CAMPAIGN PRESS ADVERTISING AWARDS 2003: Past Winners 1983-92 - Tim Delaney, Chairman, Leagas Delaney

It is hard to look at these ads without a sense of nostalgia for ... what?

Headlines that give you no choice but to read on, copy that's persuasive, art direction that lets the dog see the rabbit and yet gives each of the brands shown here a personality.

And yet as you peruse these ads, you are looking at the first signs of change in the way the UK ad industry has come to regard print advertising.

The seeds of this change are in two campaigns: Persil and Levi's.

The first, Persil, was unusual for a leading detergent brand in that the obligatory housewife, washing machine and starburst were all missing.

A fresh approach, although it did owe something to a "Sanforised" campaign from the US. Its strength wasn't in its argument, it was in its style.

Which leads us to the Levi's campaign. It was not the information in the headline (which any self-respecting jeans-wearer knew anyway) but the Avedon photographs and the clean, loose look of the type. Again it was the visuals that made the impact, the words used merely to convey the attitude and personality of the brand.

This belief that print ads are really posters - little copy, arresting visuals - is now the norm, if this year's Campaign Press Awards submissions are anything to go by. The only long-copy ads on offer were parodies of the excellent long-copy ads on show here for the GLC, RSPCA and Great Ormond Street.

But before anyone gets het up about the decline of one of the major craft skills of our beloved industry, we should remember two things.

The internet has changed the way consumers receive much of the information that used to find its way into copy. So BMW, for instance, can write print ads like posters knowing that anyone considering spending £50k on a car will go to the website and receive an avalanche of information about the particular model he or she is interested in.

Advertising, like other forms of pop communication, constantly has to find new ways of cutting through with what are often old or familiar messages.

Today, visuals may have impact. Tomorrow, a headline- driven, long-copy ad might appear so unusual that it is perceived as fresh. But will people read it? Yes. But only if it's relevant to their lives. After all, we all read: magazine and book sales continue to soar. Maybe even Levi's, the progenitor of so much of the visually led advertising we see today, will surprise us all one day and tell us in 500 beautifully crafted and highly persuasive words why we should believe their denim is better than Diesel's.