Editorial: Best of British talent took on the world ... and won

A relentless gloom has pervaded British advertising for so long that it often stops those involved from not being able to see the silver linings for the clouds. This being the case, it's easy to adopt a Jeremiah-like attitude towards the latest Gunn Report, which reveals the UK ad industry won more creative awards than any other country in 2006.

And the good news doesn't stop there. The UK's world-beating performance was even better than that of the US, which has been pushed off the top spot for the first time since the Gunn Report first appeared in 1999.

So why is there no dancing in the streets of Soho and Covent Garden? Perhaps because the findings do not seem to square with the anecdotal evidence. This year, awards-night audiences have not exactly been bowled over by the quality of the creative work on show. A cynic might even suggest that the report demonstrates it wasn't British creatives getting better, more that those elsewhere just got worse.

But to hell with that. While client procurement specialists continue threatening agency investment in the creative product and ad budgets remain depressed, the best of British creative work can still take on the world ... and beat it.

The fact the Gunn Report highlights this is cause for celebration, since it is based on performances in the world's top regional, national and global arenas. It takes a scientific approach to the task, so it's likely to gain credibility with clients who seek ways of measuring creative effectiveness.

So maybe it's time to see the future as a glass half-full, rather than half-empty. While overall budgets have continued to fall, IPA Bellwether research suggests they are bottoming out, as wider economic growth continues to pick up.

Perhaps UK adland is in danger of selling itself short through its own insecurity. But before that happens, it's worth remembering the Guinness "noitulove" spot from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO is currently the world's most-awarded commercial, with Fallon London's "balls" ad for Sony Bravia close behind. Can there be two better reasons to be more cheerful?


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