The Week: Best of the blogs - No media, less possibilities

One of the worst things that happened to advertising was taking media out of agencies. It removed a massive chunk of creative possibility.

One evening, Ken New, the media director of Abbott Mead Vickers, and David Abbott were discussing The Economist. Abbott said: "It's a pity we can't do 48-sheet posters. They're exactly the same proportions as The Economist masthead. We could run headlines in their typeface, on a red background. It would be fantastic branding."

"That's a great idea," New said. "But does it make media sense?" Abbott asked. "Don't worry," Ken said, "I can make the numbers fit." It was one of the best poster campaigns of recent times. It couldn't have happened without media in the building.

Nor could Chiat Day's Yamaha poster. In California, Honda was by far the leading motorcycle brand. Honda was running a poster featuring a Honda zooming along, left to right, with the line: "Honda. Follow the leader." Chiat Day's media department found out where Honda's posters would be running and bought every site to their right. The posters showed a Yamaha zooming left to right, seemingly in front of the Honda, with the line: "Yamaha. Don't follow anyone."

Yamaha wouldn't have been allowed to run it as a poster. But not only did it get away with it, Honda ended up paying half. You can't get more creative than that. And you can't do it without media in the building.

Dave Trott,