CAMPAIGN CRAFT: PROFILE - What got Malcolm and Moore through the merger/The TBWA Simons Palmer duo hold the shop in high regard. By Michele Martin

Tony Malcolm and Guy Moore have been rubbing shoulders with the stars recently, both inside and outside the world of advertising.

Tony Malcolm and Guy Moore have been rubbing shoulders with the

stars recently, both inside and outside the world of advertising.



Like a couple of excited fans, they tell you how they thrashed Billy

Connolly at darts on location in Los Angeles filming the latest Goldfish

campaign and talked camera angles with Eric Cantona during Nike’s

’parklife’ shoot.



Nor have they stinted on big names behind the camera, as a glance at

their agency’s Who’s Who of a showreel reveals. Daniel Barber was

drafted in to mastermind Goldfish, Jonathan Glazer to direct Nike and

Chris Palmer to shoot the most recent Sony Playstation epic, in his

directorial debut for his former agency. And even as you read this,

Graham Fink is probably hanging out of a helicopter filming a spot for

the British Heart Foundation.



In fact, life for the duo has been hectic since they decided to return

to the then Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson last September as joint

creative directors, just two years after leaving to take the creative

reins at CDP. But the fast pace of life has had its downs as well as

ups.



On the plus side, there have been the celebrities, a string of notable

ads and a return to the agency that Malcolm says ’we wanted to come back

to, the day we walked out’. But harder to handle must have been the

upheavals that faced the pair just after they returned.



First came the news of the merger with TBWA, followed by speculation

about power struggles in the creative department. Then came the

departure of the creative heads, Andy McKay and Paul Hodgkinson, and

other teams.



To some less robust types, such chopping and changing might have

disturbed the creative muse. But Malcolm and Moore seem to have become

immune to tricky working environments. Both survived at CDP, despite the

unceremonious departure of their predecessors, Nick Welch and Billy

Mawhinney, and the high-octane regime of managing director, Ben

Langdon.



Perhaps, having had such experiences, the pair seem unconcerned about

the whispering surrounding TBWA Simons Palmer. ’Yes, it has been

unsettled here and we’ve lost quite a few people,’ Malcolm admits. ’But

things are settling down and will continue to do so once both agencies

have moved into the one building.’



And they have genuine respect for the agency with which they are about

to co-habit. ’If you look at the stuff that TBWA is good at, it’s not so

far from us,’ Moore says.



The pair first teamed up at Leagas Delaney in 1983, shortly after Moore

had parted company with J. Walter Thompson and Malcolm had left Saatchi

& Saatchi. Originally placed together on a hunch by Tim Delaney, the two

have been together ever since without a break. When not working, Malcolm

plays amateur football and supports Fulham, while Moore scours car boot

sales for old Blue Peter annuals. Occasionally, they skive off and play

golf for the day.



Ask what has kept them together for 14 years, besides the odd turn

around a golf course, and each cites the differences in their

personalities.



’Guy’s a bit more radical and frenetic than me. I’m more laid back and

tend to think things through,’ Malcolm says. ’We don’t always agree;

we’re different characters, but somehow we complement each other,’ Moore

adds.



And if proof were needed of the fit, it comes in a brief glance down

their list of recent work, which proves their ability to come up with

the goods even during the hardest periods of agency disturbance. In

their first eight months at CDP alone, their Hamlet work scooped two

Cannes golds and two silvers at the Campaign Poster Awards, while their

Newcastle Brown Ale work also took a Campaign silver. And amid the

Simons Palmer merger furore, they created ’parklife’, co-penned Goldfish

and oversaw the Playstation spot.



This ability to keep an eye on the ball is undoubtedly helped by their

passion for making ads themselves rather than simply directing the

traffic.



’Looking at a blank pad is the most frightening thing in the world, and

doing it reminds you how frightening it is for everyone else,’ Moore

explains.



As you might expect from a couple who claim to have had just one big

bust-up in their entire working lives, both are now united in their

determination to make the nuts and bolts of the merged agency work. Both

seem quite happy at the prospect of sharing responsibility with TBWA’s

creative directors, John Kelley and Steve Chetham - described by the

pair as an ’unsung hero’ - although the division of accounts between

them all has still to be decided.



However, to aid the transition, teams from each of the agencies are

already working at their sister shops and all four creative directors

consult each other on the most significant pieces of work leaving under

the TBWA Simons Palmer brand.



Malcolm concludes: ’We came back to find this agency handling bigger

pieces of business than it was when we left, with clients like Goldfish

and Sony, and that’s why the merger had to happen. We didn’t want to

leave in the first place and we’re glad to be back.’



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