OPINION: Restyled D&AD awards evening is a good move

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.

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

music videos.



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

agenda.



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.



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