D&AD judges have controversially rejected all the print work
entered for this year’s awards, causing an industry-wide storm over the
role of the organisation within the advertising community.
In the first round of judging, it is thought that none of the eligible
press or poster work was deemed worthy of a pencil and only a single
execution won even a nomination.
Judges were forced to reconvene for an emergency session to push through
a handful of print winners.
Larry Barker, the president of D&AD, refused to comment until the
official list of nominations is released on 11 May. David Kester, the
director of D&AD, also refused to comment but hinted: ’Lots of
interesting things are going to be said about print.’
The controversy has reignited the debate over whether D&AD has become
too ’precious’ in its attitude towards judging the commercial medium of
advertising. One insider said: ’D&AD is in crisis. They are concerned
that people will stop entering.’
Barker cut the ’copy’ category from this year’s awards and replaced it
with ’advertising writing’ in order to broaden the scope and
appreciation of copywriting, but the move does not seem to have had the
The print category was represented at the 1999 ceremony by four silver
awards. TBWA GGT Simons Palmer’s Waterstones work won in the copy and
art direction categories, while BMP DDB’s work for Volkswagen won
silvers for art direction and press.
One creative director said: ’It’s not encouraging for young people. It
is short-sighted and ridiculous. Judges from agencies are not willing to
give awards to their rivals.’