The BTAA Awards 2008: Chairman's Foreword

In the past couple of years, many people have been bemoaning the lower standard of work coming out of the UK. Rightly so, I think.

Well, now I'm pleased to say: "Watch out America. Watch out Argentina. Watch out Brazil, the former Soviet republics and Burkina Faso, because Britain is back."

This was a much better year - a viewpoint echoed by every member of the jury. We believe we saw a greater spread of very good work than in recent years, and an overall winner that generated enormous popularity and fame with both the industry and the general public.

I could say it beats the drum to which British advertising can march forwards with confidence. But that would be a bad pun, so I won't.

Where we still appear to lag behind other markets is in the areas of web-based advertising and branded content. Although these are new categories for BTAA, they are well established in many awards shows globally, and much of the debate among the jury centred on these topics.

Finally a quick word from the jury to those writing virals: Stop resorting to knob and arse gags and gratuitously explicit garbage such as depicting a child's birth in a store. Try writing stuff that's 1. original and 2. that people would actually want to forward on. There's an Arrow in it for those who heed this advice.

I'd like to thank the fantastic jury for their time, opinions and dedication to the judging process and for the BTAA for asking me to be chairman of the jury. It was an honour and a pleasure.

Richard Flintham, creative partner, Fallon London
Jane Hilton, head of marketing, Fresh Retail Ventures
Phil Rumbol, marketing director, Cadbury Trebor Basset
Tim Davie, director of marketing, communications, and audiences, BBC
Ewan Paterson, executive creative director, CHI & Partners
Anita Davis, creative director, JWT London
Andy McLeod, director, Rattling Stick
Lizie Gower, managing director, Academy
Nick Gill, creative director, Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Dougal Wilson, director, Blink Productions
Vince Squibb, director, Gorgeous Enterprises
Giles Montgomery, creative director, Grand Union
Mark Denton, director, Coy
Brian di Lorenzo, director of integrated production, BBDO New York
Philip Almond, marketing director, Diageo GB
Catherine Kehoe, brand communication manager, Lloyds TSB
Yan Elliott, joint creative director, WCRS
Lindsey Clay, head of marketing, Thinkbox
Helen Langridge, managing director, HLA
Paul Silburn, creative partner, Saatchi & Saatchi
Trevor Beattie, creative director, Beattie McGuinness Bungay.