Friday, January 09, 2009

The New Creative Circle Annual Is Out

And it's brilliant. (Full disclosure: Mark Denton has invited me to be on next year's jury. And if anyone thinks I'm being too fulsome in my praise, feel free to assume he is also my secret gay lover).

The annual is lovingly crafted in the style of the Beano - its official title is 'The Bumper Book Of British Advertising'.

Why only British advertising?

In his President's Statement, Mark Denton succinctly explains the issue he has with the D&AD annual:

Anyway, there's tons of good work in the annual, and some lovely tributes to 'Hall of Heroes' inductee David Abbott. Peter Souter reveals that Abbott is a "car slut", "always said Ron Brown was the genius", and had "hair that never grew longer or moved in the wind."

I also like this cartoon.


Anonymous said...

Really nice idea that for an annual.

Shame D&AD have fucked up on the last few occasions with theirs. The yellow flag idea, what a euro cockfest. and as for last years pice of bog roll....we'll it probably was as some point.

George said...

It's great isn't it!
And it better be, because no agencies are entering the Creative Circle. Personally, I love the awards - the show, the relatively small audience. It's more personal. And where else do you get to see Jimmy Carr choking on stage.

The problem is that agencies are shying away from entering all the awards shows due to the recession. I suppose this book has made a statement to those agencies - namely, you really don't want to miss out on this.

I hope it works.

Jam said...

Nice nice nice. Did they actually get Baxendale to illustrate? It looks like it.

Anonymous said...

Of course, I am really chuffed that people are saying nice things about the annual because I had a brilliant time designing it with Dave (Dye).

For the record, it was illustrated by Steve Bright who has 20 years experience working on the Beano. We tried Leo Baxendale but we couldn't coax him out of retirement.

George... I don't know where you get your information from but most agencies enter.

A couple of years ago before I stuck my nose in, lots of agencies didn't. Now, it's a different story. In the first year entries were up by £85,000. In the second year we had another £75,000 worth of entries on top of that.

In fact, I managed (with the help of the committee) to make a big profit for the Creative Circle... But I have spunked it all on the trophies, call for entries, annual production, certificates and the event itself.

The way I saw it was that the Creative Circle would only survive if it had a reason to exist and it had to be more creative than its competition. For instance, the certificates had to be good enough to go on people's walls.

Even so, things are going to be tougher this year. There are more agencies than ever entering but they're spending less.

A real key to the Circle's continuation is creatives signing up to be members. I hope the annual (and free DVD!) is enough to secure its future.

Anonymous said...

You and Denton make a lovely-looking couple, Scamp.

Anonymous said...

It used to be the ads were better than the programs.
Now it's that the ads for the ads are better than the ads.

Anonymous said...

I love the annual, mainly because I'm in it a few times. Wonder if they're thinking about entering it into D&AD?

George said...

Not trying to rain on your parade Mark. Far from it - the only reason I mentioned that agencies were cutting back on entries is that I am entering awards myself at the moment (also known as awards hell).

The few agencies I have spoken to have mentioned Cannes and the D&AD as their priority. Most of the others will get overlooked. However, if you are finding that entries are up, then who am I to argue - you are the man with the info at your fingertips, so apologies for the negativity. It's just drawn from my own experiences of talking to agencies over the last week or so.

Anonymous said...

Great work Mark, keep it up!
Long live Creative Circle.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen it yet because as soon as it arrived Gordon Smith grabbed it.
All I can hear coming from the other side of the desk is "Now THAT is what an award's annual should look like. Why the fuck can't D&AD do that?"

Anonymous said...

Looks brilliant. Can someone be kind enough to tell me how I can I get one?


Anonymous said...

bloody good work m denton esq and mr.dye. thats everything an annual should be and good to see that dodgy foreign scam work getting a kicking.

Anonymous said...

George, if you've got some good work to enter please put it into Creative Circle. Next years annual and show are going to be brilliant.

Mark Fairbanks has put together a team over at AMV and they've come up with a fantastic 'Welcome to Adland' concept.

I'm really sorry that my term of office is almost over and I won't be able to take any credit for it.

Anonymous said...

If Mark is your secret lover (and obviously secret no longer), who's your public one ;)

Anonymous said...

