Creative Circle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Creative Circle (also known as The Advertising Creative Circle and The Advertising Creative Circle of Great Britain) is an educational awards body dedicated to creativity in British advertising, and the oldest advertising and marketing awards body in Europe.[1] Their mission is to help promote creative excellence in advertising, while sharing knowledge and experience through educational programs and supporting young creative people.[2] The annual Creative Circle awards are judged by the British advertising creative community. Their main offices are in Covent Garden, London.


The Advertising Creative Circle of Great Britain was founded on 8 October 1945,[1] at a luncheon at The Trocadero Hotel, London.[1] The concept can be traced back to, H.F. Crowther (Director of Advertising Agency Rumble, Crowther & Nicholas) and G.R. Pope (Advertising Manager of The Times).[1]

At the time, Crowther and Pope felt there was no other advertising organisation concerned exclusively with the craft of visualising, writing and designing advertising,[3] and so decided to create an Advertising Creative Circle that could "not only provide a forum for such creative men, but [also] contribute to raising the status of advertising as a profession".[3]

The First Council[edit]

Title Name Position; Company
President Mr. G. O. Nickalls[1] Director; Alfred Pemberton, Ltd
Vice-President Mr H. F. Crowther[1] Director; Rumble, Crowther & Nicholas Ltd
Hon. Secretary Mr Ernest Briggs[1] Director; London Press Exchange Ltd
Hon. Treasurer Mr S. J. G. Chipperfield[1] Masius and Fergusson Ltd
Council Member Mr G. Butler[1] Art Director; J. Walter Thompson Co. Ltd
Council Member Mr G. H. Saxon Mills[1] Director; W. S. Crawford Ltd
Council Member Mr G. J. Redgrove[1] Director; C. Vernon and Sons Ltd
Council Member Mr G. Worledge[1] S. H. Benson Ltd

This first council was responsible for determining subscriptions, membership control, copy vigilance, press relations and a programme of art exhibitions, publications and functions.[1] In addition, they were tasked with selecting 10 more honorary members and a further 50 ordinary members, to be made up of noteworthy people wholly engaged in creative work - copywriters, copy chiefs, artists, art directors, layout men, visualisers and more.[1]

Within its press relations functions, the Creative Circle hoped not only to keep the press informed about advertising matters generally, but also "take up the cudgels" whenever it was publicly attacked.[1]

Honours (awards)[edit]

The Creative Circle has been awarded the best of British advertising creativity since 1986.[4] There are several levels of awards presented on the Honours Evening. From commendations, through to Bronze, Silver, and Gold, and ultimately, the Gold of Gold award for the single best piece of work that year. The President also presents a personal award to the person or organisation that has had the greatest impact on advertising that year.

List of President's Award winners[edit]

Year Winner
1986 ---
1987 Watford College (College)[5]
1988 Central Office of Information (Client)[6]
1989 Tony Cox (Creative)[7]
1990 Tony Kaye (Director)[8]
1991 Tim Delaney (Creative)[9]
1992 Roger Woodburn (Director)[10]
1993 Barbara Nokes (creative)[11]
1994 Chris Palmer and Mark Denton (Creatives)[12]
1995 ---
1996 Tom Carty and Walter Campbell (Creatives)[13]
1997 Paul Weinburger (Creative)[14]
1998 Richard Flintham and Andy Mcleod (Creatives)[15]
1999 The men and women of the Creative Services Departments[16]
2000 Paddy Easton and The Computer Film Company (Production Company)[17]
2001 Dave Waters (Creative)[18]
2002 Roger Kennedy (Typographer)[19]
2003 Paul Silburn (Creative)[20]
2004 Steve Henry (Creative)[2]
2005 Daniel Kleinman (Director)[21]
2006 ---
2007 Ed Morris (Creative)[22]
2008 Juan Cabral (Creative)[23]
2009 No Award Given[24]
2010 Malcolm Gaskin (Creative)[25]
2011 Graham Fink (Creative)[3]
2012 Nick Gill (Creative)[4][26]
2013 Matt Gooden & Ben Walker (Creatives)[5][27]

List of Gold of Gold Award winners[edit]

Established in 1989 as 'The Big One',[7] and known from 1996 to 2011 as 'the Platinum Award', the currently named Gold of Golds is given to the single best advertising creative idea of the year (the only exception being 2008, when it was felt advertising agency Fallon deserved the award, having produced both the Cadbury Gorilla commercial and the Skoda Fabia Cake commercial in the same year [6]).

