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TOP STO­RIES FROM CAM­PAIGN’S FIRST HALF-CEN­TURY

Cam­paign’s rep­u­ta­tion as ad­land’s weekly must-read for al­most half a cen­tury was born out of a be­lief that trade ti­tles didn’t have to be full of re­heated press re­leases and hand­out pic­tures of peo­ple ‘en­joy­ing a joke’ at in­dus­try get-to­geth­ers. Nowhere was this stu­pe­fy­ingly bor­ing ap­proach bet­ter epit­o­mised than in Worlds Press News, out of which Cam­paign grew. Cam­paign was all the things WPN wasn’t. Above all, it was news-led – car­ry­ing at­ten­tion­grab­bing front-page head­lines and ban­ning ads from the fol­low­ing four pages. From its de­but on 12 Septem­ber 1968, Cam­paign has held up a mir­ror to the ad in­dus­try. Un­sur­pris­ingly, the in­dus­try didn’t al­ways like what it saw. The Daily Tele­graph and TV Times were among the first to with­draw ad­ver­tis­ing af­ter ed­i­to­rial crit­i­cism and Lind­say Masters, Cam­paign’s found­ing fa­ther, was once threat­ened with vi­o­lence at a con­fer­ence. The re­sult, though, has been a feast of front pages chron­i­cling the events that have shaped the in­dus­try. John Tylee looks at some of the best.

12 SEPTEM­BER 1968 CAM­PAIGN’S FIRST FRONT PAGE

From the off, Cam­paign took up the cud­gels for an emerg­ing UK ad in­dus­try find­ing its own voice in a Us-dom­i­nated global ad­land. Ris­ing from the ashes of a ti­tle called Worlds

Press News, Cam­paign soon found its place as an edgy ad­di­tion to Michael He­sel­tine’s Hay­mar­ket sta­ble.

Based on Roland Schenk’s iconic de­signs, Cam­paign was dif­fer­ent from any other trade ti­tle. “The news sto­ries looked punchy and el­e­gant and this un­com­pro­mis­ing ap­proach gave the mag­a­zine a com­pletely dif­fer­ent look,” Lind­say Masters, who mas­ter­minded the launch, later re­called.

16 JULY 1971 AB­BOTT DE­PARTS DDB

This was a piv­otal mo­ment for David Ab­bott on his jour­ney to­wards help­ing found Ab­bott Mead Vick­ers BBDO.

Ap­pointed DDB’S man­ag­ing di­rec­tor in his twen­ties, Ab­bott feared he might have peaked too early and re­solved to form his own agency along with Mike Gold and Richard French.

FGA did some good work but Ab­bott was never com­pletely happy. He chose to leave in 1977 be­liev­ing, iron­i­cally, that it was im­pos­si­ble for a large agency to sus­tain its cre­ative po­tency.

11 OC­TO­BER 1968 BBC AND ITA IN COLOUR TV DRIVE

With Bri­tish TV be­ing given the gov­ern­ment go-ahead to broad­cast in colour from 15 Novem­ber 1969, the BBC and the In­de­pen­dent Tele­vi­sion Au­thor­ity joined forces to pro­mote the ini­tia­tive. A pro­mo­tional ex­hi­bi­tion trav­elled around the coun­try, sup­ported by na­tional and re­gional press ad­ver­tis­ing.

This was no mean task. Of the 14 mil­lion TV sets in use at the time, only 120,000 were colour. Colour sets cost around £300 (or £4,650 in to­day’s money). It was only in 1976 that colour TV sales out­paced those of black-and-white sets.

26 SEPTEM­BER 1975 SAATCHI & SAATCHI TAKES OVER COMP­TON

Never be­fore or since has Cam­paign con­sid­ered a story so im­por­tant that it brought pub­li­ca­tion for­ward by a day to break it.

The re­verse takeover of Gar­land Comp­ton by Saatchi & Saatchi was a huge story. By ig­nor­ing the ac­cepted wis­dom that cre­ative hot­shops and main­stream agen­cies could not merge into a sin­gle en­tity, the broth­ers showed that they were ag­gres­sively on the march.

The deal gave Saatchi & Saatchi ac­cess to big pack­aged goods clients such as Proc­ter & Gam­ble.

11 SEPTEM­BER 1970 SAATCHI BROTH­ERS OPEN SHOP

With hind­sight, it’s easy to see why Cam­paign splashed on the launch of Saatchi & Saatchi. But why the star treat­ment at the time? Mainly be­cause Charles Saatchi had been a great source of news tip-offs. This was pay­back time.

Much of Charles’ hype was taken at face value. He claimed to have £1m worth of billings when the real fig­ure was around £250,000. And there was no “City fi­nan­cial group” back­ing the ven­ture – only a con­sor­tium of Hay­mar­ket chair­man Lind­say Masters and some of his wealthy friends, who pro­vided the start-up fund­ing.

