Let's do lunch inside the world of advertising
Tuesday 25 June 1996
Sighs of relief all round at Ogilvy & Mather. For months now, the Canary Wharf agency has swooned at the name of its major client, Guinness. Why? Because Tony Kaye directed a film for Guinness which featured - shock, horror - a gay kiss, and the client wasn't overly chuffed. But that all seems to have been overcome, as Guinness last week decided to award O&M the multi-million-pound relaunch of the oh-so-tasty, alcohol-free lager Kaliber, which was last seen in a parody of Wonderbra's Hello Boys campaign. The announcement puts an end to another Guinness controversy: the Kaliber account was resigned some weeks ago by Euro RSCG when Guinness took yet another brand, Kilkenny, away from it. This is all terribly confusing, but there must be a lesson in there about mixing drinks.
Scarcely has Court Burkitt and Company risen from the ashes of Burkitt Edwards Martin, and already the agency is brazen enough to chuck out clients it doesn't want. Six months or so back, Mike Court replaced the late Chris Martin as creative director, and last month he was handed top billing in the renamed shop. Now chairman Hugh Burkitt has booted out Rolls-Royce, the Canadian Tourist Commission and the French tobacco company Sella. Why did he do it? "None of these clients has met our criteria of partnership and creative opportunity. We are confident of our creative abilities and want to work with people where there is an open, listening relationship." Let's hope the agency's other clients, including Coors, John Lewis, Southern Comfort and Bakers Complete Dog Food, take note.
J. Walter Thompson is attempting to measure the unmeasurable. Well, that's what suffering creatives might think. The worldwide agency has decided to boost its "creative product" (that is, make better ads) by linking the pay of senior executives to creative work. Does this mean the end of jokes about the laziest creatures in adland? It might. Enjoy this while you can: why doesn't a creative look out of the window in the morning? So that there's something to do in the afternoon.
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