I’ve spent over thirty years working within a few square miles of Soho Square.
Historically, it’s where the majority of the client’s headquarters were situated.
It’s also where country’s magazines, photographers, printers, film companies based, so it became where the bullseye for the country’s ad agencies.
Leaf through a bunch of awards annuals and you’ll be hard pressed to find work from another city.
Birmingham and Manchester pop up periodically, but not regularly.
But in the eighties, one city turned up year after year, winning major awards.
In fact, if you were trying to get into a good agency in London at that time, as I was, you’d often be given the same advice; “Maybe try Jim Downie for a couple of years?”
This meant Scotland, Edinburgh to be precise.
It always sounded like a threat to me, or maybe a challenge is more accurate; Do you want it enough to live in SCOTLAND?
Jim Downie was what we called Hall’s of Edinburgh back then.
For those hardy enough to go and live in Scotland for a couple of years, he was seen as a shortcut to an advertising education and a better book.
Towards the end of the eighties Hall’s seemed to split into a bunch new agencies, suddenly names like Marr Associates, The Leith Agency, 1876 and many others were populating the awards books.
Their work always looked like it was created by a bunch of people having fun.
How did this happen and why did it stop?
I asked Jimbo, we had a great chat, hope you enjoy it.
Friend Of The Earth.
House Of Hardy.
Fit For Life.
Scottish Development Agency.
Be All You Can Be.
Royal Bank of Scotland.
Nb. Early Jimbo.