19 NOVEM­BER 1976 SHOW­DOWN WITH UNIONS

Ad­land’s one and only con­fronta­tion with mil­i­tant trade unions is barely re­mem­bered. Un­der threat from new tech­nol­ogy, the Na­tional Graph­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion and the So­ci­ety of Litho­graphic Artists, De­sign­ers and En­gravers warned agen­cies that, un­less their staff joined the SLADE Art Union, they would be “blacked” by ev­ery re­pro house, news­pa­per group and mag­a­zine pub­lisher in the coun­try.

SLADE fi­nally caved in un­der pres­sure from the Trades Union Congress and other unions, whose mem­bers’ liveli­hoods were be­ing threat­ened by its ac­tiv­i­ties.

12 MARCH 1982 TBWA’S BREAK­AWAY TRIO

The three in ques­tion were John Bar­tle, Nigel Bogle and

John Hegarty. Bar­tle, Bogle and Hegarty were the core man­age­ment team at TBWA in Lon­don but were grow­ing in­creas­ingly frus­trated that TBWA’S board wasn’t suf­fi­ciently re­ward­ing their achieve­ments. “They told us to fuck off,” Hegarty later re­called. “So we did.”

In fact, their tim­ing was per­fect. New shops could launch with min­i­mal cost back then and ad­ver­tis­ers were less ner­vous about go­ing with start-ups. Within 12 weeks, Bar­tle Bogle Hegarty had landed Audi, Whit­bread and Levi’s.

13 JAN­UARY 1995 SAATCHIS EX­ECS DE­FECT TO NEW SHOP

Christ­mas 1994 was any­thing but a sea­son of good­will at Saatchi & Saatchi as spec­u­la­tion mounted on how Mau­rice and Charles Saatchi would seek re­venge af­ter their exit.

Cam­paign re­vealed the an­swer the fol­low­ing month when Mau­rice an­nounced the launch of what was to be­come M&C Saatchi along with a group of de­fect­ing se­nior ex­ec­u­tives. The story pre­dicted that Bri­tish Air­ways, Mir­ror Group News­pa­pers and Gal­la­her would fol­low them.

Saatchi & Saatchi group chief ex­ec­u­tive Charlie Scott ac­cused the de­fec­tors of a “cyn­i­cal” pub­lic­ity cam­paign.

9 MARCH 1984 AGEN­CIES HIT BY CO­CAINE AL­LE­GA­TIONS

Ad­land’s co­caine habit was well enough known be­fore this

Cam­paign splash ap­peared. What made this story dif­fer­ent was its al­le­ga­tion that co­caine “bungs” were in­flu­enc­ing the way busi­ness was be­ing con­ducted. The re­porter who wrote it pleaded not to be given a by­line.

The story claimed that some agency pro­duc­ers were ask­ing pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies for small quan­ti­ties of co­caine ei­ther be­fore or af­ter a con­tract for a com­mer­cial had been awarded. Pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies were also said to have of­fered co­caine as an in­duce­ment.

23 JULY 1999 DEATH OF AN AD­VER­TIS­ING LE­GEND David Ogilvy’s pass­ing on a Cam­paign press day en­abled the mag­a­zine to per­fectly mark the death at 88 of the last of

the in­dus­try ti­tans and, ar­guably, its first Mad Man.

One of the few en­ti­tled to sit along­side Bill Bern­bach, Leo Bur­nett and Ray Ru­bi­cam in the pan­theon of in­dus­try ar­chi­tects, the Ogilvy & Mather founder in­spired gen­er­a­tions of ad peo­ple.

Such was Ogilvy’s in­flu­ence that his death was treated with dis­be­lief, even though his di­rect in­volve­ment with ad­ver­tis­ing had ended 25 years ear­lier.

26 AU­GUST 1988 SAATCHI & SAATCHI LAUNCHES ZENITH

The launch of Zenith Me­dia by the Saatchi & Saatchi group was a game-changer. Formed out of the me­dia de­part­ments of Saatchis, Dor­lands/ted Bates and the newly ac­quired Ray Mor­gan & Part­ners, Zenith was the first spe­cial­ist me­dia op­er­a­tion to be set up by a tra­di­tional ad agency hold­ing com­pany, pro­vid­ing the group with me­dia buy­ing clout.

How­ever, it wasn’t all plain sail­ing. Cam­paign re­ported a “frag­ile and hys­ter­i­cal” mood within the Saatchis me­dia depart­ment and a fear among Dor­lands me­dia staff that Peter White, their for­mer boss, had been “stitched up”.

13 FE­BRU­ARY 2004 LACE IN EMAIL HOAX

A colour­ful and con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure, Garry Lace had been ap­pointed Grey Lon­don’s chief ex­ec­u­tive with a brief to re-en­er­gise the lack­lus­tre agency. In do­ing so, he axed a fifth of the work­force.

