Private View

There’s nobody more huggable, kissable and downright all-round loveable than a brilliant account handler.

There’s nobody more huggable, kissable and downright all-round

loveable than a brilliant account handler.

They make life so wonderful. They create the relationship, the

atmosphere, the space and the time for everyone else to shine.

Indeed, it is one of advertising’s great travesties that account

handlers don’t get absolute, genuine parity with ’creatives’ (God, I

hate that description, as if people who work in the creative department

have a monopoly on creativity) on the Grosvenor House podium (that goes

for planners and media folks too, but at least they have their own


’Anyone can do great ads for Nike’, is a stupid phrase one hears a


Well, what’s the excuse for underwater Nike, aka Speedo? There are

excellent people in the creative department at Grey, as demonstrated by,

for instance, their BTA awards last year. So why is the Speedo work so

small and lacklustre?

Because the account isn’t being handled skilfully enough.

Unlike Nike which, along with Levi’s, must be the best handled

advertising account in the world. The current execution, which shows the

whole of America frozen in an extended moment of rapt observation of a

Michael Jordan slam-dunk, beautifully reasserts Nike’s ownership of

exhilarating sporting moments. This is Jonathan Glazer and his creative

team at the height of their powers, liberated by a superbly crafted

client/agency relationship.

The Jose Cuervo Gold tequila press work looks cheeky enough, but the

account handlers haven’t created enough client confidence to allow the

creative department to break free from the planner’s notes on the ideal

Cuervo Gold drinker. Hence the thinly veiled marketing strategy posing

as ads.

There is great account handling on the Shoe Express account, though. At

some point, the client felt empowered to commit to an original and

daring way of selling shoes: a bunch of people walking along a pavement

stepping in what turns out to be dog shit, with the endline: if you find

something unpleasant on the bottom of our shoes, it won’t be the price.

This was excellently realised by the creative department but bodyguarded

from brief to screen, edges intact, by you know who.

Ditto Foster’s Ice. We are shown a deathly exposition of global warming

and are urged to 1) write to our MP; 2) make a donation, or - having

been well and truly sucked in - 3) say ’bollocks to it’ and enjoy the

hot weather while we can with a bottle of Foster’s Ice. Super.

Royal Insurance and Sun Alliance have merged to form Royal and


This is the message delivered in four ten-second commercials starring

Jools Holland, Julie Goodyear, Mystic Meg and, most memorably, Spike


This is from the ’Listen, we’ve just got to keep this simple, lads, but

there’ll be great opportunities down the pipeline’ school of account


Perhaps they’ve got a point. But maybe, looking back at the terrific

’one to remember’ work for BT, the more important point is that even the

very simplest of advertising requirements can be major creative

advertising opportunities in disguise, if only you look hard enough.

Chief executives, managing directors and heads of account management

take note, that is what it takes to become Agency of the Year.

Scottish Courage

Project: Foster’s Ice

Client: Lynn Rutherford, brand manager

Brief: Position Foster’s Ice as the most refreshing lager for drinkers

with an anarchic sense of humour

Agency: M&C Saatchi Writer: Tony Barry

Art director: Kevin Thomas

Director: Jeff Stark

Production company: Stark Films

Exposure: Cinema


Project: Nike

Client: Mike Allen, category advertising manager

Brief: Time stands still when Jordan gets the ball

Agency: Wieden and Kennedy Writer: Jamie Barrett

Art director: Larry Frey

Director: Jonathan Glazer Production company: Propaganda

Exposure: National TV

Pentland Group

Project: Speedo

Client: Mark Hammersley, president of Speedo International

Brief: Encourage people to swim and convey that anyone can wear Speedo

Agency: Grey

Writers: Kay Truelove and Mike Keane

Art directors: Kay Truelove and Mike Keane

Photographer: Andreas Heumann

Exposure: National and specialist press

Royal and SunAlliance

Project: Merger of Royal Insurance and Sun Alliance

Client: Peter Jackson, manager, group marketing communications

Brief: Raise awareness of the merger, the new logo and the new company


Agency: Arc Advertising

Writer: Peter Little

Art director: Jim Robertshaw

Director: John Lloyd Production company: Limelight

Exposure: National TV


Project: Shoe Express

Client: Simon Gulliford, brand development consultant

Brief: Persuade consumers that Shoe Express offers great value shoes

Agency: M&C Saatchi Writer: Paul Marshall

Art director: Gary Marshall

Director: Jeff Stark

Production company: Stark Films

Exposure: TV, Granada test launch


Project: Jose Cuervo Gold tequila

Client: Simon Soothill, UK brand manager

Brief: Encourage users of white tequila to move on to gold

Agency: Young and Rubicam

Writer: Rob Porteous

Art director: Majella Lewis

Photographer: Lewis Mulatero

Exposure: Style magazines: ID, the Face, Dazed and Confused