PRIVATE VIEW: Larry Barker, the former executive creative director of BMP DDB

Welcome to the advertising equivalent of some pissed-up bloke singing My Way at the end of his leaving do. Campaign, rather distressingly, keeps referring to this as my "valedictory" Private View - which, I think, means it's dropping me after this one. Still, now that I'm freelance it probably couldn't afford me, so perhaps it's for the best. So let's dip into the lumpy Jiffy bag of life for (possibly) one last time, and see what pops out.

are some rather gruesome ads for Barnardo's. And I mean gruesome in a good sense - they make you shudder and fill you with anger at the crimes perpetrated against the innocent. And you'd probably do something about it if you knew what it is they wanted you to do. A bit of copy would have helped, but you get the feeling those involved were more interested in collecting Pencils than saving children. Shame.

(Note to self: Try not to piss on the industry too much - you may have need of it in the future.) The other press campaign, for Uniball, is based upon quite a cute observation. When a particularly good biro runs out it's quite a sad moment. No, really.

I know where these guys are coming from. Sadly, I think this is more the stuff of TV advertising - these print ads don't quite capture it. Stick with the thought, though.

Who'd follow the John West "bear"? The shark execution is a noble effort but lacks the laugh-out-loud quality - and consummate comedy timing - of its predecessor. Of course, it's a good ad (there's a particularly funny bit where the shark's jaws clamp down on the bloke's head). It just ain't the bear.

Apparently some blonde bird has been scouring the "four corners of the world" for the elusive Fimbles. She wants to come round my house, the buggers are never off. I have seen these trailers so often I am heartily sick of them. And my kids only cheer up when the blonde gets off and the furry gonks come on. So why spend all that money sending a film crew round the world?

The version I got appeared to be a rough cut with some gash voiceover - which is odd, as the finished one has been on air for weeks. Heads will roll in a TV department somewhere.

Whereas with this next offering, they'll simply nod off. With Business Link, we have the Government (I presume?) using children to get their message across. A bit like BSE, then.

The charms of kids acting like grown-ups works every single time. Consequently, it is hard to imagine how these ads could be more unoriginal.

Finally an ad to get us to vote, from the Electoral Commission. Because if you vote, you can knock down tall buildings. And there was me thinking that was old Bin Liner's job. This sub-"Apple 1984" effort seems strangely old fashioned. As if votes were for smashing things down and creating a new world order. When we all know they're for selecting the next bunch of liars whose job it is to make a balls of running the country.

So that's it. I've heartily enjoyed these little chats - even the hate mail has been entertaining. But finally, I leave you with three things:

1. Clients know about that whole "make the logo tiny so they can make it bigger" thing.

2. If research produces unexpected results, it's usually wrong. And if it doesn't, there was no need to do it in the first place.

3. You are not paranoid. Everyone is trying to fuck your ads up.

I'll get my coat.

My invoice will follow.


Project: Barnardo's

Client: Diana Green, head of advertising and communications

Brief: Raise awareness of child abuse through prostitution in the UK

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Writer: Alex Grieve

Art director: Adrian Rossi

Typographer: Chris Chapman

Photographer: Phil Pointer

Exposure: National press


Project: Annual canvass

Client: Anne Hinds, director of media and public affairs

Brief: Re-engage young people with voting

Agency: St Luke's

Writer: Matt Janes

Art director: Vic Polkinghorne

Director: Matthias Hoene

Production company: Partizan

Exposure: National cinema


Project: John West Tuna "shark"

Client: Jane Hilton, consumer marketing manager

Brief: Obsessed with the best

Agency: Leo Burnett

Writer: Martin Loraine

Art director: Steve Jones

Director: Traktor

Production company: Partizan

Exposure: National TV


Project: Vision Elite brand campaign

Client: Amanda Wilson, marketing manager

Brief: Build awareness of, and create affinity towards, the Uniball


Agency: Poulter Partners

Writer: Andrea Panicca

Art director: Jenny Scarr

Typographer: Jenny Scarr

Photographer: Paul Reas

Exposure: Consumer magazines and posters


Project: Fimbles

Client: Anna Hill, marketing manager

Brief: Encourage the trial of the new CBeebies programme Fimbles

Agency: DFGW

Writer: Simon Riley

Art director: Tim Brown

Director: Steve Cope

Production company: BBC Broadcast

Exposure: National TV


Project: "Grown-up advice"

Clients: Adrian Cadwallader, head of communications; Matt Janes, senior

campaign manager

Brief: Build awareness and understanding of the Business Link brand


Agency: Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy

Writer: Malcolm Duffy

Art director: Paul Briginshaw

Director: Lucy Blakstad

Production company: The Brave Film Company

Exposure: National TV

Become a member of Campaign

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to, plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events.

Become a member

What is Campaign AI?

Our new premium service offering bespoke monitoring reports for your company.

Find out more

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content