Private View

Only two campaigns have made me genuinely angry in the last few years: BT - and now BT.

Only two campaigns have made me genuinely angry in the last few

years: BT - and now BT.

First, there was the egregious Bob Hoskins, his leering intrusions

tolerable for the first three or four executions but increasingly

unwelcome as the media millions clocked up.

(Incidentally, to all those febrile account handlers and planners who

were in uproar on Campaign’s letters page and elsewhere over Tim Mellors

and I demurring from the Hoskins campaign that won the IPA Effectiveness

Awards, could you at least have read what we wrote rather than what you

thought we wrote? For the record, we didn’t say it didn’t work, we

didn’t say it didn’t deserve it - we simply said we didn’t like it.

England have won the Five Nations Championship several times recently

and the results prove they deserve it. But given the game they’ve

played - effective but dull and unsubtle - it has been argued that their

winning is bad for rugby ...)

And now there’s BT Corporate. It used to be said of corporate

advertising: ’It’s like pissing down your leg - nobody knows you’re

doing it but it gives you a nice warm feeling.’ That was when it was

simply a chairman’s pet wheeze for impressing his cronies at the golf

club with a left-over pre-tax million spent on ads about how important

his company really was.

But now, to the unctuous line, ’You are always on our mind’, voiced in

collections of maudlin images lasting, in one case, 90 seconds and

showing what a loveable, enduring and yes, eccentric people we are. BT

is spending millions telling us how many self-serving millions they’ve

given to the nation and its needs.

I work for an advertising agency and I know which side my bread is


But thank you, BT, for reminding me through your saccharine vision that

I am primarily human. Given that you made pounds X billion out of all of

us last year, can I ask that, in future, you give - like most

individuals do - without thought of reward, let alone as part of the

platform for a sanctimonious multi-million pound advertising campaign?

And can I further ask that you put through my call, reduce my charges

and get out of my living room? - or I’ll go straight round to


The style and strategy of the Pentax ads combine fashion and

practicality extremely convincingly. Croft Original may follow many

other alcoholic drinks down the well-worn path from age to youth,

successfully, in my view, given its agreeable photography - although I’d

like more information on how involved women are by images like


Tennent’s and Cadbury’s remind me that there’s always been a language in

advertising that has bugger all to do with everything else that’s going

on around us.

It used to be advertising copy.

In short paragraphs. And shorter sentences. That weren’t. Sentences.

Now it’s in film, in the wacky images, the wackier the better, strung

together often not even to make a narrative, more a sort of notion.

Tennent’s draws the parallel between our predisposition to what a lager

can and can’t be like with the flat earthers’ unshakeable belief in

their version of things, while the Cadbury’s Creme Eggs ad invokes the

future with a rather curious use of Shooting Stars’ George Dawes asking

how we’re going to eat ours. I preferred it when they told me.

Both are done in a rather fussy, posey sort of way and in a filmic

composition and language unseen anywhere outside advertising - stop it,

all of you, it’s not clever and no-one’s interested except you.

Finally, Reader’s Digest urges us not to throw away all those prize draw

envelopes. ’Win it, don’t bin it.’ A clear idea, a neat parody featuring

prize-winning waste bins. I’m doubtful its creators will be threading

their spotlit way to glory through the Grosvenor House tables, but it’s

the best thing in my little bag this week.

Bass Brewers

Project: Tennent’s SD

Client: Gordon Brown, acting director of brands, Scotland

Brief: Convey the distinct properties of Tennent’s SD as a genuinely

different lager

Agency: The Leith Agency

Copywriter: Dougal Wilson

Art director: Gareth Howells

Director: Gerard de Thame

Production company: Gerard de Thame Films Exposure: Terrestrial channels

in Scotland and Ireland

British Telecom

Project: Corporate campaign

Client: Jackie Kavanagh, head of corporate campaigns

Brief: Raise awareness of BT’s success abroad and its contribution to


Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO Copywriter: Mary Wear

Art director: Damon Collins

Director: Paul Arden

Production company: Arden Sutherland-Dodd

Exposure: National TV

Pentax UK

Project: Launch of the Espio 115 Micro

Client: David Cowperthwaite, marketing director

Brief: Introduce the Espio 115m Zoom Compact

Agency: K Advertising

Copywriter: Lisa Thomas

Art director: Dave Scott

Photographer: Adam Whitaker

Typographer: Adam Whitaker

Exposure: Style press

IDV/Croft Original

Project: Croft Original Sherry

Client: Tania McLaren, brand manager

Brief: Position Croft as the more modern and accessible sherry for a

’non-traditional’ consumer

Agency: Young and Rubicam

Writer: Leighton Ballett

Art director: Sam Hurford

Photographer: Nadav Kander

Typographer: Chris Tunstall Exposure: Regional (London and South East)


Project: Cadbury’s Creme Eggs

Client: Peter Creighton, marketing controller, gifts and occasions

Brief: Develop the ’How do you eat yours?’ campaign

Agency: GGT

Copywriters: Michael Burke, Richard Stoney

Art director: John Anderson

Directors: Terrence O’ Connor, Marek Losey

Production company: RSA Films

Exposure: National TV

Reader’s Digest

Project: Prize Draw

Client: Tony Gosling, associate director, magazine circulation

Brief: Increase the number of entries in the prize draw

Agency: Bates Dorland

Copywriter: Chips Hardy

Art director: Lee Goulding

Director: Mark Denton

Production company: Brian Byfield Films

Exposure: National TV.