So was it one of them who sent the email to a num­ber of agency man­agers and clients claim­ing that Lace was set­ting up a loy­alty scheme with Air Miles man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Drew Thom­son? Lace dis­missed the email as a hoax and called in the po­lice. Lit­tle more than a month later, he quit Grey. The hoaxer has never been un­masked.

25 JAN­UARY 1991 AMV AND BBDO STRIKE A DEAL Ad­land’s his­tory is lit­tered with merg­ers end­ing in tears. From the care­free early 1980s, when agen­cies’ ea­ger­ness

to cash in on their suc­cess led to many false fits, to the re­ces­sion-hit 1990s, when merg­ers were done to cut costs.

The most spec­tac­u­lar ex­cep­tion was when the Om­ni­com-owned BBDO bought a 22.9% stake in Ab­bott Mead

Vick­ers. Not only did it pro­vide AMV ac­cess to the in­ter­na­tional stage, it gave BBDO a cre­ative engine room to drive its busi­ness across Europe. To­day, Ab­bott Mead Vick­ers BBDO is one of the UK’S most cel­e­brated shops.

16 JULY 2010 BBH AND LEVI’S PART WAYS

“BBH calls time on Levi’s” was how Cam­paign an­nounced the end of one of the long­est and most cre­atively pro­duc­tive re­la­tion­ships in Bri­tish ad­ver­tis­ing with news that Bar­tle Bogle Hegarty was ter­mi­nat­ing its 28-year as­so­ci­a­tion

with Levi’s.

It was a part­ner­ship that not only ce­mented BBH’S rep­u­ta­tion as one of the UK’S most cre­ative shops but trans­formed Levi’s from work­wear to a cool youth brand.

Cam­paign wrote that the re­la­tion­ship had de­te­ri­o­rated over time as BBH strug­gled to get its ideas into pro­duc­tion.

7 AU­GUST 1992 THE NO­TO­RI­OUS RESTAU­RANT BILL

This was the story that re­vealed what has prob­a­bly be­come the most in­fa­mous restau­rant bill in Bri­tish ad­ver­tis­ing his­tory. It cov­ered lunch for two at May­fair’s Le Gavroche and came to £448, in­clud­ing a half-bot­tle of wine cost­ing

£126. The lunch was charged against “PR” by Ed­ward Booth-clib­born, then chair­man of the cash-strapped D&AD.

It came to light af­ter a four-month in­ves­ti­ga­tion that cul­mi­nated in Booth-clib­born’s exit with a £60,000 pay-off, pro­vok­ing out­rage among many D&AD mem­bers. At the time of the lunch, the av­er­age weekly wage was £340.

25 MAY 2012 ADAM & EVE MERGES WITH DDB LON­DON

With so many agency merg­ers down the years hav­ing failed spec­tac­u­larly, the £60m align­ment of Adam & Eve with DDB Lon­don un­der the Om­ni­com um­brella is proof that it can be done – with­out trauma.

Adam & EVE/DDB was named Cam­paign’s Ad Agency of the Year for the third suc­ces­sive time in 2016 – ev­i­dence of how suc­cess­ful the pair­ing has been, bring­ing to­gether one of the UK’S most cre­atively suc­cess­ful in­de­pen­dent shops, ea­ger to repli­cate its achieve­ments on a broader scale, with one that seemed to have gone sig­nif­i­cantly off the boil.

5 NOVEM­BER 1993 CM LINTAS ROCKED BY SCAN­DAL

Guy Fawkes Day was marked with an in­cen­di­ary head­line. Hugh Salmon, sacked by In­ter­pub­lic’s CM Lintas, had is­sued a high court writ against chair­man Chris Munds.

Munds made al­le­ga­tions – later with­drawn – of sex­ual mis­be­haviour with women in the of­fice. Salmon claimed the real rea­son for his dis­missal was his ex­po­sure of Munds’ in­volve­ment in fi­nan­cial ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties.

The case never went to court. In­ter­pub­lic paid Salmon around £500,000 in set­tle­ment, hav­ing con­ceded that he had been wrong­fully dis­missed.

23 MAY 2014 TRIB­UTES POUR IN FOR AB­BOTT

David Ab­bott’s sud­den death at 75 pro­voked shock and grief across ad­land. Not only was the Ab­bott Mead Vick­ers BBDO found­ing part­ner one of the finest copy­writ­ers Bri­tain has seen but his warmth and prin­ci­pled be­hav­iour helped give ad­ver­tis­ing an ac­cept­able face.

Al­ways el­e­gant and lu­cid in his work, Ab­bott was no bet­ter de­fined than by the gen­teel char­ac­ter of JR Hart­ley, who found his out-of-print book on fly fish­ing with the help of

Yel­low Pages. No writ­ing bet­ter re­flected Ab­bott’s style than the wit and brevity of the Econ­o­mist posters.

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