CAMPAIGN DIARY: Duckworth Finn looks to artist to help put its clients in the picture

An advertising agency needs to display its client list somewhere prominent in the office.

An advertising agency needs to display its client list somewhere

prominent in the office.

It could, like Saatchi & Saatchi and TBWA GGT Simons Palmer, announce

its successes in its reception to impress visitors when they walk

through the door. Alternatively, it could follow St Luke’s example and

turn each room into a shrine to a particular client - although that

means taking people on a guided tour of the building to show them the

extent of their client list. Or it could, like Duckworth Finn Grubb

Waters, take a different route and incorporate its clients into a huge


The agency decided on the idea after several attempts to brighten up its

second floor were unsuccessful. It was felt that a selection of life

drawings - created by agency staff as the result an art course - didn’t

best project the agency’s image, so the artist, Stuart Free, was called

upon to create a masterpiece.

The painting was based on a composition of photos that were meticulously

manipulated to provide a template. The painting took more than two weeks

to complete so anyone who experienced odd conversations with Duckworth

Finn staff during that time can put their behaviour down to the effects

of paint fumes. Honestly.

The agency’s 15 clients all feature in the painting. The baby signifies

Mothercare, if you look closely in one of the cupboards you can see a

jar of Pharmaton capsules, on the floor there is a Co-op bag and to the

left of that are copies of NME and Melody Maker in the magazine


On the kitchen counter there is a bottle of Uvistat sun lotion and an ad

for the Independent Television Commission is just about visible on the

back of a copy of The Sun a man is reading. A Daewoo Nubira with the

agency’s letters, DFGW, on its number plate, appears through the back


On a pragmatic note, the painting is adaptable should the agency lose or

win any accounts, as Free has left space for additional products and

will be able to paint clients out should the agency part company with


Although the man depicted is nothing to do with the agency (he was

styled on the father of Free’s partner) the portrait of the woman was

posed for by Elaine O’Dwyer, the creative services manager, a woman who

is clearly confident that she’s going to be at Duckworth Finn for a

quite a while.