Tim’s Academy

Much of the best talent in UK advertising over the past fifteen years has emanated from one agency’s creative department during one throbbing great purple patch. The department in question may not have produced their best work at this time and place, but they did pretty well and mostly went on to real greatness.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mid-Nineties Leagas Delaney:

Dave Dye
Sean Doyle
Paul Belford
Nigel Roberts
Tony Barry
Tony Davidson
Kim Papworth
Rob Burleigh
Dave Beverley
Steve Paskin
Tom Hudson
Will Awdry
And, of course, Tim Delaney.

I have heard tell from some of the above that Tim would often dash off a Pencil-winning corker then tell you to go and make it.

That would be a hell of an environment to learn from.

And they had brilliant clients, such as Adidas, The Guardian and Pepe Jeans.

The ad I really wanted to show from this era was the Pepe Jeans ‘How To Talk To Teenagers’ ad, which was shot by the Douglas Brothers. I seem to remember a car being dropped from a crane. Alas, I can’t find it on the Net.

I guess the sad post-script to this is that many of the people above went on to greater things, yet Leagas Delaney itself seems to have shuffled off that grey corner of Adland where once-great agencies go to die (the corpse of Simons Palmer has a gravestone next to CDP). Maybe things have moved on and there is no place for a ‘strong’ opinion that puts the work first.

I heard that Tim once had a commercial edited but was rather disappointed (fucking furious) to see the somewhat crappy result.
‘What’s that?’ he asked.
‘Well,’ said the editor, ‘I just cut your script.’
‘But I don’t want you to cut my script. I want you to cut me something brilliant.’
The ad was supposed to be a 30″, but the editor returned with a 60″.
‘Fantastic,’ said Tim. ‘We’ll tell the client they’re running 60s.’

Do I even need to write, ‘Could you imagine that happening today?’?