In March this year history was made when Larry Barker and Peter
Souter engaged in the first recorded memo war between fellow Omnicom
The luvvies are fighting mad over a Private View (16 March) which had
the temerity to suggest that the new BTinternet campaign from Abbott
Mead Vickers BBDO was ... er ... a pile of poo.
In the blue corner stands Larry Barker, he of the vituperative pen, who
landed the first punch with a review so splenetic it's hard to summarise
- even though his comments about "ludicrously short lead times" have
struck a chord with sections of the creative community.
Suffice to say that comments such as "old pants" and "like You've Been
Framed without the laughs" were among the kinder to emerge from Barker
about AMV's ad.
Following this clumping right-hander with a left to the solar plexus,
Barker went on to argue that the work produced by the creative team,
Mike Nicholson and Daryl Corps, was "poorly crafted, for which there is
In the red corner is Peter Souter, AMV's executive creative director,
who has counter-attacked with the kind of language not normally
associated with the agency regarded as the personification of David
Abbott's good manners.
In his all-staff memo headed "Barking Mad", Souter makes it clear that
the gloves are off. "Larry is a fellow creative director inside the
Omnicom group so it would be inappropriate for me to point out that he
has never won a Pencil and wouldn't know a good ad if it bit him in his
ample arse," he writes. Ouch!
"Nor would it be prudent of me to point out that his poor creative
judgment and non-existent people skills have played a large part in
BMP's recent failures." Wallop!
Finally, a vicious jab intended to turn Barker into a horizontal
"I will, however, say that Daryl and Mike will be creative directors of
a major UK agency long after Mr Barker has run out of employers."