Between the Lines - Davis' codes are bold move

In taking on the worldwide creative director role at JWT, Craig Davis has also taken on one of the biggest challenges in advertising (page 1).

Not just because JWT is one of the world's biggest networks, with more than 300 offices in 86 countries. Not just because JWT is a stranger to the Gunn Report's tally of creative awards. Not just because worldwide creative directors rarely make a tangible difference to their company's overall creative reputation. But mostly because Davis has been complicit in drawing up a set of standards by which the agency's work will - inevitably publicly - be judged.

On the plus side, he comes equipped with a sterling reputation as a briliant creative facilitator and is generally considered to be a darn good bloke with strong principles and a passion for what he does. On the minus side, his ten standards against which to categorise ads range from "world-beating" to "damaging". You have to assume that, at this stage, JWT hopes most of the work that comes out of this new system will veer distinctly toward the "world-beating" end of the spectrum. But even the finest agencies have their stinker ads. Can JWT really claim that its middling or poor work will never again see the light of day? And how on earth do you reach consensus when the stakes are so high? One man's turkey is another's KFC.

One thing's for certain; there is now a new measure against which JWT will be held to account. Davis is a brave man.