PERSPECTIVE: Why Dorlands and Pond-Jones make for a good pairing

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Tim Ashton versus Bates Dorland affair (and, let’s face it, it was pretty unseemly to get rid of one creative director without having another in the wings and then taking five months to complete the search) the agency finally has a new creative director in Jay Pond-Jones. It looks like a good choice.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Tim Ashton versus Bates

Dorland affair (and, let’s face it, it was pretty unseemly to get rid of

one creative director without having another in the wings and then

taking five months to complete the search) the agency finally has a new

creative director in Jay Pond-Jones. It looks like a good choice.



First, an agency like Dorlands has no place for a creative director

renowned for volatility in either work or behaviour; 90 per cent

perspiration and 10 per cent inspiration is the order of the day when

the emphasis is on commercially effective work for clients such as the

Halifax, Safeway and Woolworths. In this environment, Pond-Jones’s

legendary reserve will be an asset.



Second, he has never been one of those creatives who feels that they

comprise the only worthwhile department in an agency; that they work the

magic while the rest of the staff are just journeymen. At GGT, he was

quick to point to the contribution of the planners and suits to his best

work for Holsten Pils, John Smith’s and Capital Radio.



Third - and most important given the legal pyrotechnics after the

departures of Paul Twivy, Andrew Cracknell and Ashton - Graham Hinton,

the Dorlands chairman, already has a professional rapport with

Pond-Jones dating from the pair’s time together at DMB&B.



The only unproven thing about Pond-Jones is whether he is as good a

creative director as he is a creative, for, as every creative director

who has toiled under the burden of managing people will tell you, the

tasks are very different. At GGT, he had Robert Saville to confer with,

while at Dorlands he will have to manage alone some powerful

personalities, including that of Paul Walter - deputy creative director

and pivotal to the Halifax account - among others.



Finally, I hadn’t intended to write about the Guinness review, on the

grounds that we have covered it in this week’s Leader, but I think it is

important to note the surprise that the pitch is taking place at

all.



’Is O&M really doing such a bad job?’ seems to be a valid question. The

fact is, as O&M has no doubt realised, that most accounts change hands

after a review and the odds are against agencies retaining business in

this way. There is also a feeling in the industry that it is somehow

more honourable to resign an account than to repitch. It seems to show

evidence of a principled approach in an industry which is otherwise

renowned for what is euphemistically called pragmatism. There is also a

’that’ll show’em’ element which is applauded by other agencies. Yet is

it really braver to walk away than to go into a review and face the

agonising questions of whether to spend the money and whether to throw

away your existing campaign? I’m not so sure.



Stefano Hatfield is on holiday.



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