CAMPAIGN PRESS ADVERTISING AWARDS 2003: Past Winners 1993-02 - Trevor Beattie, Chairman and creative director, TBWA/London

A funny thing happened to the press ad on its way to the 21st century.

At some point in the mid-90s, it started appearing, well ... outdoors. Unaccompanied.

Hanging around on street corners sporting nowt but a big brassy headline and obscenely short copy.

Behaviour like that was always going to attract the wrong sort of attention and sure enough, before you could say "Maiden Outdoor", the once retiring DPS and the 48-sheet poster soon found themselves butt naked, bangin' on the bathroom floor.

And the result of this menage a mixed media? The proster. Part press ad, part poster, all pervasive. And how baby has grown, fed as he is on a diet of glittering international baubles. Ah mama, we're all doin' prosters now.

But is that such a bad thing? Does it make you a bad person? The VW "wedding" ad is 100 per cent proster. It's also one of the finest print ads I've ever seen, produced by two of the nicest, most talented fellas you're ever likely to meet. So no harm there then.

Land Rover's "hippos" has proster written all over it, but anyone who can make the seamless art-directional link between £35k's worth of gleaming metallic blue 4x4 and a couple of flabby amphibious bottom-feeding vegetarian quadrupeds is welcome in my department any day of the week. Glorious, m'lud.

The Economist's "shredder" is the perfect proster. From the one-time home of the purple prose.

Nike's "Eric" is out-and-out outdoor. But it's brilliant. Look at it.

Study it. This is the ad by which all other sportswear ads must be judged.

This very advert defines the actual moment of Our Eric's elevation from thuggish Gallic striker to cultural icon. Rambo to Rimbaud in one fell swoosh.

Stella? Absolutely flawless. Could it be improved by the addition of copy? No.

The COI's magnificent nursing ad eloquently explains the process of bringing someone back from the dead. Is that a copywriter getting jump-started, or would that be one spooky metaphor too far?

Nissan Micra. Aw, shucks. You guys.

VW's "lost dog" is a press ad and some. A press ad whose headline appears as a flyposter which in turn contains a phone number which, when called, rewards the reader with information about the car. This is media fusion in a world of media confusion.

There's a time and a place for body copy, David. And maybe the press ad is no longer it. There, I've said it. But will it happen? Will this barmy decade finally witness the death of the staid old column of copy down the left-hand side of the page? Hey, you tell me. You've just wasted five whole minutes of your precious life reading this tosh. Don't you have anything better to do?

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