Year Winning Work Client Agency
1989 (The Big One) Relax[7] British Rail Saatchi & Saatchi
1990 (The Big One) Into the Valley/Israelites[8] Maxell Hutchins Film Company / Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury
1991 (The Big One) Club/Bar[9] Red Rock Cider GGT
1992 (The Big One) Shoes In Action[10] Reebok Lowe Howard Spink
1993 (The Big One) Reg on...[11] Regal, Imperial Tobacco Lowe Howard Spink
1994 (The Big One) Unexpected[12] Dunlop AMV BBDO / Tony Kaye Films
1995 --- --- ---
1996 (Platinum Award) Twister[13] Volvo AMV BBDO
1997 (Platinum Award) St George[7] Blackcurrant Tango HHCL & Partners
1998 (Platinum Award) Hiccups/Dentist/Chair/Guard/Tennis/Lamppost[14] Volkswagen UK BMP DDB
1999 --- --- ---
2000 --- --- ---
2001 (Platinum Award) Bear[17] John West Salmon Leo Burnett
2002 (Platinum Award) Sofa[18] Reebok Lowe
2003 (Platinum Award) Ball Skills/Mum/Diving/Babies/Monsters [8] John Smiths TBWA\London
2004 (Platinum Award) Cog[9] Honda Partizan / Wieden + Kennedy
2005 (Platinum Award) Grrr[10] Honda Wieden + Kennedy
2006 (Platinum Award) Balls[11] Sony Fallon
2007 (Platinum Award) No Award Given [12] N/A N/A
2008 (Platinum Award) Fallon[22] Fallon Fallon
2009 (Platinum Award) Wallace & Gromit[23] Harvey Nichols DDB
2010 (Platinum Award) Knife Crime[24] Metropolitan Police AMV BBDO
2011 (Platinum Award) Straight/Catch [13] Magners Red Brick Road
2012 (Gold of Golds) The Long Wait [14][26] John Lewis Partnership Adam & Eve
2013 (Gold of Golds) Don't Cover It Up [15][27] Refuge BBH London

Role Reversal Seminar[edit]

The Creative Circle Role Reversal Seminar was created in 1968[28] by Sam Rothenstein - a copywriter who believed that creative standards don't just depend on advertising agencies but on clients too.[28]

The concept of the course is simple: one of the best ways to understand someone is to put yourself in their shoes.[29] So, a group of middleweight marketers take on the role of an advertising agency creative department. While agency Creative Directors take on the role of the clients.[30]

The marketers are grouped into "Agency" teams and made to pitch against each other for a piece of business (as happens in the real world).[28] The "Agencies" are given a creative brief from a fictional client simultaneously. They then have 72 hours to conceive and produce a pitch-winning idea. This includes deciding upon a strategy and slogan, then creating and designing ad executions, across all media - they're then expected to film, edit, and present a television commercial in that time.[31]

Each "Agency" is assisted by a professional Creative Director, to keep them on track, and an Art Director (known as a "Tutor" or a "Wrist") to help them turn their ideas into visuals and storyboards. A film crew and production team are also on hand to help with the filming and editing of the commercial.[28]

After the 72 hours are up, the "Agency" teams pitch their ideas to the fictional clients - a consortium of real Creative Directors - who then select a winner.[31]

The course is designed to give marketers the opportunity to see things from the point of view of their agency - learning through doing - which often gives them a completely new perspective on that relationship.[28] It's also renowned throughout the industry for late nights and much drunken bonding, giving clients and agencies an insight into each other's worlds.[32] It's even been known to influence real-world client/agency relationships, with one story speculating that many years ago, Guinness switched its multimillion-pound advertising account to J. Walter Thompson as a result of one such seminar.[30]

