PRIVATE VIEW: Gerry Moira, Publicis

Word reaches me that Belford and Roberts are finally to be put to death. Let it be so. Only when their heads are spiked on the railings of Golden Square will our young and impressionable creative men and women appreciate the true horror of the diddling duo's crime and the necessity of this firm, but fair, punishment. Their sin is not just against our treasured awards schemes but against trust itself. How do I know, as my trembling hand takes a VHS from the padded Campaign envelope, that I haven't "drawn a Belford"? How can I be sure that this glossy double-page spread offered for review has not been Robertsed? How long before the appreciation of anything decent and creative in this world is not tainted by the whispered aside: "It's a Belford, luv"?

I can't, therefore, vouch for the authenticity of this week's supplicants, but I can attest to a springtime outpouring of client largesse. We've got very long commercials, very expensive commercials and commercials without any product in them at all.

The philanthropists at Auto Trader have given their agency a lot of rope. The rope ran out just outside the nearest branch of Blockbuster where the agency rented Fatal Attraction and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

In the former it has recast the Glenn Close part with what looks like an obsessive Mercedes E Class saloon (you know the type). In the second it's introduced a strong homosexual sub-text which, perhaps naively, I failed to spot in the original.

These exuberant pastiches seem to come from a world untroubled by link tests, persuasion measures and focus groups. Everybody obviously had a lot of fun making them and it shows.

Nike is also pushing the boat out (literally) with its grim tale of a prison ship three-a-side football tournament. There must be about $1 billion-worth of football talent on show here and no doubt schoolboys will take pleasure in spotting their favourite international superstar. The problem for Nike and its agency seems to be their inability to move beyond (or better) Tarsem's "Good versus Evil

spot of a few years back.

At the other end of the sports/fashion spectrum stands Ellesse. This advertiser caused a lot of fuss recently by holding a high-profile pitch but staying resolutely in-house. The disappointed agencies can take a small crumb of satisfaction from this dismal soft-core hard-court effort. It makes Loaded's fashion spreads look sophisticated.

The Multiple Sclerosis Society has hit on a clever visual analogy for the debilitating effects of this cruel condition. A randomly thrown switch highlights the sudden and arbitrary nature of the disability. No need for any awards entry tinkering here, I feel.

Honda is in such a magnanimous mood that it has just signed-off a 60-second commercial with... no car in it! A Marc Caro-style factory line stamps out "OK

until someone asks the question "What if?". It's a joy to watch. Whether you could tack any brand name on the end though is open to question. The CR-V spot, which presents the perils of Orpington to the natives of Patagonia in a Cinema Paradiso style, is on much surer ground.

Finally, the launch of Milkybar Munchies, the adult snack that children want. It's a shame this idea fell into the arms of that painted whore La Vignette because one scene stands out from the rest. The sight of the little girl polishing her Start-rites on her father's goolies will stay with me for some time.


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