THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 "Best" Campaign Turkeys of the year

1. Clairol Herbal Essences

In this spot, set in a courtroom, a female lawyer is transported to

orgasmic fantasy because she has the "urge to 'erbal". Step forward New

York's Kaplan Taylor agency and the poor sods who had to adapt the ad

for the UK, Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB.

2. AA Online Insurance

Hands up all the harassed blokes who would rather slit the brake cables

on the car driven by this harridan than let her nag them into logging on

to the AA website. OK, so everyone knows that buying car insurance is a

chore. But did HHCL & Partners really have to turn the experience into


3. DFS Furniture

Tacky rubbish even by the standards of most furniture retail

advertising. Sofas aren't sexy and Ward Longworth & Camponi's spoof

eroticism of this ad quickly goes limp. As for the couple pouring cream

over themselves, what a mess!

4. Carte Noir

David "Because I'm worth it" Ginola's transfer from flogging shampoo to

coffee doesn't work. Euro RSCG BETC's commercial looks like it's locked

in an 80s timewarp. Kraft Foods would have been better following the

lead of the French heart-throb's club, Aston Villa, by leaving him on

the bench.

5. Honda Civic

Woman strips off in back of a car before signing autographs in a

restaurant, throwing in a bit of Timotei hair-tossing for good measure.

The Leith Agency's scenario would have been barely credible in a Rolls

Royce Silver Cloud. But in a Honda Civic? Oh please!

6. Nivea for Men

Two blokes on a sofa saying how rubbish they think an ad is. Of course

they're far too savvy to fall for advertising's blandishments; however,

they don't mind rubbing on a bit of Nivea. Sorry Banks Hoggins

O'Shea/FCB, but your brief's showing.

7. Conservative Party

Determined not to have a smart-arse London agency deliver its election

message - assuming it could have found one to take it on - the Tories

opted for Edinburgh-based Yellow M's advertising equivalent of a lost


8. McDonald's

The kindest thing that could be said about the Leo Burnett spot

featuring a couple of Geordies crooning Fog on the Tyne is that it must

have been an aberration by one of the UK's best advertisers. The

commercial is enough to make Gazza fall off the wagon.

9. Aits

A ridiculous and -thankfully - short-lived campaign in which a woman

cuts short a nookie session to sort out her finances. Well you would,

wouldn't you? No you wouldn't. Not a sound advertising investment from

HHCL & Partners.

10. Zurich Financial Services

And ad which must have cost a bomb to make -stars such as Peter O'Toole

don't come cheap - and did what was expected. It bombed. Casting the old

thespian in a wizard's outfit alongside a rugby-mad kid left nobody the

wiser about what Zurich actually did. Agency Joshua didn't make the

walls come tumbling down with this one.


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