Putting the case for British ad creativity

Debate rumbles on about the state of British ad creativity and here’s a short Campaign film from Cannes with some of its advocates. It’s a promoted film so no-one’s going to say it’s in a rut – that’s putting it politely.

The Brits failed to excel at Cannes although the UK was still – narrowly – the second most awarded country after the US. It failed to win many big prizes though. AMV BBDO was probably the stand-out performer.

Interesting that none of these worthy folk is an agency creative director.

Are they describing British creativity as is or what they’d like it to be?


  1. Stephen,
    A concern about British creativity might be understandable if there was some relationship between award wins at Cannes and the economic health of British agencies or British offices.
    Alas, this is not the case, and the concern about creative performance is misplaced.
    How do British agencies or offices perform in obtaining fair amounts of revenue from their clients? How do they perform competitively vs. the rest of the world in being able to offer something more than a living wage to their employees?
    I suspect that British performance on these dimensions is no worse than the rest of the industry — but this is no cause for celebration. The industry is economically in the tank, being underpaid for excessive amounts of work that have to be done by too few, seriously underpaid talented individuals.
    If there was as much talk about British remuneration as there is about British creativity, the industry might not be in such a pickle.
    The 60’s are long gone, as are the days of the Creative Revolution. Agency economic health could be taken for granted during “The Good Old Days,” and agencies could obsess over creative competitiveness as evidenced by creative awards.
    Today, though, this kind of concern about British creativity seems quaint and irrelevant — the proof that the creative myth dies hard while current economic realities are ignored.

    Michael Farmer
    Author, Madison Avenue Manslaughter

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