THE BOOK OF LISTS: BEST DIARY STORIES OF 2001 - Peter gets his claws out in a memo biting back at Larry's bark

In March this year history was made when Larry Barker and Peter

Souter engaged in the first recorded memo war between fellow Omnicom

creative directors:

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

no excuse".

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."


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