Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s Levi’s Sta-Prest commercials were the most
written-about ads of 1999, gaining more national press coverage than any
The Sta-Prest campaign attracted 21 picture stories, putting it at the
top of the ’Ads that make news’ survey, published quarterly by Propeller
In second place was Sainsbury’s, which suffered negative publicity over
its ’Value to shout about’ campaign, starring John Cleese. The ads were
blamed for Sainsbury’s ill fortunes last year, when the chief executive,
Dino Adriano, said that although the campaign had improved customers’
perceptions of value, it had failed to increase its sales targets. The
campaign attracted 12 picture stories.
Oxo took third place with 11 stories after Van den Bergh Foods announced
plans to ditch the traditional Oxo family after 16 years and replace it
with a more contemporary approach.
The most advertising-friendly newspaper was The Telegraph, which devoted
61 stories to advertising in 1999.
Martin Loat, the managing director of Propeller, said: ’Over the years
ads have made news for brands by using celebrities to front their
campaigns. Levi’s gained the most coverage by creating its own celebrity
and building him up to become part of contemporary culture.’