To Anon who wants an just have to join the Creative Circle. It's £75 including a DVD membership card and a few discounts on stuff.

Someone over at ITIABTWC suggested that it was dear, but compare it to D&AD which is £160 (I think) and you've got a bargain.

I've tried to keep everything cheaper than the competition wherever possible.

Call Janice at CCHQ on 020 7734 9334 and she'll sort you out.

To Dave (Trott) and Gordon......what a compliment...I'm a little touched.

James Cooper said...


Well done on the annual. I remember when you came to see me and Flo at Dare, you were certainly ambitious and it seems like it's all worked out.

Is there anyway I can see it online - even just a brief squizz - as I am in New York now and very curious to see the "best of british".


Scamp said...

Rachel, it's Dave Trott of course.

Anonymous said...

check out the missed fill-in on the thumb shadow in image 1. how annoying is that now i've pointed it out to you?!

Anonymous said...

Scamp. You promised.......

Anonymous said...

Hi James Cooper.

Sadly there's no online presence at the moment. The creaking old Creative Circle website was the next thing on my list to modernise.

Although you could always JOIN UP! I'll even waive the transatlantic postage...... and it's a bloody heavy book (and free DVD!) Eagle Eyes @11:34

You're right it's very, very, very annoying (sob).

Please get in touch. I want you on next years art direction jury.

Anonymous said...

mark - don't worry too much. remember, it's the defects on stamps that make them even more valuable....

Anonymous said...

haha sorry mr. denton and i'm guiltily honoured, i'd be happy to put my eagle eyes to such great use..

Anonymous said...

Great. We need more focus like this. And more simple brilliance. Which leads me to this point scamp, would it be possible in 2009 for there to be less trashing and ridicule of spots and more championing of things that are good? More 'how we can help each other out?'

I don't know. Just a thought. Maybe your success is linked to the aggression people have to an 'ad' and you have to keep the bitching going. But in a way its pretty pathetic. There are a lot in industry blogs that put us to shame and support and help each other.

I never know what the point is of this blog to constantly allow people to trash work and get so personal, you even allow names. Its just spiteful jealousy and doesn't bode well for the general reputation. Why allow people to further fuel advertising cliches?

Maybe in 2009 your focus could be on actually heroing the best of British Stuff. Just like Creative Circle.

Scamp said...

Funny you should mention it, I AM going to be doing some championing in 2009. Watch this space.

But since what I normally hear about my posts is "Scamp you're too nice" I'm guessing that you refer to the occasional viciousness of the commenters here.

I have taken steps to reduce that. You complain about commenters "getting personal". Maybe that WAS the case. But personal attacks are no longer allowed. See the new House Rules.

But the trashing of the work will go on, I suspect. You know what creatives are like. In the pub, I have heard people slag off Sony Balls ("boring") Honda Cog ("a rip-off") and Sony Paint ("nowhere near as good as Balls") even though they all ended up being the ad of the year! So one might say this blog is the same as the pub, but with anonymity as the fuel, instead of booze.

]-[appy Thought said...

Scamp I think that's a brilliant summation of anonymous critique. I may have to quote you on it sometime.

Sell! Sell! said...

I like the look and feel of what the Creative Circle is doing. I find most trade associations and their awards a bit earnest and self-congratulatory, but CC seems to be doing something a bit more enjoyable. Blimey, I might even join. Good work Mark and Co.

Bitch Bag said...

Excellent *in a none Mr Burns voice.
Looking forward to finding out who, the best of British are.

Anonymous said...

Great Scamp.
Where to get the book?
I'm not from/in London.

Mayhaps you could put pressure on D&AD to start selling their annual to the public again.
These days, you got to be a winner or a member.

If D&AD's as much about stimulation as it is congratulations, then surely the stimulant should be readily available?

Thank you.

Anonymous said...


please join up! As I said earlier, the Creative Circle will only survive if we can raise the membership and maintain the entries. I really have spent all the money.

......oh, and I forgot to mention that new members get Paul Belford's 07 minimal masterpiece as well as the current annual (and free DVD!)

Anonymous said...

Fair enough.
Didn't read house rules. Have now done. Makes sense.
And yes, I wasn't referring to you I was referring to others on the blog.
Look forward to 2009 then.

john p woods said...

Mark, Is there a lecturer's/student price for Creative Circle membership?