If the papers are to be believed, recession lurks around the corner.

If the papers are to be believed, recession lurks around the


Traditionally, this means good news for the direct marketing


Last time, all those lovely big budgets flew south for the duration and

the teams laid off in adland sought sanctuary in DM agencies, where they

improved the product immeasurably.

But that was then. This time, the money meisters of adland ain’t going

to let all that lovely lucre slip away so easily. We’re going to have to

beat their pants off to get it. So, the question is, is our work bigger,

better, bolder and braver? Let’s take a look: Xerox’s agency has been

handed a great brief: cheap colour copying. The planner has concluded

that this means you can have colour every day. And the creative team has

grown this idea into ... into ... well, a personal organiser with a

different colour on each day. Hmm. Our guess, for what it’s worth, is

that there was no planner. The brief was to do an ad and a mail pack,

and the team, having heroically waded through all the corporate gubbins

supplied, arrived at a proposition and considered their job done. Not by

a long chalk, me hearties. You’ve done everyone else’s job except your

own. And the result is, we’re sorry to say, dull.

The British Red Cross. This is better. A writer who wants to get read

and an art director who has resisted the temptation to try to get


There is one quibble, though: where’s the surprise?

Renault. No surprises here either. The big idea is ’The Next Big Thing’

and you’re invited to ’The Big Event’. The copy is jaunty and the art

direction jolly. It is a good example of its category, and therein lies

its strength - or weakness - depending on your point of view.

There are two packs for Norwich Union. They span the direct marketer’s

craft. One looks like a bonus points mailing and deserves to see the

inside of a bin bag. The other is well-timed, well-targeted and contains

rather a neat idea. It arrives on your birthday in a plain envelope. On

the back is written ’Many Happy Returns’. Inside is a birthday card

Upon opening the card, you rip apart a cheque for 13 large ones and a

small paragraph of copy informs you that this is the amount you’ll lose

each year if you don’t start your pension now. A simple point

dramatically made. The handwritten type-face on the envelope could have

been better and the card could have been less corporate, but hey, why

get picky? It’s by far the best of the bunch this month.

Oh, Cable & Wireless has produced three mailings. The best is for the

movie package. It has a little ticket which tells you, at a glance, what

the offer is. The rest of the stuff is, well, yellow.



Brief: Develop a fully integrated campaign to generate leads for Xerox

colour equipment in the business environment

Agency: Wunderman Cato Johnson

Copywriter: Shaun Moran

Art director: Anita Fox


Brief: Give today’s children the chances you took for granted

Agency: Barraclough Hall Woolston Gray

Copywriter: Lisa Pember

Art director: Nicola Rogers


Brief: Communicate the rational and emotional qualities of the new

Renault Clio

Agency: Stretch The Horizon

Copywriter: Gilly Hanna Dudfield

Art director: Francis Reda


Brief: Cross-sell to customers either the television or telephone

service, if they only subscribe to one service at the moment

Agency: Grey Integrated

Copywriters: Lindsay McMorrow and Michael Rosen

Art directors: Kath Lees and Mellissa Collins

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