Posters - as has so often been said - are the purest form of advertising. They either work in an instant or they're not posters. So you might think judging them would be easy and cause no real friction or fireworks. In which case, you'd be wrong. This year's very eminent jury had its passions aroused - egos were bruised, work ripped up, fist-fights broke out. But in the end, I think the right decisions were reached ... in most cases.
One thing that concerned me, however, as I looked through the entries was that I think we're in danger of losing sight of the point of posters - which is utter simplicity - by using some of the newer categories, such as "ambient", as an excuse for self-indulgent and frankly irritating stunts, which (in my book, at least) ain't posters and sometimes take an age to understand. If you have to stand and study the thing, it's not a poster, it's a think piece.
Perhaps we need to more clearly define this particular category. After all, what's a non-ambient poster? Aren't all posters ambient just by dint of existing? Happily, our jury was made up of very smart people, who quickly dispatched all the self-indulgent nonsense and, as you'll see, the ambient winner clearly shows, when used properly, what a important and growing medium this is. It also happens to be a very good poster.
There is some lovely work to admire, but I don't think any of us thought it a vintage year. I'd just like to finish by saying that, as chairman, I wasn't actually allowed to vote. So, if you violently disagree with any of the winners, I'm entirely blameless.
Malcolm Poynton - Executive creative director, Ogilvy & Mather
Jon Lewis - Managing director, Clear Channel (billboards)
Nigel Mansell - Managing director, Concord
Neil A Dawson - Creative partner, TBWA\London
Dave Wakefield - Typographer, Campbell Doyle Dye
John O'Keeffe - Executive creative director, Bartle Bogle Hegarty
(Chairman of the judges)
Ivan Pollard - Partner, Ingram Partnership
John Donnelly - Creative director, J. Walter Thompson
Jo Moore - Creative manager, WCRS
Paul Andrews - Marketing communications manager, BMW (GB)
Tony Barry - Copywriter, Clemmow Hornby Inge
Mary Wear - Senior copywriter, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Rooney Carruthers - Partner, Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest
James Bidwell - Marketing director, Selfridges
Ewan Paterson - Joint creative director, BMP DDB
Carole Kerman - Chief executive, Outdoor Connection
Gerry Moira - Chairman and executive creative director, Publicis