Some journalists risk shrapnel and exploding bombs in the course of
duty, so when someone asked me recently to name the most dangerous thing
I’d experienced while working on Campaign, I had to think long and
Well, witnessing Nigel Rose close-questioning Trevor Beattie - after a
drink or ten at the D&AD awards - about the parentage of the Wonderbra
work was thrilling stuff. And phoning up Kevin Morley back in 1994 to
ask why a former KMM employee’s fiance had burst into the room and
launched an attack on Morley during the Big Man’s pitch for the Iceland
business certainly set my pulse racing.
However, what really stands out is a dinner Campaign held this summer
with ten or so creative directors from direct marketing agencies. Aware
that Campaign’s interest in DM until recently was perfunctory, to say
the least, we expected a barrage of criticism.
But we wanted to find out whether the handful of big-wig DM agency
creatives who had approached us about Campaign launching its own set of
DM awards with a bias towards creative ideas spoke for more than
For the last thing we all need is another set of awards, right? And, has
not Campaign said so? Haven’t we criticised award schemes like D&AD for
appearing to divert the industry away from its focus on commercial
realities towards that salary-enhancing walk to the podium?
But DM agencies genuinely want a set of awards they can point to as a
measure of both creative and business success. Awards that won’t be
dismissed as being so inconsequential that they can be ignored. Awards
that complement the DMA/Royal Mail Awards without attempting to take
them over. Awards that, let’s face it, could replace some of the tacky
and unrepresentative schemes that exist for below-the-line agencies.
Our response is the Campaign Direct Awards (see pages 1 and 8), an
attempt to reflect direct marketing’s coming of age and the best
standards of creativity it can offer. They are focused on inspiring and
rewarding great direct ideas - hence the strapline, ’Where creative
ideas count’ - and require a client sign-off and a 200-word contextual
explanation. The assumption is that if a client has signed off the
entry, he or she is endorsing its effectiveness - so there’s no need for
masses of back-up evidence.
If the Campaign Direct Awards succeed in inspiring, rewarding and
promoting excellent direct ideas, then they really will address the
years of mistrust and misunderstanding that have existed between
above- and below-the-line agencies who continue to compartmentalise
themselves while sometimes forgetting that the success of any one
component in a campaign is dependent on the efficiency of the others.