D&AD blasted for Britart flyposters

The outdoor industry has lashed out at D&AD's decision to award its

only Gold Pencil for advertising to Mother for its Britart.com campaign,

accusing the design body of condoning the illegal practice of


Britart.com took gold last week in D&AD's ambient media category, for

work which included flyposters tied to everyday items such as lampposts,

railings and pavements, describing them as pieces of art. Industry

leaders in the outdoor sector have spoken out against the award because

they feel that it does not help their cause in improving the standards

of outdoor advertising.

Alan Simmons, the chairman of the outdoor specialist Concord, said:

"Those like the D&AD who, with their actions condone flyposting, are

doing a great disservice to the outdoor industry and all who work within

its accepted rules." He added: "It really is an underworld business

which is growing, with the agencies conniving with clients to do

guerrilla advertising to the detriment of the outdoor business."

David Pugh, the director of sales and marketing at Maiden Outdoor, said:

"I'm deeply dismayed at seeing a campaign involving flyposting being

given an award because, in effect, it is condoning an illegal


Annie Rickard, the chief executive of Posterscope and newly appointed

head of IPA Outdoor, believes that such an award reduces the skillbase

of outdoor buying. She said: "While on the one hand I can see how

incredibly relevant this campaign was for Britart.com, at best some of

the activity is borderline and some of it is blatantly illegal. It is

more work to do it cleverly and legally than to be clever and illegal.

There's a lot of this sort of thing going on and it has already made

mainstream planning approval difficult to get."

Trade bodies such as the IPA and ISBA have, within their policy

recommendations to members, urged them not to get involved in flyposting

campaigns. The taking over of paid-for outdoor sites, as well as using

public spaces illegally, is prompting bodies such as National Heritage

to object to outdoor advertising. While outdoor companies pay local

authority rates for legal ads, flyposting is deemed illegal.

David Kester,the chief executive of D&AD, said: "If it was acknowledged

that the regulators had been onto this campaign, that might have been an

issue. We wouldn't endorse anything that is seen to deface or adversely

affect another medium. The fundamental ideas at the heart of this

extensive campaign were what the jury was rewarding."

Stef Calcraft, a founding partner of Mother, added: "Britart.com is a

multimedia campaign that extends from press, posters and direct

marketing to ambient media. It exploits perfectly today's media

landscape for Britart."