Charity and public sector ads head D&AD's awards shortlist

Advertising from the charity and public sectors figures strongly among the work vying for yellow Pencils in this year's D&AD Awards.

The BBC has received nine nominations for a series of programme promotional films, while the NSPCC, Oxfam and the Department of Health also make the awards shortlist. They are included in the 143 entries shortlisted for awards out of an original field of 21,500 items.

The BBC's assault on the awards is led by its spectacular "rush hour" commercial produced by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. Shot without the use of special effects, the film features a stuntman leaping across roofs high above grid-locked streets in order to be home in time to watch his favourite TV programme.

The film was nominated in the category for commercials longer than 60 seconds, for best direction and for best use of TV and cinema graphics.

The charity sector is spearheaded by the NSPCC with its Saatchi & Saatchi campaign aimed at galvanising people into action to stop child abuse without repelling them with harrowing images.

The resulting TV campaign, which portrays child victims as cartoon characters, is already a Cannes gold winner. It was nominated for best public service and charity commercial, best direction and best use of animation and music.

Saatchis' supporting poster work for the campaign is also shortlisted.

Meanwhile, Scottish Courage has the chance to extend the honours already heaped on its campaign to relaunch John Smith's beer featuring the comedian Peter Kay.

The laddish advertising by TBWA/London, which made "'ave it" and "top bombing" into everyday expressions, is a contender for three awards in the TV and cinema advertising category and two others in the sector covering TV and cinema advertising crafts.

Bartle Bogle Hegarty's controversial campaign for Xbox is slated for awards despite running into trouble with TV regulators and failing to turn Microsoft's product into a rival to Sony's PlayStation2.

Xbox's "Champagne", one of last year's most popular viral executions after it was banned from TV, has four nominations in various categories, giving it an opportunity to augment last year's Cannes gold Lion as the best creative film.

Meanwhile, the Xbox campaign could reap accolades at D&AD with its TV advertising with the strapline "Life is short, play more" and featuring mosquitoes whose playful life is ended by the demand that they should get to work.

Besides the increase in the number of nominations and the inclusion of 631 pieces of work for the D&AD Annual, the new non-English language categories have drawn entries from 55 countries and resulted in more nominations than ever before.

Michael Johnson, the president of D&AD, said the fact that there were 17 more nominations this year than last seemed to belie the current economic climate. "This suggests that creativity can still thrive in adversity and, as much of this year's strongest work came through the charity or public sectors, that perhaps these areas particularly thrive," he said.

The winners are due to be announced to an audience of more than 2,000 people during a ceremony at London's Earl's Court on 28 May.