Joy and optimism are in short supply as the UK ad industry braces for another six months of working from home to counter the Covid-19 pandemic. We hope the October print issue of Campaign is a welcome antidote to the understandable gloom.
We have asked some tough questions in our cover story about whether the combined impact of Brexit, coronavirus and remote working will curb London’s dominance. But if that leads to a reshaping of the creative map of the UK, it could result in a more balanced and representative ad industry.
Similarly, we have challenged agencies about what they are doing to support Black Lives Matter and we have followed up our BLM Adland Audit, which ran online in September, by examining some of the most notable agency initiatives to improve racial equality that have emerged since the summer.
Positive stories are important in tough times. One of the highlights of this issue is the Power 100, our annual roll call of top marketers, which has added relevance in this pandemic year as new and established companies from Brewdog to Tesco have made a difference that went far beyond advertising.
It has never been easier to build a brand, thanks to the power of digital marketing and ecommerce. So, as Instagram turns 10 this month, we have talked to five British entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses on the photo-sharing app.
However, it’s not all about the new. Spoken word, one of the oldest forms of communication, has been enjoying a renaissance as we seek solace and humour during Covid-19. “Advertising is where poets go to work,” John Cooper Clarke, the bard of Salford, tells us, as he dismisses the critics who “get very snarky” about the idea of a poet working with a brand. “I’m sure William Hogarth would’ve done gin ads if the price was right,” he says cheerfully.
More joy and optimism will help us through the long winter ahead.
Gideon Spanier is UK editor-in-chief of Campaign