Well we’re in - APL has arrived, right in the great throbbing heart of London’s media land - we’re at No 25, Soho Square and the joint is jumping. In fact, Soho is so hip at the moment people are even queuing to get into pubs.

Well we’re in - APL has arrived, right in the great throbbing heart

of London’s media land - we’re at No 25, Soho Square and the joint is

jumping. In fact, Soho is so hip at the moment people are even queuing

to get into pubs.

This move has definitely had an effect on the agency - there is a buzz

about the place, a spring in the step and an air of possibility

permeates the building. It’s a reminder that where an agency is can

really have an effect on what comes out of it. (My brief stint at CDP,

when it was still on the Euston Road confused the issue - how could all

those brilliant, wonderful ads have emerged from such a soulless office

block which, according to John O’Donnell, was built above a plague pit?

But I think CDP in those days was an exceptional case - it could have

produced brilliant work from a hut in Antarctica.)

This week’s ads, by chance, come from a geographically diffuse range of

agencies. Lowe Howard-Spink is still in Knightsbridge and its Bill

Clinton ad for Olympus is a classic. Topical, sharp and witty, it

effortlessly makes a point about both product and brand with economy,

style and punch - not really Knightsbridge at all, but much better for


Some other print work from Grey - up there near the Euston Road


Famous (ish) last words on behalf of Allied Dunbar. They are elegant but

somehow not very compelling, Perhaps they’re too genteel, unlike the

Knightsbridge offering.

WCRS in Golden Square (is that West Soho?) has a TV ad. Some lads in a

bar in America order Caffrey’s; one of them then starts to play the

Caffrey’s theme on the old Joanna and everyone gets a bit thoughtful -

it could be a bit dull, but isn’t. It’s really quite compelling - a

simple idea well told but, then, Soho folk should know their bars.

Now up to Baker Street and a spot for the Renault Scenic from Publicis.

Now, this may have been a simple idea but perhaps it is not well told.

You get a lot of changes of scenery (in the theatrical sense) in a

Scenic seems to be the idea but it all got a bit rushed and somehow I

lost the plot (in the non-theatrical sense.) Lively and busy and a good

track, but rather like Baker Street, not where I want to be.

If we duck down a bit, we come to Berkeley Square and JWT. As I recall

when I was there, people could never work out whether they felt left out

or slightly superior as a result of the Mayfair address. The new ad for

Rolo may suffer from this. It is a good idea, it develops the thought

last expressed in the popular ’elephant’ commercial (which,

incidentally, on the subject of location, came from APL in Amsterdam).

It’s a drama involving the Lone Ranger, Tonto, Silver, the last Rolo and

centres on who gets to eat it. It’s very witty but, as a rib-tickler, it

didn’t get to me - maybe it’s still partly in Mayfair - I don’t


Finally, we end in Pimlico from whence APL just came. DMB&B moved in

above the bus station a year or so ago and I know that they weren’t all

entirely thrilled by the move - Nonetheless, they have produced a

charming piece for the Department of the Environment featuring two

hedgehogs and a knockout reworking of Roger Miller’s King of the Road. I

don’t know if the location had a good effect on this but the music

certainly did.

For what it’s worth, I think location does make a difference and I

particularly think it’s useful for agencies to be in reasonably close

proximity to one another. It prevents the development of inward cultures

which exist solely in their own image.

Over time, these are quite often overtaken by outside events and are

swept away, so there. Anyway, we are very happy to be here in Soho

Square and look forward to seeing more of you all.


Project: Olympus Digital Cameras

Client: Ian Dickens, communications manager

Brief: Highlight the unique features of the C-1400L

Agency: Lowe Howard-Spink

Writer: Paul Silburn

Art director: Vince Squibb

Photographer: Stock

Typographers: Julian Dickinson, Luke Williamson

Exposure: Daily Telegraph, 3 February issue

Renault UK

Project: Renault Scenic

Client: Tim Mack, communications director

Brief: A fresh start every day

Agency: Publicis

Writer: Gerry Moira

Art director: Gerry Moira

Director: Tim Pope

Production company: Cowboy Films

Exposure: National TV, terrestrial, satellite

Nestle Rowntree

Project: Rolo

Client: Judy Wright, marketing manager

Brief: Move the Rolo brand away from romantic love towards friendship

Agency: J. Walter Thompson

Writer: Siggi Halling

Art director: Dave Mackersey

Director: Mark Williams

Production company: Tony Kaye Films

Exposure: National TV

Department of the Environment

Project: Road safety

Client: Helene Hayman, road safety minister

Brief: Remind children to stop and think before they cross the road

Agency: DMB&B

Writer: Jack Stephens

Art director: Rob Nielsen

Directors: Jo Simpson, Christine Tongue

Production company: Bermuda Shorts

Exposure: National TV


Project: Caffrey’s Irish Ales

Clients: Mike Davis, director of ales, Mirek Tomka, brand manager

Brief: Continue to assess Caffrey’s position as the definitive modern


Agency: WCRS

Writers: Richard Dean, Kevin Stark

Art director: Andy Dibb

Director: Dominic Murphy

Production company: Blink

Exposure: National TV

Allied Dunbar

Project: Branding

Client: David Sims, marketing director

Brief: Make people aware of the need to plan for the unexpected

Agency: Grey

Writer: Chris Street

Art director: Phil Howells

Photographer: Stock

Typographer: Jazz Garcha

Exposure: Regional posters