A BIG Awards Promotion: BIG-ging up British ... Press

Why on earth are you reading this? I'm not sure I would be. Bigging up press advertising? Yawn-almighty.

What is there to big up about British press, or anyone else's come to that, that hasn't been "bigged up" before? And by people much cleverer and wiser than me. The other nagging problem, of course, is that if one does praise our ability at press, won't that just fuel the theory that we as a nation are lagging behind in the new stuff?

Press advertising has and continues to foster some fantastic creativity but it's hardly new news.

"All you need to know about digital" or "Integration, how to do it like Crispin" - now they're headlines that would attract readers.

In today's world of communication, participation is king, and rightly so. But where does good old press advertising stand?

Well, actually, where it's always stood, at the home of participation. While posters and television have always intruded on your time, press ads exist within something you have bought. Something you willingly devote time to read. Something you trust and where you treat the ads as a guest of the host.

Reading a headline and copy is participation at its purest. And we should celebrate that.

It's a participation that is hard to entice however, as you have only your words and pictures to attract the consumer. You don't have great music, talented actors and brilliant directors as commercials do. Or the latest Flash technology as digital communication does. But what that means is great press advertising tends to be ideas at their purest - there's nowhere to hide. (And remember, it's easier to turn the page than change the channel.) So while other media can sometimes over- shadow press on the glory (and pay rise) front, the idea is always king at press awards.

Press allows people to write wonderful lines such as "My shout, he whispered" for reassuringly expensive Stella Artois and "After you get married, kiss your wife in places she's never been kissed before" for Four Corners Holidays. And you can create iconic images such as a man with a dog's eyes for Guide Dogs for the Blind and American cops taking cover behind the small but tough VW Polo.

And while digital is unbeatable for delivering information, print is unbeatable at showcasing how wonderful the product your client has spent millions developing looks.

The challenge for press is to continue to generate wonderful headlines and visuals but also create ideas where the participation becomes an interactive participation. Nike has always used print cleverly, with ideas that are part of, and drive, a bigger multimedia campaign. Such as the "North versus South" Run London campaign - the press ignited the North-South divide and drove you to the website to sign up.

British press is good and regularly produces gems. But we need more inventive ideas that generate interaction, such as the Nike work. Work that plays an active role within bigger multimedia campaigns. If we do this, we'll have press advertising that is the envy of the world.

And, ultimately, we should strive for great press advertising as there will always be people who'll want to read things printed on paper, as you are now.

- For more information and to enter the BIG awards, visit campaignbigawards.com

Ewan Paterson's five favourite things about Britain ...

- Yorkshire pudding. Pouring your gravy in to make a sea and seeing how long it takes before it all collapses.

- Lennon & McCartney. Jagger & Richards, Jones & Strummer ...

- Manchester City. Although sometimes I wish they didn't play in Britain but somewhere on the other side of the world so I didn't have to watch them.

- Talented people. For a tiny island, we are lucky to have a lot of them living here.

- Pubs with fires. Such as The Drovers Inn on Loch Lomond and Yorkshire Grey in W1.