Between the Lines: D&AD must remain relevant

"Thank God for that!" Dick Powell says in this week's feature on the 2005 D&AD Awards (page 36). He is referring to the jury's decision to award four black Pencils (three in the TV category), after it failed last year to award any.

But Powell could just as well be talking about several other leaps forward.

For a start, the healthy level of entries from international agencies is establishing D&AD on the global advertising stage, swelling the organisation's coffers after last year's dismal financial performance.

More importantly, this year's awards take a broader view of communications, with new categories covering interactive TV and viral advertising and advertising in console games. Yes, this too has a nice financial rub-off.

But such developments are crucial if D&AD is to remain relevant to the changing marketing landscape.

Under Michael Hockney, D&AD is inching away from being an elitist club - a fact underlined by the decision to extend the membership criteria.

The challenge now is to maintain the modernising momentum without losing its special status.