Campaign from its early days as an editor’s graveyard

Campaign is celebrating its 50th birthday with a big glossy special edition (below) – worth the somewhat numbing £17.50 if you can find one.

There are highlights, lowlights, some amazing work (very little of it recent alas) and some amazing characters: John Tylee on Garry Lace is worth a read.

There’s also a list of “the editors who shaped Campaign” which tells a story about its turbulent early years. In the early days there were Michael Jackson 1968-69, Peter Ellman 69/71 and Jim Ferrier 71/2 and 74/76 (Jim became publisher for a while and then moved back to editor, not a wise move) before things settled down with Bernard Barnett and his successors Chrissie Barker, Dominic Mills, Stefano Hatfield, Caroline Marshall and Claire Beale, who’s been editor for an astonishing 16 years. Beale was briefly exiled as “brand editor” of sister title Marketing but has resumed her throne.

Missing though is Doug Vickers who came between Ellman and Ferrier (forgotten maybe, it was a long time ago and there were a lot of Campaign editors but even so..) Hardly forgotten, though, is another absentee, Michael Chamberlain who succeeded Ferrier and became one of the co-founders of Marketing Week, Campaign’s great rival in the 1980s.

The rapid turnover of editors (even though Campaign was making loads’a money before Marketing Week hove into view) can probably be ascribed to MD Lindsay Masters who looked after the shop when owner Michael Heseltine was otherwise engaged. Lindsay was a lively character, a little too inclined to listen to his pals in adland, some of whom were all too willing to run down an editor who’d annoyed them. I never knew him when I worked there – heads down – but did later spend some time with him at, of all things, the Haymarket Christmas party at Searcy’s in Knightsbridge. I’d long since left Campaign (and Marketing Week) so I’ve no idea what I was doing there.

Anyway, it being Haymarket, the booze ran out so Lindsay despatched his chauffeur to buy two bottles of whisky from the nearest offie. Which a group of us, including Mrs Masters, duly despatched, fearful of the following morning’s consequences.

It wasn’t all fun and games (ask those redundant editors) but a lot of it was.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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