With the shops already so full of Yuletide cheer, I’m prompted into an early shopping spree. So, this week, all my unsuspecting entrants will receive a little Christmas stocking filler. No expense spared. Ho ho ho! Remember, it’s the thought that counts.

With the shops already so full of Yuletide cheer, I’m prompted into

an early shopping spree. So, this week, all my unsuspecting entrants

will receive a little Christmas stocking filler. No expense spared. Ho

ho ho! Remember, it’s the thought that counts.

First to be unwrapped feels solid, square and rattles a little when

shaken. Is it a pencil box? No, it’s a Blockbuster television campaign.

These ads are full of good cheer, especially the one with canned

laughter over people and animals doing absolutely nothing funny at all.

The message here is, ’why sit at home watching the crap on TV when you

could rent a really funny video?’ Only one thing irritates me about this

work: the over-the-top end device, accompanied by a big American

voiceover. It cheapens the good work done before. I accuse the client,

in the boardroom with the lead-piping. That’s why I’m giving Trev and

all at TBWA the family’s favourite whodunnit game - Cluedo.

Is it a pantomime dame? Could be - it’s a man dressed up as a woman. In

fact, it’s Nicholas Lyndhurst on the piste (he must have been!) playing

all the parts in another W. H. Smith campaign. Gold, frankincense and

myrrh go to the director and creative team who must have spent weeks in

post-production getting everything to fit. For me, however, it feels

like the tried and tested formula of a ’famous bloke goes in here’ ad. A

bit like receiving a pair of comfortable slippers for Christmas - so

that’s what I’ll be giving the boys at AMV this year.

Yet another obscure advertising campaign for a tobacco company? Ever

since B&H broke all the barriers 20 years ago, every fag brand has

jumped on the bandwagon. Read the type and you’ll get the message, but

something is missing from Lambert & Butler. For my money, it’s the other

6mgs of tar. Glad to get that off my chest! In any case, a box of cigars

are on their way to Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy.

Who’s the next One2One with? Well, it turns out to be the old anchor of

It’s A Knockout, Stuart Hall. This ad was intended to deliver a price

message and is separate from the main campaign. And it works fine. I

just find Stuart Hall a bit cheesy. So, season’s greetings to John

Hegarty, and I hope you enjoy the fondue set. (By the way, rumours are

rife that BBH has signed up Graham Watson to have a One2One with Eddie

Waring - subtitles, of course.)

At this time of year, everyone is a little kinder and more friendly to

each other. Pity life isn’t always like that. The posters for the CRE

remind me of that fact. They are very strong and have adopted the old

Nike styling. If I have one gripe, it would be that these ads could have

been more original. Nevertheless, the headlines are thought-provoking

and the photography is simple and strong. I was going to send Mark Wnek

the cigars, but he’s stopped smoking. So, my cuddly friend, here’s a


As a kid, I always left the biggest (and obviously best) present till

last. And this is every boy’s dream, a Scalextric set. The strategy is

smack on. As you press on the accelerator, down the straight just before

you hit the chicane, the ads tell you what all grown-ups know: we like

Scalextric just as much as the kids do. With the script written, the

directors make them come to life. There’s no glitz, no effects, just

great performances.

So my last gift goes to the directors. I cut across Regent Street and

nip down Bond Street. ’How much?’ Happy Christmas Paul and Vince.

Finally, thanks to Campaign for the Turkey they gave me earlier this

year, although I’m keen not to earn another in 1999. Stefano, I hope you

like the socks.

Have your say on channel six of CampaignLive at www.campaignlive.


Imperial Tobacco

Project: Lambert & Butler Ultra

Client: Peter Manzi, marketing manager

Brief: Launch Lambert & Butler Ultra as a new 1mg product with a

competitive price point

Agency: Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy

Writer: Matthew Woolner

Art director: Steve Wioland

Photographer: Dave Stewart

Exposure: National press and women’s magazines


Project: One2One - Talk longer for less

Client: Tim Yates, marketing manager

Brief: Communicate that with One2One people can really talk

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty Writer and art director:

Bruce Crouch Director: Theo Delaney

Production company: Tomboy Films

Exposure: National TV


Project: Scalextric

Client: Peter Newey, chairman

Brief: Trigger dad’s dormant excitement about Scalextric

Agency: Lowe Howard-Spink

Writer: Paul Silburn

Art director: Vince Squibb

Directors: Vince Squibb (’beautiful boy’) Paul Weiland (’unmarried mum’)

Production company: Paul Weiland Film Company

Exposure: National TV

Blockbuster Entertainment

Project: Blockbuster Entertainment

Client: Siobhan Chatburn, marketing director

Brief: Demonstrate the superior appeal of videos

Agency: TBWA GGT Simons Palmer

Writer: Steve Nicholls

Director: Colin Gregg

Art director: Matthew Anderson Production company: Eclipse

Exposure: National TV

Commission for Racial Equality

Project: CRE

Client: Colin Hann, acting chief executive

Brief: Force people to confront their passive racism

Agency: Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper Writers: Mark Wnek, David Chalu, David


Art directors: Paul Shearer, Dexter Ginn, Steve Rutterford

Photographer: Alistair Thain

Exposure: National posters

W. H. Smith

Project: W. H. Smith

Client: Nigel Leahy, marketing and promotions manager

Brief: Demonstrate that W. H. Smith has the best selection of music,

books, videos and multimedia products

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Writer: Malcolm Duffy

Art director: Paul Briginshaw

Director: Sid Roberson Production company: Sid Roberson Films

Exposure: National TV


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