They are doing their best to be co-operative, but through the smog
of heavy hangovers, Richard Flintham and Andy McLeod are not finding it
So we start with some untaxing basics about the BMP DDB creative team
who picked up a gold and two silvers at D&AD last week (Campaign, 23
May). Flintham, the art director, is from near Lincoln and McLeod, the
copywriter, grew up in south London. They met and teamed up at Hounslow
college, but left six months before the end of the course to take a job
As they talk, memories of the previous night start to filter through,
and the brain cells move up a gear. Although the results had been
leaking freely for days, the duo still doubted whether or not they had
really landed the gold. ’We didn’t want to expect the gold and then be
disappointed when we got a silver,’ McLeod says.
The Doritos TV sponsorship idents that won them the big prize broke the
mould in that field and, like the zany Tango idents created a few years
ago by HHCL and Partners, they have moved the category up to a new
The turgid equivalent - Wella’s sponsorship of Friends - demonstrates
the lack of imagination that is usually applied to even high-profile TV
Flintham and McLeod had fun making their award-winning campaign, which
they scripted loosely before going into the studio with John Thompson,
the actor who plays Fat Bob in Steve Coogan’s Paul Calf creations and
the barman in Men Behaving Badly.
Flintham explains: ’We had starting points rather than scripts, and we
tried out 20 or 30 jokes for each of the characters. Then we listened to
our bellies and to what the engineers were laughing at before deciding
which ones to use.’
That makes it sound rather easy, but the pair are renowned for their
’heads down’ approach. Derek Day, a creative director at BDDH, says:
’When they went they left a hole at the agency. I wish there were more
creatives like them because then we would suffer less attacks for
profligacy and fewer demands for cutbacks.’
The two may look very different - McLeod appears cute but dangerous
while Flintham seems approachable and kind - but there is no straight
man/funny man or good guy/bad guy contrast.
Rob Jack, now a copywriter at Bartle Bogle Hegarty and a former
colleague of Flintham and McLeod at BDDH, believes their interchangeable
roles ’gives their work huge strength and diversity’.
Flintham says: ’We talk about things for a long time and we often
disagree over ideas, so if we find something we both like, we’re
convinced it’s good.’
McLeod and Flintham are this year’s crown princes of the London
advertising scene, but they couldn’t be less like Tom Carty and Walter
Campbell, the enigmatic Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO creative team from whom
they have inherited the title.
Where Carty and Campbell are fanatics with a forbidding air, Flintham
and McLeod are scruffy, familiar, and, in the BMP mould, unassuming and
bashful about their success.
Dave Waters, the creative director of Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters, where
the pair went after four years at BDDH, says: ’They are realistic. They
are keen to hang on to a good idea but won’t get precious about the
But they have their faults. John Webster, the executive creative
director of BMP, says: ’Andy is bolshy. When they joined, he fought all
the time, but now that more of their work gets through, he has less to
And, Webster believes, they still have a lot to learn. ’They need more
experience, they must learn to compromise and find out about dealing
with major clients and big, long-term campaigns.’
Flintham and McLeod aren’t as young and inexperienced as they look -
they have loads of awards, and they made Campaign’s Faces to Watch in
1995. At BMP, they are ’directors of creativity’ in the agency’s
flexible group system. Richard is 29 and Andy, who is 31, has bought a
house in Clapham with his girlfriend, Rachel Walker, who is head of
planning at Duckworth Finn.
Their first work for BDDH appeared in 1990, starting with a spot for
Edam cheese and followed by work for the Institute of Practitioners in
Advertising and Christian Aid.
Once they got the hang of print work, they moved to Duckworth Finn for
more TV experience, and produced films such as the Pizza Hut ’Klingons’
They also created TV work for Lyons Coffee, Liverpool Victoria, the
Independent Television Commission, Daewoo, and Energis, as well as
earning a D&AD silver for a press ad for Dial-a-Cab - a project they
Waters says: ’They got hold of every brief and tried their hardest to do
their best on each one. They didn’t let go easily.’
The TV success got them noticed by BMP, which they joined in July
Two months later their first BMP work on air was the agency’s inaugural
’pork pies’ party political broadcast for the Labour Party. A ton of
work followed, for Schweppes, the Ministry of Sound, Doritos, more
Labour Party creations, Marmite and the Volkswagen Passat launch.
In their office the morning after D&AD, among all the work in progress
there are congratulatory faxes and post-it notes with joke messages from
headhunters and Bill Bernbach.
Outside, party noises are escalating as their achievements are
The guests of honour shuffle out and soon the pair move on to the pub
which the agency booked for a day of celebrations.
After a few pints, they are back on form, relaxing with colleagues and
planning the work they want to get through tomorrow to make up for all
this lost time.