1. What’s with the half-ceremony with no Black Pencils thing? Many of you might not even be aware that the Silvers were handed out on Thursday evening to an audience of… no idea. Way to make what is already a damp, damp, damp, damp, damp, squib of an award scheme just a little bit damper.
2. Some rather odd awards/non-awards. I’ll just concentrate on two because they’ll help me make further points: in TV, John Lewis, winner of all best ad at the BTAAs and Creative Circle ends up merely ‘In-Book’. Look, I understand that different people have different opinions, but come the fuck on. Surely even a foreign person can tell how good that ad is (for the avoidance of doubt, that sentence is supposed to be tongue in cheek). What really happened on that jury? What bets were called in? Who did the people of Adam and Eve unwittingly piss off? Who has pictures of who with a donkey and a tub of Swarfega? I think it’s clear that a jury who awards that essentially a Bronze is wrongheaded in some way. And I guess the composition of that Jury might go some way to explaining what has happened here: Nick Bell is a legend, Paul Shearer has produced some UK classics, Lizie Gower’s production company has churned out many of this country’s recent greats, Mark Tutssell might be away with the fairies, but he used to have form… But the others? I think each of them falls down on the criteria of either quality or UK-ness or both.
The second is Walls. I know five Golds at BTAA doesn’t mean as much as it used to, but it’s usually a 100% indicator of inclusion in the D&AD annual. This year, zilch. Again, I have no fucking idea how that happened. It’s funny, different, original work for a big brand that stands out like the testicles of the dog in the ring case. Please can someone on the jury stop by here and explain that decision?
3. I hear D&AD is trying to be even more international. Oh shit. It really is fucked now. Cannes owns that scene and here’s why: good speakers, good weather, more prestige and more publicity. If D&AD wants to compete on that territory it will fail miserably. In ten years it’s gone from seeming superior to Cannes to acting like its desperate kid brother.
Does any of the above matter? Of course not. If they want to collapse and slip away to nothing, that’s their business.