Saatchi makes its Mark at Atv

Australian Financial Review

Monday 22 July 2002

Author: Robyn Stubbs

Saatchi and Saatchi has taken top honours at the 2002 Atv Awards which recognise excellence in television advertising in Australia and New Zealand.

The agency scooped the pool on Friday night when it collected awards for Agency of the Year, “Best of Show" and Australian Commercial of the Year for its controversial “Prison” campaign for the Pedestrian Council of Australia.

The ad, which featured underworld figure and author Mark “Chopper” Read, was described as “an incredibly powerful piece of communication” by Jim Moser, the managing director of Clemenger BBDO Sydney who was also Atv jury chairman.

“That way of talking about road safety had never been seen before,” Mr Moser said. “It was also highly controversial which added to the effectiveness of the communication.”

The Atv awards, now in their 27th year, are regarded as one of the leading professional awards for excellence in television advertising. They place greater emphasis on creativity than on the commercial results generated for clients.

“These awards are not like the AFA [Advertising Federation of Australia] effectiveness awards where you have a 10-page analysis of data,” Mr Moser said. “It's more about whether [the agency] understands who they are talking to and whether they are communicating with them in a compelling manner.”

After Australia's disappointing showing at the 2002 Cannes Advertising Festival, Mr Moser said the general quality of work submitted for the Atv awards was solid. But he said he believed it had slipped below the outstanding quality of creative work produced in Australia five years ago.

He attributed the creative decline to current market conditions and the uncertainty faced by many clients.

“Clients are wanting to do things that have already been proven to work,” he said. “They're less willing to take a risk and I think that's showing in the quality of the work.”