THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Best letters in Campaign

1. David Kershaw wrote a coruscating response to Dominic Mills'

column inspired by the reaction of Carlton's Martin Bowley to a sales

initiative by the RAB.Kershaw is one of those senior figures in the

advertising industry whose letters to Campaign are full of insightful

and constructive comment, and always conveyed with the wit and maturity

for which he is rightly renowned. Sadly this spirited defence of a

senior ITV figure counted for nothing - ITV's account still eludes M&C


"Having appreciated Claire Beale's insightful and often forceful comment

on media issues, I was somewhat horrified to see her column replaced by

the very personal bile directed by Dominic Mills towards Martin Bowley

(Perspective, 5 October).It's one thing to attack a media owner's

tactics but another to display such ugly aggression towards an

individual who, as anyone who does business with him knows, deserves a

lot better.If we are going to have to put up with Dominic's poison while

we await Claire's return, can I suggest the following topic, written in

his own unique, vitriolic style.It's about a very tired, bitter and sad

ex-editor who, wishing to make a quick impact, cynically launches cheap

personal insults in the hope people might think he has something to

say.I'm all for work-life balance, but please encourage Claire to come

back ASAP."

David Kershaw, M&C Saatchi - 12 October

2. Simon Wood from Claydon Heeley has the industry and the industry

organ banged to rights:

"Gary Sharpen is right to heap praise on Campaign (23 March). But what

is so fantastic about the magazine is that it so accurately reflects the

sliminess, the oiliness, the slipperiness and the vile self-love of


Simon Wood, Claydon Heeley Jones Mason - 30 March

3. Uri Geller (yes it really was him) wrote defending his credentials as

an artist, graphic designer, pottery designer, name-dropper etc:

"Did I detect a note of cynicism in your feature on how I designed the

FinkTank logo for Graham Fink? My credentials may be stronger than you


I have been painting for 40 years, my creations are displayed in museums

and galleries all over the world and I have studied under Salvador Dali

in the 70s.I've designed booklet art for Michael Jackson's new CD,

Invincible, as well as the inside cover of Belinda Carlisle's last album

and the sleeve of my forthcoming book, UnOrthodox Encounters. In

addition, I design pottery for Poole Pottery.

Most importantly, I drew the famous five-pointed star for the boys of

NSync when they were starting out and told them to incorporate it into

their logo to use it on all their artwork to assure them huge success.

They did, and my star is now the band's symbol. I met the boys last

weekend at Michael Jackson's party and told them I now consider myself

to be the sixth member of NSync."

Uri Geller Via e-mail - 21 September

4. Chris Locke from MediaVest wrote extolling the virtues of then

colleague Nick "Satan" Theakstone as media buyer extraordinaire.

Theakstone (see Top Ten Media Buyers, p25) is now having his wicked way

at MindShare. Campaign took Locke at his word and decided he was too

useless to appear on the list twice:

"Tickled pink as I was to be credited with the bizarre moniker 'Mad

Dog', I'd have expected to be associated with a rather different "c"

word than charmless. However, I feel I should put the record straight as

to who should rightfully occupy the No.1 Media Buyer slot.

It is indeed a MediaVest person but it should have been Nick 'Satan'

Theakstone. Nick is the devil incarnate, evil through and through, hence

his nickname. Think Robert de Niro in Angel Heart. In fact, if you've

seen the film, think de Niro's prop (an egg) and you'll really get the

picture! So Nick should be No. 1, I'll happily drop to No.2, and the

beauty of this approach is it fucks Lomas completely out of the top


Chris Locke, MediaVest - 12 January

5. Martin Loat from Propeller wrote in about TBWA's short and sweet

house ad referring to its inability to win Agency of the Year two years

running. "Second Again" read the copy in minimal fcuk style. And, yes,

there was a small "fuck" in the bottom right-hand corner:

"Shame on you, Campaign, for running that cheap and offensive

TBWA/London house ad (Campaign, 19 January). This isn't clever

advertising. Quite the reverse. It is nothing more than a childish

attempt to grab attention by reversing the two letters 'c' and 'u' to

dilute the most powerful and controversial four-letter word in the

Anglo-Saxon advertising lexicon and turn it into a banality."

Martin Loat, Propeller Group - 9 February

6. Andy Sylvester, a reader with an eagle eye for patronising bollocks,

was inspired to write in about the comments of Stephen Callender, who

runs a small below-the-line agency bought by JWT:

"J. Walter Thompson staffers must be feeling pretty perked up that

Stephen Callender, the joint managing director of the mighty Black Cat

agency in Richmond, feels that they are 'an intelligent bunch of

people'. Not that he'd wish to appear patronising in any way, of


Andy Sylvester, Broadwell - 23 February

7. Adam Kirby was one of many readers with an adolescent's addiction to

rude words (hear hear to that) who kept the fcuk campaign on the letters

page all year:

"I have just completed a biography of the 11th century king of England,

Cnut (he of the non-tide reversal/ fawning courtiers debacle). Do you

suppose there's any chance of having TBWA/London look at an ad campaign

for it, based on its sterling work for fcuk?"

Adam Kirby, Walham Green - 23 February

8. Rupert Howell, the most self-effacing man in this or any other

advertising universe, revealed that he can now add boy racer and mean

letter writer to his many other talents:

"With reference to last week's diary page: I always knew my friend Moray

MacLennan was economical with the truth, but this is ridiculous!

Moray has a blue Aston Martin (not red) and he cut up a Ford Mondeo

minicab I was being driven in. It was the driver who took exception, not

me, and, frankly, Moray was crapping himself until he saw me laughing in

the back.I would not be so juvenile as to indulge in road rage, and,

anyway, if I had been driving my own car I would have beaten him."

Rupert Howell, Chime Communications - 13 April

9. Paul White from JWT suggested a name change for Howell Henry

following the arrival of Simon Burridge:

"I was interested to read that Simon Burridge is joining Howell Henry. A

friend told me they are thinking of changing the agency name to

acknowledge his arrival. Is this true? (Apparently the name they are

considering is Hooray Henry.)"

Paul White, J. Walter Thompson - 4 May

10. Trevor Beattie, newly installed as chairman of TBWA, wrote to say

he'd do it his way. Mrs Beattie sounds like a damn fine woman to us:

"I've been getting a lot of helpful advice recently. A Mr Hegarty urged

me to keep writing ads. 'As soon as you stop working ... your creative

relevance diminishes,' he warned. A Mr Stamp thought otherwise,

believing I should remove myself entirely from the creative process.I

asked my Mum. 'Do it your own way, son,' she said. 'And just try and do

the best you can. It's all anyone can expect of you and it hasn't served

you too badly so far.' It's a thought. And it doesn't contain a single

Shakespearean reference."

Trevor Beattie, TBWA/London - 1 June.


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