Messrs. M. Denton Esq. and D. Dye Esq. take a bow

i just got my copy of the British Creative Circle ad annual. And I am very impressed. Sorry about the pic below. I took it with my iPhone. But you get the gist. It’s an an advertising awards annual with a sense of humour! Blasphemy, I know. You might want to sit down and have a stiff brandy.

Done in retro English comics style, it’s very funny to read and provides a very un-po-faced context in which to view the work. And some of the work could frankly have used an infusion of denton and dye’s humanity, vitality and wit.

Top job chaps! And thank you Angie for shipping it all the way to Chicago. You made a sad ad geek very happy.


24 responses to “Messrs. M. Denton Esq. and D. Dye Esq. take a bow

  1. I agree with you Vinnie, the book is better than the work in it.
    It’s fun and charming.
    Dave Dye’s done a brilliant job, but you’ve got to hand it to Mark Denton for revitalising a moribund brand.
    Just shows what can happen when everyone leaves creative alone to get on with it.
    And don’t you envy Abbott, having his picture drawn by the Beano srtist?

  2. yes dave. they (denton, dye and co.) have created something of value. i simply had to have it. regardless of the ads in it.

    and yes, david abbott’s illustration was hilarious. i’m sure it will occupy a prominent place in his study.

    i’m not quite sure what happened to UK advertising over the past ten years but all feels like it’s constructed with tweezers by robots lately, to me. it feels divorced from the culture.

  3. Well when the bean counters take over…

  4. is that what it is john? i mean has the whole industry gone like that? i still consume lots of UK comedy, read campaign… etc and i notice a complete disconnect between it and the uk ad output. uk advertising used to be dangerous and full of humanity. and now it all feels somewhat tentative to me. even the good stuff “skoda cake” for example, feels like it’s on prozac. and i’m on vicodin! No i’m not. i’ll give it another hour.

  5. Vinny, I like what two friends of mine said (genius guys, by the way!), after half a year of visiting famous London-based CDs:
    “Look, we have our principles, we can’t accept to work for someone who’s more stupid than we are.” And they gave up advertising, moved to Paris and set up an interior design studio. I always said that this stupid attitude ad people have lately embraced will end up fending off all the talented people that might disturb their peaceful lameness. And it’s already happening with a vengeance.
    Vinny, I can’t name ONE London-based CD in your generation that really seems to stay in tune with the real world and to me it seems abnormal that Dave is the only ad man willing and able to stay coherent and fashionable. I’m sure many young people think this way. You can’t choose to build your career on a market that can only offer you one real model – a man that is two generations away from you. Well, personally I wouldn’t make this choice.

  6. Do you know Vinny that’s a really big question.
    And it’s really worrying.

  7. The problem is you’re probably the only one who’d hire them, Dave.

    With Fallon specialising in resizing old objects and the others just watching, I see no bright future for Brooklyn guys in London. Unless they’re entrepreneurial minds.

  8. I’m not advocating what Pol Pot did, jeez he’d take me out for spouting the word advocating and the word spouting come to think of it but I think what is needed is a genuine back to basics bunch of guys and gals, if you must, who haven’t gone to art college being allowed to germinate, there I go again, I mean mix in with the college kids. Word on the street type of stuff plus where are agencies who will take anyone on who is considered left of field. There might be a 30 + yr old teamster out there with creative thought!

  9. John, have you ever thought about setting up your own agency in London? I know you’d be a breath of fresh air.

  10. Incredibly overcrowded saturated market but I think an agency stacked out with bright non trad route bodies might be a back to the future kinda eating the big fish thang that could work!
    What are the start-up costs these days Dave?

  11. You can turn that into a great advantage, John. The simple fact that there are many agencies shows that most of the local entrepreneurial potential is active…. and still incapable of coming up with valuable work. Someone has to break the silence. Besides great work, you can easily offer better prices. This is another stupid London trend: idiot investments that return no results (I can give you soooo many examples, John! …….not only Fallon’s zoetrope — I really had to mention it, it’s like breathing in-breathing out).

  12. Sorry, I forgot whose blog I was on, that was just as much a question for Vinny. So what are the start-up costs these days, Vinny and who did you hook up with to make it happen?

  13. John,
    I don’t know about Vinny, but I alway found the most crucial part of the whole mix is the account guy you start with.
    He (or she) gets the new business in the first place.
    They support you in doing great work, and they make the ads run.
    If you can find an account guy you trust, who wants what you want, do it.

  14. Thanks Dave, I kinda knew the man who gets the ball is key.
    I suppose there more I make myself available the more chances there will be to linking up with Nobby Stiles/ Keano types. Mind you I guess I’ll need to convince the Cloughie’s of this world first! If I can’t get in the team…

  15. i agree with dave. finding the right account person is the key. And they are rare. i spent years looking.

    another thing to consider john is that while the UK market is over-saturated, what is it over-saturated with?

    and yes dave. i do think advertising in general could use Brooklyn thinking.

  16. “I agree with you Vinnie, the book is better than the work in it.
    It’s fun and charming”

    Hey that was my portfolio idea I did last year! In an old Dandy annual. Imagine that one was executed slightly more impressively than mine though.

    @John – London is so passe, do the start up in Manchester, I know a few bodies who’d love a breath of fresh air.

  17. agree. why not manchester. look at the sucess of attik (birmingham) and universaleverything.

  18. As long as there’s internet, the term LOCATION has no relevance. The very fact that people still believe starting a business hinges upon choosing the right location is a clear symptom of narrow-mindedness.

  19. Completely agree with that Anca, I’ve said the same myself many a time. I guess the people who location may be relevant to though is the much loved/hated client.

    Unfortunately ‘London’ or wherever still represents something just as a name.

  20. well crispin porter bogusky have proven that location doesn’t matter. they’re in lovely Boulder colorado now. which is like being in the Scottish highlands in US terms. why are there no great agencies in Liverpool? Arguably Liverpool/Manchester has produced the most lively creative output in the UK in the past 20 years. Are people that keen to get out? :-)

  21. It’s funny, Vinny. Agencies blame clients for choosing mediocrity as a safe road (which in the end turns out to be a safe road to anonymity), but they do exactly the same. They all choose London, thinking that being there is clearly the best way to get attention. So London ends up being THE meeting point, most agencies remaining somewhere in the shadow. If they chose any other location, they would be easily noticed even without a portfolio like CPB’s.

    But the most important problem in the UK is that they seem unable to understand how the internet works – such a complicated toy.

  22. well i think it’s a case of agencies not acting on the advice they consistently dole out to clients: be daring, stand out from the crowd etc. we’re great at telling people they should jump out of windows. but we have precious little experience of doing it ourselves. hence the credibility gap.

    remember that twelve years ago CPB was just another regional US ad agency with a bunch of awards. and f**k all else.

    Alex Bogusky clearly has/had insane and boundless ambition. and that’s the real key. what are your ambitions? how hungry are you? that’s all that matters IMHO.

    a transylvanian ad agency, for example, makes complete sense in 2009. but you would just have to work harder for it to make sense to clients. you’d have to steal from amsterdam. and london. and i wouldn’t overestimate how hard that would be.

  23. Setting up a Transylvanian agency wouldn’t be very difficult to do, trust me. I just don’t have any managerial skills. I’ll have to find the right person.

    (Actually I just enjoyed a little bit more time without responsibilities after graduation :) )

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