The Role Reversal Seminar ran unbroken for precisely 40 years, always taking place in one of the UK's top universities - including Cambridge and St Andrew's[33] - before settling for the last 20 years at Trinity College, Oxford. Over those 40 years, the course attracted thousands of marketers, but was closed in 2008 due to financial constraints.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Advertiser's Weekly, "Advertising Creative Circle Will Raise Status of Profession", 18 October 1945
  2. ^ [1] About Us
  3. ^ a b The Newspaper World, "ADVERTISING REVIEW: Formation of an Advertising Creative Circle", 20 October 1945
  4. ^ The Annual of the Advertising Creative Circle, The Advertising Creative Circle, 1986
  5. ^ The Second Annual of the Advertising Creative Circle, The Advertising Creative Circle, 1987
  6. ^ The Third Annual of the Advertising Creative Circle, The Advertising Creative Circle, 1988
  7. ^ a b c The Fourth Annual of the Advertising Creative Circle, The Advertising Creative Circle, 1989
  8. ^ a b The Fifth Annual of the Advertising Creative Circle, Trigon Press, 1990. ISBN 0-904929-26-4
  9. ^ a b The Sixth Awards Annual of the Advertising Creative Circle, Trigon Press, 1991. ISBN 0-904929-29-9
  10. ^ a b The 7th Creative Circle Annual, Trigon Press, 1992. ISBN 0-904929-36-1
  11. ^ a b Volume 8 of the Creative Circle Honours, Trigon Press, 1993. ISBN 0-904929-38-8
  12. ^ a b Volume 9 of the Creative Circle Honours, Trigon Press, 1994. ISBN 0-904929-44-2
  13. ^ a b Campaign Magazine, "Twister dominates awards", 8 March 1996
  14. ^ a b Volume 13 of the Creative Circle Honours, Trigon Press, 1992. ISBN 0-904929-53-1
  15. ^ The 1998 Creative Circle Honours, Trigon Press, 1992. ISBN 0-904929-54-X
  16. ^ The Creative Circle Honours 1999, The Advertising Creative Circle, 2000
  17. ^ a b The Creative Circle Honours 2000, The Advertising Creative Circle, 2001
  18. ^ a b The Creative Circle Honours 2001, The Advertising Creative Circle, 2002
  19. ^ The Creative Circle Honours Winners 2002, The Advertising Creative Circle, 2003
  20. ^ The Creative Circle Honours 2003, The Advertising Creative Circle, 2004
  21. ^ The Creative Circle Honours 2005, The Advertising Creative Circle, 2006
  22. ^ a b Creative Circle Annual 2007, The Creative Circle Ltd, 2007. ISBN 978-0-9557983-0-6
  23. ^ a b The Bumper Book Of British Advertising - Creative Circle Annual 2008, The Creative Circle Ltd, 2008. ISBN 978-0-9557983-1-3
  24. ^ a b Adland - Creative Circle Annual 2009, The Creative Circle Ltd, 2010. ISBN 978-0-9557983-2-0
  25. ^ Nautical But Nice - Creative Circle Annual 2010, The Creative Circle Ltd, 2011
  26. ^ a b Circle Magazine, 2 July 2012
  27. ^ a b Circle Magazine, 23 July 2013
  28. ^ a b c d e Marketing Magazine, "Trading places: clients and creatives don’t always see eye to eye", 15 October 1998
  29. ^ A blob of ink or a fish juggling cantaloupes?, Creative Circle, 11 September 2008
  30. ^ a b The Financial Times, "Brain Storming in Oxford", 17 September 1981
  31. ^ a b Brand Strategy (Newspaper), "Trading places teaches clients a lesson", 1 October 2000
  32. ^ Marketing Week, "How a Circle got its roles in a twist", 12 September 1980
  33. ^ Creative Review, "The Client is Always Right", Autumn 1980

External links[edit]