywriting and press — all had the same problem."

In contrast to press, Kester added it was a bumper year for broadcast media. This, he said "really stood up as a showcase for excellence".

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO dominated the nominations this year, with frequent mentions for its Dulux and Guinness campaigns, especially "surfer". Saatchi & Saatchi also appeared more than once for the Army, WCRS for Landrover and Speedo, and Wieden & Kennedy for Nike.

Another trend among this year's results was a notable absence of the dotcom advertising that so obviously propelled US agencies to the top of last year's winners list. "It was a very good year for the Brits," said Kester, "and also for mainstream brands".

The sole nomination this year for copywriting went to AMV for its anti-smoking campaigns for the Health Education Authority, including "powder", "cream" and "ash tray". Posters, however, put up a stronger showing than press, with six nominations made in the poster category, half of them for AMV's work for Guinness.

The D&AD's newly-revamped interactive design category saw a total of 334 entrants this year, which were whittled down to just nine nominations. These included websites for the Design Museum, a Cartoon Network game called Townsville Terror, and Sony Mavica's online advertising.

Kester said it was too early to say whether press advertising's poor performance would spark any extra initiatives by the D&AD. The poor showing in 1996 prompted a series of educational initiatives to try to improve standards.



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