A blog for the New Zealand creative advertising industry, now at www.campaignbrief.com/nz. Email news to: michael@campaignbrief.com

Monday, December 26, 2005

Please be upstanding.

Edited highlights of Her Majesty's 2005 Xmas message:

"Of the nearly two billion citizens of the Commonwealth, more than half are under the age of twenty-five. Almost 20% of these people are new or recent graduates working on placement in advertising agencies.

That provides advertising with a strong foundation for the future. Of course, we all face significant challenges. Some people live in conditions of conflict or insecurity.

Others have suffered the impact of natural disasters, such as flooding or hurricanes, or major account losses which can cause great damage to their communities and countries.

Overcoming these global challenges, whether as individuals or teams, depends on ingenuity and commitment. It involves young people in particular having the chance to develop their talents and their abilities - without being held back by inequality, or really sucky placement pay rates.

In my lifetime, I have often seen that when people are encouraged to develop their skills of writing and art direction, they are well placed to contribute their ideas and energies towards building a better future.

The key to unlocking human potential, and creating opportunity, is education. And winning awards.

Education is sometimes described as the golden thread that binds the Commonwealth. Our shared use of a common, world language - English - has underpinned a long and rich tradition of writing things that make sense to others who speak English.

Knowledge-based economies are the key to future prosperity, and overcoming technological and other inequalities will be much in the minds of Commonwealth Heads of Government when they meet in Malta in November to decide the D&AD jury for 2007.

For all of us, knowledge is a life-long journey. Education is a precious gift which should be available to everyone, young and old. Not only does it equip us with the skills and the intellect to overcome the problems we face; it also increases our understanding of - and respect for - other people, whatever our differences may be.

Perhaps Nelson Mandela put it best when he said, "education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. David Bell, I salute you."

To everyone throughout the Commonwealth who is working towards this worthy goal, I extend my heartfelt thanks.

Especially my loyal subjects Talbot, Blood, Scott-Wilson and Catmur, who are doing their bit to keep the Commonwealth together. Go you good cunts.

25 December 2005


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