It was me! Oh no it wasn’t! Oh yes it was! An excerpt from
Cinderella, perhaps? Or even Babes in the Wood? Alas, no. This is a
snippet of the pantomime that plays out in the pages of Campaign
virtually every week.
This is where the various creative alumni vie for the approbation and
celebrity of being identified as the unequivocal inspiration behind a
particular commercial or campaign idea.
I may be only a punter, but do I give a toss? What does it really matter
who invented the strapline for Strand cigarettes (who indeed?), the Do
It All jingle or the unforgettable Shake ’n’ Vac ad? Hello boys, take it
easy. Besides, who is the copywriter of the Silk Cut ads? I think we
should be told.
You see, it strikes me that there are as many people seeking to claim
credit for our modern day Heineken and Benson and Hedges ads as there
are brand managers being interviewed by headhunters, who alone purport
to have conceived of Pepsi Blue, the Tesco ClubCard and Two Dogs. (Well,
two out of three ain’t bad.)
Why don’t we resolve to put the agency at the forefront of the
This includes the account or new-business team that landed the client or
pitch in the first place; the planner that wrote the creative brief; the
art director and the resident agency ’guru’ and so on. It is the agency
that garners clients for creatives to vent their spleens upon. It is the
agency that fosters the environment, initially recruits them and, as
they graduate, pays them the outlandish sums of money to which they hope
to become accustomed.
But for all this, what I want, what I really, really want, is
recognition for the effectiveness of good advertising. Is the client
getting value for money? For that matter, is the brand, through its
advertising, being talked about? And are my fellow punters coming back
for more? These are the things that really matter and, as in the
pantomime, it’s the whole ensemble (ie the company) that gets to take a
Send your rants (around 300 words, please) to Diary Editor, Campaign,
174 Hammersmith Road, London W6 7JP