There are only a few offences for which creative people can be dismissed summarily. Use of a pot-plant as an offensive weapon is one, submitting your work to Private View without the say-so of your creative director is another.

There are only a few offences for which creative people can be

dismissed summarily. Use of a pot-plant as an offensive weapon is one,

submitting your work to Private View without the say-so of your creative

director is another.

Why is this column so unnerving ? I think it’s because it reveals the

underbelly of the agency. It’s here you discover that famous teams in

famous agencies are just as capable of unremarkable work as the rest of


It’s those credits on the right that do the damage - rather than the

observations of the pundit of the day, be they witty (Gerry), savage

(Mark) or benign (Billy).

Think about AMV for a moment and you probably think about Volvo,

Sainsbury’s, Alka-Seltzer and the RSPCA.

Granada Home Technology doesn’t immediately spring to mind, does it? How

cheering it is to see our idols have feet of clay. Here’s an ad that

substitutes a real idea for Jeremy Clarkson listing the advantages of

renting your widescreen and/or digital telly. At least he looks faintly

embarrassed by the gratuitous use of bimbo in the commercial.

It’s the same with the Stork campaign. View these without any knowledge

of where they came from, and you’d probably think, oh yes, big

multinational trying hard to be charmingly local. BBH, actually.

Pleasingly-filmed children make messes when they cook with Stork. Mums

may well go aaahhhh but, regarded in the partial vacuum of advertising

creativity, most of us will go duhhh. BBH has done better work for this

brand in the past.

Leagas Delaney. The BBC. Two names to conjure with. Put them together

and you expect wonderful work, especially since ’Perfect Day’. Is this

commercial, ’future generations’, up to the same standard? Not


It’s clever, nicely cast, not bad at all, but I bet it won’t last very

long on the agency’s own showreel.

I wonder if the good and gifted Robert Campbell knew his agency’s Miller

Pilsner campaign was going to be Private Viewed? I rather think not, for

these, although perky and bright, are rather less than the innovative

three-minute ’Miller time’ films of yore, and I don’t just mean the time

lengths. Was the old campaign too intelligent for its target


Not a mistake they make here. Our Letterman-like character finds himself

in Auchtermuchty. ’Wear the fox hat, my friends said,’ he tells us. Ho


Y&R’s creative renewal continues under Mike Cozens, but not everything

they do in the old fag factory is an award winner. In this spot, a girl

walks into a Curry’s-like store and cooks up her Oatso Simple in one of

the microwaves. ’Do you have dishwashers?’ she asks the dim


’Yes.’ ’Good,’ and she hands him her dirty bowl. While not exactly a

dog, this film definitely has a wet nose.

As for M&C Saatchi, Agency of the Year should have been its back in


Perhaps its ’tickle it’ work for Foster’s was held against it when the

votes were being cast. The new ’Think Australian, drink Australian’

campaign is much more like it, though. In this moody execution, a German

tycoon waits anxiously for his kidnapped wife to call. He wants to know

where she put his golf clubs.

It’s good, but not the best M&C has ever done, or ever will do. The same

goes for all the work on show today. It’s competent to OK. And that’s

what’s so reassuring about Private View each week. It’s gratifying to

see just how darned hard it is to be brilliant, no matter who you are or

where you work. Like the teams from the top agencies represented here,

you might not have cracked it today, but tomorrow it could be a

different story.

Good luck.

BBC Corporate

Project: Future generations

Client: Jane Frost, head of corporate and brand marketing

Brief: Thanks to the way the BBC is funded, a whole new generation of

children is having fun learning with the BBC Agency: Leagas Delaney

Writer: Will Farquhar

Art director: Ian Ducker

Director: Chris Palmer

Production company: Gorgeous Enterprises

Exposure: National TV and cinema

Scottish Courage

Project: Miller Pilsner

Client: Gerry Goldberg, marketing director

Brief: Sell Miller Pilsner to the Scots

Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe

Writer: Phil Cockrell

Art director: Graham Storey

Director: Peter Richardson

Production company: Jack Strong Productions

Exposure: TV in Scotland and North-east England

Granada Home Technology

Project: Home Rental

Client: Mark Armitage, marketing director

Brief: Granada lets you keep your options open for digital TV

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Writer: Richard Foster

Art director: John Horton

Director: Nick Lewin

Production company: Cowboy Films

Exposure: Regional TV

Scottish Courage

Project: Foster’s

Client: John Botia, marketing manager

Brief: Wherever you are in the world, drinking Foster’s enables you to

enjoy the positive laid-back Australian attitude

Agency: M&C Saatchi

Writer: Sue Higgs Art director: Steve Paskin Director: Daniel Kleinman

Production company: Spectre

Exposure: National TV


Project: Oatso Simple

Client: Mark Potgieter, marketing director

Brief: Unbelievably simple porage

Agency: Young & Rubicam Writer: David West

Art director: Richard Denney

Director: David Hartley

Production company: Brave Films Exposure: National TV

Van Den Bergh Foods

Project: Stork Margarine Clients: Gill Noble, marketing manager

Brief: To show baking as an activity, particularly using Stork margarine

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Writer: Kim Papworth

Art director: Tony Davidson

Director: Tessa Sheridan Production company: Freedom Films

Exposure: National TV


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