UNADVERTISING.

Successful companies rarely take chances. Why would they? Often, it’s hard to pinpoint why exactly why things are going well, so they’re careful not to rock the boat. It makes advertising them tricky, because the whole point of advertising is to stand out. To do that you have to be different from the things you are trying to stand out from. But looking different can feel risky. ‘Why take a risk? Especially now, when everything’s going so well?’ It’s why theRead more

PODCAST: Tony Davidson. (Part 1.)

Sometimes, it’s difficult writing about people you know. On the one hand, you don’t want to offend them with a flip remark, like ‘no filter between his brain and mouth’, or ‘certified nut-job.’ On the other, and probably worse, you don’t want to get all gooey with guff like ‘only about the work’ or ‘incredibly consistent* since day one’. So I won’t bother, I’ll just let you listen and make your own minds up. (*Except for ‘Captain Chaos’.) STUDENT. BMP.Read more

INTERVIEW: H before BB, (John Hegarty).

I joined the business in 1985. The best agency seemed to be Bartle Bogle Hegarty. Every year ever since they’ve been in the top five, sometimes they’ve been in the top one. Their success has been very well documented, what did Sir John did before that hasn’t been. So… Where were you brought up? I was born in North London, although at that point Edgware wasn’t in London, it was in Middlesex, which doesn’t exist anymore. My family was living inRead more

INTERVIEW: Mike Cozens.

  Where were you bought up? Farley Road, Catford, S.E.6. Mr Smiths was where the Richardson Gang had their 1966 Gangland slaying. My Mum worked there. Frankie Frazer used to escort her up the Road. He famously said ‘I’ll take you home Lilly, you meet some dodgy characters around here’. That’s where I was dragged up. Was advertising your first choice? Not exactly. I was invited to leave Haberdashers Askes at the age of sixteen. Fortunately the only teacher whoRead more

INTERVIEW: Jeremy Sinclair.

Occasionally, very occasionally, a client will ask me advice on how they should judge their advertising. It’s easy to tell a terrible ad from a great one, but it’s rare to have such a big gap between ideas. A more likely comparison be trying to assess average against quite good? good against great? Some creative people will advise that ‘If it’s right, you’ll feel it in your gut’. Sometimes true, but not really helpful. I tend to give them a copy of the page above.Read more

BOSS No.5: Mark Denton.

Why advertising Mark? It all happened by accident. I was quite good at drawing as a kid and my Uncle had gone to Art School and had ended up as a Silversmith. The Dentons weren’t that imaginative (they all worked in the Family Scrap business) so ‘good at drawing’ meant that I should go to Art School too. My Mum thought I could get a job as one of those people who paint the patterns on the edge of platesRead more

Hands up who’s heard of John Fuckin’ Knight?

  A few years ago I tried to find an old beer poster for a presentation. Fortunately, I knew the Art Director’s name: John Knight, the agency name: TBWA and the client name: Bank’s. I googled all the combinations, variants, even trying misspelling some of them. Unfortunately the chaps at Google couldn’t find it. So I trawled through all the old awards annuals, eventually finding it. But what struck me along the way was how under represented an influential figure likeRead more