No 193: The Cam­paign Di­ary

Campaign UK - - PROMOTION -

Cam­paign has never been afraid of bit­ing the ad in­dus­try’s sus­tain­ing hand. Crit­ics who com­plained the mag­a­zine had its favourites were al­ways told they were wrong. Cam­paign hated ev­ery­body, equally.

This helped ad folk to ac­cept it as a trade ti­tle with at­ti­tude. And no sec­tion of the mag­a­zine re­flected this bet­ter than its Di­ary pages. Ini­tially a dou­blepage spread at the cen­tre of the mag­a­zine, this was the place where rep­u­ta­tions counted for noth­ing, pom­pos­ity was pricked and dirty lit­tle se­crets were se­cret no longer.

Mir­ror­ing a busi­ness that loved gos­sip­ing al­most as much as cre­at­ing, the Di­ary sec­tion could be seen as the mod­ern equiv­a­lent of the stocks or the duck­ing stool.

It was an era when Cam­paign’s hefty

Prob­a­bly the most fa­mous of them all – and the one who most ob­vi­ously man­i­fested the in­dus­try’s flam­boy­ance at the time – was Gail Am­ber (pic­tured).

Al­ways larger than life, of­ten ec­cen­tric and sel­dom seen with­out her trade­mark ci­garette holder and a glass of Cham­pagne, Am­ber knew most of the lead­ing agency fig­ures of the pe­riod and how to get them talk­ing.

In July 2008, two months af­ter her death aged 62, Di­ary re­ported that a num­ber of her old in­dus­try friends had honoured her mem­ory at a Soho wine bar. Veteran me­dia man John Ayling re­mem­bered how Am­ber had re­ported that he was set­ting up on his own. “Blimey,” for­mer Cam­paign edi­tor Bernard Bar­nett re­marked, “it must have been the only me­dia story she ever wrote!”

pag­i­na­tion was a di­rect re­sult of the UK ad in­dus­try’s golden age. In to­day’s leaner times, it’s hard to imag­ine the lux­ury of a ded­i­cated di­ary edi­tor.

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