The industry moans, D&AD reacts. People are fed up with industry awards
at the same place and in the same style. So D&AD is to break with
tradition by abandoning the Grosvenor House hotel as the base for its
awards and splitting the evening into two parts (Campaign, last week).
The first part of the evening, the awards ceremony, will take place at
the Odeon cinema in Leicester Square followed by dinner and
entertainment at the Cafe Royal in Piccadilly Circus.
This means that 2,000 people - from young creatives and students paying
as little as pounds 15 a head, to creative directors, paying last year’s
ticket price - will be able to view the winners on a wide screen with
Dolby sound. And 1,400 will sit down to dinner at the Cafe Royal.
Of course, there will always be gripes, principally because of the fact
that wider creative skills - from artists to pop stars - are once again
represented on the jury. Look more closely, however, and you will find
that there are only about seven celebrity judges out of a grand total of
223. Furthermore, these judges will be judging what they are good at
already - for example, Chris Tarrant on radio ads and Malcolm McLaren on
Although open to valid criticism for being a world away from the
frontline of fmcg advertising, D&AD matters to an enormous degree to
nearly all agencies. These awards, above all others, set the creative
Graham Fink’s presidency and David Kester’s continuing presence at D&AD
have encouraged several welcome new initiatives - the launching of a Net
site, securing sponsorship from Apple and launching a new interactive
media awards category to name but three.
By definition D&AD can’t please everybody, but it looks like the
organisation of the next awards will satisfy as many people as it’s
possible to do. How pleasant to be able to say that about an industry
body, and how rarely Campaign gets the chance.