The Ipcress File showcases the best and worst of advertising

ITV’s The Ipcress File is becoming a showcase for advertisers although as the series introduces yet more labyrinthine variations on Len Deighton’s labyrinthine novel (a DIY botched abortion, what was that about?) its appeal may diminish.

Wonder if ITV rationed betting commercials, which take over the airwaves after 9pm on channels like Sky? Sooner or later this effluent will be banned so the betting firms are piling in while they can. This, for 888 from Recipe, made the cut although one might wish it hadn’t. Well made, sure, but playing piano in a brothel is a more respectable way of earning a living.

This for Expedia from Anomaly LA, originally for the Super Bowl, is all over the airwves at the moment and does exactly what advertising should do. Puts up an intriguing proposition followed by a compelling resolution. And uses a celeb – Ewan McGregor – to advantage (why do Scots accents induce trust?)

ITV should eschew betting ads for a a showcase programme like this.

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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.