I’ve kept a stash of the times my ads or I have merited some kind of mention in the press.
Now that I’m moving house/country/continent it’s time to take photos of those mentions then throw the mags away.
Here are a few, plus some explanatory info:
This was a thing Campaign did about Lunar’s early days. They used that picture for all Lunar articles because it was the only one they had of any of us on file (it was a shot they took for Faces To Watch the previous year).
This is the process of having your photo taken by Campaign (or it was for us): a guy turns up and says Campaign is now taking more ‘graphic’ pictures (as opposed to the ones they used to take on fire escapes etc.), so you look for a more ‘graphic’ background (we used our boss’s office) and set up the shot there. I don’t know what I was trying to do with the clothes – that might just be how I dressed nine years ago – but if I’d known it was going to be used several times I might have given more thought to wearing a T-shirt under a shirt etc. So then he suggests how you should stand and takes a bunch of pics. The annoying thing is that if someone takes fifty shots of you in various expressions/stances, then you have no idea which one they’ll choose and how you will then appear to all the readers of Campaign who may not know you that well. I think I look a bit condescending and serious, which, to be fair, I probably was in those days. So that was used in Campaign maybe five times for different reasons, and however unhappy I might have been about it (somewhat), at least it’s not as bad as this one:
I mean, bloody hell. I look like I’m saying, ‘Oooh, get you in your raspberry culottes on a Wednesday afternoon.’ I guess that was one of the other shots the guy took, which they then used a year later in a recap of the previous Faces To Watch. If I looked condescending and serious in the first one, this one makes me look so far up my own arse I can just about see my molars.
Moving swiftly on…
Look! Page 3 of the Daily Star! If you worked on Walkers then chances are you’d be working with at least one famous person (Gary Lineker), and possibly others. In this case it was just Gary, and clearly it was only a VO session.
He was delighted that we’d made him into a potato head. Or was it his fee he was delighted with? No idea. Anyway, I can’t remember if we invented the whole Potato Head thing (Daz, if you’re reading this, do chip in) or just did the ad, but it was kind of nice being in the paper next to some soft-core pornography. And is the positioning of the upper Gary Potato Head photo deliberately intended to make him look as if he’s ogling the boobies?
And on the subject of Walkers and low-fat crisps, there was also this little effort:
That one appeared as an article in everything from the Sunday Times to the Daily Mirror. This time I only did the press ad (I say ‘I’, but much of the credit has to go to Cam for art directing it and Erwin Olaf for taking a great shot), but it was fun hanging around with Victoria at the height of her fame. She sat in that bath with a sort of flesh-coloured bra thing on, munching M&S low-fat crisps (Potato Heads had yet to be invented) and chatting away with the four or five of us allowed in the room. Then I got in massive trouble for blabbing about it on Popbitch. Oops.
Finally, the old days of the blog:
I’d forgotten, but when the blog started it caused a bit of a stir, mainly because I swore a lot, the opinions were quite forthright and it was technically under the umbrella of BBDO, which made the whole thing seem 8x as naughty. And in the absence of many others doing the same, Campaign would often reprint favourite posts in their ‘Best Of The Blogs’ column. It was all jolly fun at the time, although also quite weird and a bit scary, as comments sometimes led to emails being written to the then Chairman of AMV, suggesting we remove some of the fruitier or more personal opinions (to be fair to Cilla, she never really asked us to do that and was very good about the whole thing).
But as the blog plodded on and I saw nothing from Campaign that seriously took up the issues I wrote about (women/racial minorities/gays in advertising, corruption in awards, shit ads actually being shit etc.), I started being somewhat negative about the magazine. I felt it was another issue in the industry that our biggest trade publication essentially just reprinted press releases and was a pretty poor excuse for ‘journalism’. After a few of these posts Campaign stopped mentioning my blog, which was fine by me – I’d had all the publicity I wanted, and now resented them for using my hard work to fill their own pages for free, so, y’know, fuck ’em. The mag has been a bit better recently, but it was pretty dreadful for a good decade.
At one point I announced I was stopping the blog, a gesture which merited a mention in their diary:
Nice to be appreciated, but I dunno about the blog not being a clever idea. Maybe ‘clever’ is the wrong word, but it’s certainly been good to me.
So there are a few pics and a little stumble down memory lane.
Ahhh, 2007… Scamp getting hundreds of comments… me posting disgusting flights of fancy in the guise of Kate Moss… the blog occasionally getting sued… Happy days…