Roses Awards 1998: Foreword

Privilege indeed. Invited to chair all those creative luminaries.

Privilege indeed. Invited to chair all those creative


And the Roses Awards at that. Couldn’t be the account could it?

The quantity of entries - a record - says that things are pretty healthy

for our industry outside London. But it’s the quality of the best -

illustrated here - that says that most loudly.

There is a much broader spread of prize-winning agencies as more rise to

the levels of those familiar leaders. And a much greater balance across

the different media than the Roses winners usually show.

No, it certainly isn’t just a couple of agencies doing some enviable

press work and everyone else cracking out local retail ads. Far from


Working through 1,400 entries takes some doing but the judges did just

that with great diligence, good humour and, by definition, not a vested

interest in sight. And it was never ’who did it ?’ just ’how good is


One surprise, two disappointments.

The surprise, a pleasant one, was the remarkable degree of consensus

across the judges.

Disappointment One partly explains the above. Despite all we have

learned, the most important lesson - that simple, clearly expressed

ideas win in every respect - is ignored. The majority of entries proves


Layer upon layer of information can surely only be met by layer upon

layer of indifference, if it is met by anything at all. It makes judging

easier though.

Disappointment Two? Graham Watson couldn’t make it. Too busy!

Is nothing sacred?

The customary thanks to all the judges and congratulations to all these


This was the 18th year of the Roses. It goes from strength to


Long may that be the case.