John Smith's ads push TBWA to top of creative league

LONDON - TBWA\London has won more creative awards this year than any other UK advertising agency on the back of the success of its work for John Smith's starring the comedian Peter Kay.

The agency, under the leadership of chairman and creative director Trevor Beattie, beat Bartle Bogle Hegarty to top the Brand Republic Creativity League table for the first time, scoring 213 points to BBH's 184. Last year's winner, Saatchi & Saatchi, was in third place with 126 points.

Beattie said that the success of work created for big brands proved that the best work sells the most product. He was critical of the amount of time spent discussing the size of budgets when creativity was the industry's purpose.

"We're delighted, especially in a year when the business seemed to be concentrating less on the size of an idea and more on the size of a yacht. Creativity is what we stand for," Beattie said.

TBWA's ads play up John Smith's as a no-nonsense beer and show Peter Kay representing Britain in a diving competition, where he does a bomb, and another where he tells his daughter that she should be worried about burglars and not monsters. The ads picked up a Gold Lion in Cannes and also won gold at the BTAA.

Other award-winning ads for the agency include the "under construction" billboard created to publicise Five's documentary about Michael Jackson's face and work for French Connection.

Bartle Bogle Hegarty won awards across a wide range of clients, including the children's charity Barnardo's, whose latest advertising has hit the headlines this week. Other campaigns to win awards were Xbox, Levi Strauss and Audi.

It was a good year for the bigger agencies in London, while the smaller creative hotshops lagged somewhat. Mother, highly rated as one of the most creative agencies in the country if not the world, lies just outside the top 10 with 37 points, while St Luke's lagged at the bottom of the league with only two points.

Brand Republic Creative League 2003 Top 10

1 TBWA\London - 213 points

2 BBH - 184 points

3 Saatchi & Saatchi - 126 points

4 Fallon - 96 points

5 AMV BBDO - 83 points

6 BMP DDB - 81 points

7 Lowe - 70 points

8 Leo Burnett - 56 points

9 D'Arcy - 39 points

10 M&C Saatchi - 38 points

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Jennifer Whitehead, recommends

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