PRIVATE VIEW: Leon Jaume, the executive creative director at WCRS

If you're suffering the seasonal miseries of abstinence, gloom and wobbling resolutions, and you're hoping the New Year's advertising will lift your spirits, may I gently suggest you look away now?

Watch The Simpsons instead, the one where Homer commissions an agency to advertise his snow plough operation then sits at home with the family to view the first broadcast of his new ad.

It's a stupendous production, full of surreal imagery and under-cranked clouds, shot in black and white with an operatic soundtrack and just enough time to squeeze in Homer's logo at the end.

"Dad," Lisa says. "Was that your commercial?" Homer looks uncomfortable.

"I don't know," he says. Ah, how some clients must empathise.

But let's reach for the Prozac and look at this week's line-up, depressing, not in its quality but its content. There are few crimes more foul than drug-assisted rape. It is now deemed sufficiently prevalent to warrant an ad from Drink Watch, warning women how easily rapists can slip Rohypnol unseen into potential victims' drinks. The commercial does its grim work simply and effectively.

The Samaritans has a noble history, both as an organisation and an advertiser.

It won't be enhanced by its new print campaign, which deals with the powerful subject of the nation's depression in a curiously lame way. The art direction is weak and unhelpful to words which read like clumsily written concept boards, not the persuasive messages they should surely be. I wish I could be less damning about such a worthwhile cause.

Much more memorable is the gruesome ad for Transport for London reminding us that more than half the accidents involving motorbikes are caused by a car driver's inability to spot the very existence of the bike. When I say "us", I mean "you" in your four-wheeled cocoons. On a bike or a scooter you get reminded every five minutes you're on the road. It's sickeningly well done and should make car drivers flinch almost as much as bikers.

If it doesn't, Ken should put the congestion charge up to £500 a day, and force cars to play chicken with giant crushers at all major junctions.

We emerge, thankfully, from this gore into the lighter side of corruption, as children use Cadbury Mini Rolls to bribe their way to better exam results, longer sickies and upgrades on flights to Canada. It's hard to dislike and I won't even attempt it.

Maybe potential Skoda buyers found the car's last campaign (which showed people legging it from forecourts and test drives) too instructive, because the brand has decided to revisit Route One: people refusing to acknowledge that these shiny beasts could possibly be ropy old Skodas. The new ad is beautifully shot and put together and, depending on your point of view, is either sticking sensibly to a strong campaign idea or pushing a gag well beyond its sell-by date.

We end with some coffee table photography for Abercrombie & Kent, the posh travel agents. It's all very lovely, but something's obviously gone awry at A&K, because Abercrombie's done a bit of a Paul McCartney. Indeed, he's gone one better. Not satisfied with already having top billing, he's lopped Kent off the headline completely and replaced him with any old words that vaguely relate to travel. We have no way of knowing why. Maybe, like Lennon, Kent is no longer with us, giving his erstwhile partner the chance to exercise fully his tragic megalomania.


Project: Samaritans relaunch

Client: David Richards, marketing director

Brief: Challenge people's preconceptions about depression and make

Samaritans more accessible

Agency: Agency Republic

Writer: Charles Harris

Art director: Joe Hosp

Photographer: Paul Murphy

Exposure: National press and outdoor


Project: "Don't look, see"

Client: Trevor Cheesman, marketing communications assistant manager

Brief: Reduce deaths and injuries on London's roads by encouraging

riders of motorbikes, scooters and mopeds to ride more defensively

Agency: M&C Saatchi

Writer: Kit Dayaram

Art director: Colleen Phillips

Director: Syd Macartney

Production company: 2am Films

Exposure: London cinema


Project: Abercrombie & Kent travel brand campaign

Client: George Morgan-Grenville, former managing director

Brief: Position Abercrombie & Kent as the fashion lifestyle choice of

luxury travel and highlight the diversity of the products offered

Agency: The Immediate Sales Company

Writer: Michael Moszynski

Art director: Alan Jarvie

Typographer: Peter Cook

Exposure: Upmarket consumer magazines


Project: Skoda Superb "badges"

Client: Mary Newcombe, head of marketing, Skoda UK

Brief: Launch the new Skoda Superb

Agency: Fallon

Writer: Andy McLeod

Art director: Richard Flintham

Director: Martin Schmid

Production company: Stink

Exposure: National TV


Project: Drug rape awareness

Client: BBH/Westminster Police "Project Sapphire"/Drug Rape Trust

Brief: Raise awareness of drug rape

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Writer: Verity Fenner

Art director: Claudia Southgate

Director: Sarah Dunlop

Production company: Brave Films

Exposure: National TV


Project: Cadbury Mini Rolls

Client: Matt Pullen, marketing controller

Brief: Relaunch Cadbury Mini Rolls making them actively requested by


Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Writer: Gavin Kellett

Art director: Nik Studzinksi

Director: Christian Loubek

Production company: Independent Films

Exposure: National TV