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

Thursday, August 31, 2006


After this year's Axis Awards' bunfight, some in the industry are calling for a radical change in the makeup of the jury. One thought is to have top creatives brought in from Australia from non multinational networks, such as Jonathan Kneebone from The Glue Society, Warren Brown from BMF, Mike Boswell from BWM, etc so there is no axes to grind and no chance of bias. Another is to make sure the jury president is instructed to award work at a high standard, but not D&AD level as some claimed was almost the case this year. What are your thoughts?....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great idea, thank fuck.


Keeping it real

2:29 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever, so long as we get to see that picture of Paul Catmur in a stripey shirt again. He's hot.

2:37 PM NZST

Anonymous AwardWatch said...

Totally agree. Aussies are more in tune with Kiwi humour, a lot more than the Poms. Australians see NZ work at AWARD and in CB so as long as jurors have no connection to the top agencies here it would be a relatively cheap way out of the current joke of a system.

2:45 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who missed the Axis Award review the other night it went like this: Saatchis are pushing for a change cos they got trounced by Colenso and DDB this year and are threatening to chuck their toys and not enter next year if they don't get their way.
It exposes the whole thing as the bullshit it is - a members only club run by a cartell of self-serving fuckers.

4:24 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So an Irishman, an Australian and a load of Poms walk into an Axis meeting...

4:31 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't care who judges as long as they're not Irish, English or Australian. Or Irish and English who have worked in Australia. FISTA's we call them. Failed in Sydney trying Auckland.

4:35 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm completely happy with the local judges when I'm winning.

4:55 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopefully next time some cat from foreign shores will come and have an axe to grind about BBDO or DDB, chuck all their stuff out and the 'boot of whinging’ will be on another network’s foot.

But in reality it would be better for everyone, and for Axis if they didn’t.

5:53 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm, if you read the chairman's report in the Axis annuals most years they talk about this point. From memory, Ron Mather did a rather good summing up (in 1997?)of why the majority of Kiwi judges should be on the Axis judging panel. Have a read. Anyway, if nothing else, there's the simple point of "it takes a lot of moolah to persuade one top creative to come out and judge yet alone 8 of them." For me personally, I think Axis judging is very much a "if I rub your back, can you rub mine" type of an affair and as nice as it is to win an Axis it really doesn't mean anything in the broad scheme of things. I think any serious creative doesn't regard an Axis seriously. This is because of the inherent bias and corruption that takes place in the judging. If you don't believe this check out the annuals since they were printed in book form (1993). Firstly check out who's been the chairman of judges. Then, have a look at which agency they CD'd at. Then see which agency won best in show. 90% of the years on record, the Chairman's agency and the best in show agency are the one and the same.
No conspiracy theory - just the facts.

6:30 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should can next years Axis as a test. Just to see - Would we miss it? Would our industry suffer? Would the work suffer? Maybe we'd be happier and try harder for the real awards, you know - certain overseas ones. Yeh, forget it for a year and bring it back in 08. Then anyone who really feels that they want to enter can. Anyone who doesn't knows what life without Axis is like.

7:37 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is this so? If we are to believe Catmur's ramblings a few postings back, the Chairman of Judges at each show would have no bearing on the results

8:42 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i won a few and now i can not be bothered entering as it is a bit of a joke.

and i am young guy who loves advertsing still. there is alot around who think the same.

i think 60% of the stuff is good and should win awards but there is alot of crap and i think the way it is set up it is not getting people(small agencies) entering. Another words the industry is going backwards, a bit like most people's pay packets. TVC ads are going backwards and the quality of ideas. Photogrpahers are been paided jack shit along with shrinking budgets from agencies.

The big agenices are screwing up the industry and putting little back in. Suits don't get training any more and crap pay. There are to many ad courses and no one wants to hire anyone becasue they don't have the time to teach them.

I hate to say it but there is only a few new things going on in the industry in NZ.

It's all a little sad really.

10:14 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

6.30 hit it on the head.

It's a worry, i am not going to complain about it all as i do not have the time. But one postive...

I wonder if DDB are going to enter the AMI smile ad in this year, i think that should win something.
I love that ad, awesome. DDB Rock.

Any thoughts on AMI Smile ad?

10:19 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear 4:24. Were you at the meeting? I doubt it. I think you've got your facts wrong.

From what I heard, Saatchis aren't the ones threatening to pull out of Axis. Clems Wellington are.

I hear that some interesting stuff was talked about. Someone suggested that the industry has got a whole lot smaller here and so the judging has become a whole lot harder because of it. I agree.

Apparently, everyone was unanimous that Justin Tindall (Paul Catmur's mate) was way too opinionated to be a decent Chairman of Judges. And they all agreed that the show was too long.

But curiously nobody brought up the fact that for the umpteenth year in a row, the Convenor of Judges walked away with the lion's share of the awards.

The Axis judging needs to change to get some kind of credibility back. Sure it's not practical to get 8 Dave Droga equivalents to come down here to judge for a week. But a panel of independent Australian judges is easy to organise.

Curiously in the meeting, I hear Richard Maddocks and Paul Catmur were the only ones who were vehemently opposed to the idea of just having overseas judges.

Now why do you think that is?

11:40 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's an AXIS award? Should I care?

1:17 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once upon a time ago they made a good door stop.

11:32 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree with having any foreigners. I've got a rather good ad for an L&P flavored hokey pokey and I'm rather worried that the imports won't get it.

12:10 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Axis (New Zealand's best creative work) should be a celebration of our own style and voice. L&P, Sky, LTNZ, Trumpet, NZ Girl, Toyota, Hallensteins, Lift plus, 42below*. All good examples of NZ stuff that talks exclusively to a kiwi audience. Why would you want to fuck that up by rolling in an international jury with no empathy for who we are and what NZ is all about?

There is a million international shows. There is one Axis. Send your international great scam work to Cannes and send your great NZ ads to Axis... what's wrong with that?

1:15 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear 11.40pm.

As you are obviously getting this stuff second or third hand here's the truth...

I was at the meeting and both Saatchis and Clems both made noises about pulling out of Axis next year.

Nobody said anything about Maddox winning loads of awards whilst also being the convenor of judges because he deserved to win them.

And as for only having overseas judges, why would you want that when it's meant to be a kiwi award?

Can't we be trusted to judge our own work?

And if Saatchis do bail out, does that mean that Toby Talbot/Mike O and Eslinger won't be invited to judge?

1:22 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that work isn't judged at D&AD level is the problem that has led Axis to be seen as second rate. There's nothing wrong with having a D&AD benchmark, just a NZ flavour. Apples for apples. NZ work is best judged by a majority Kiwi panel. Having an international jury member in each catagory is a good sanity check. D&AD have been doing it on and off for years.

10:46 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was invited to judge Axis this year but I couldn't in the end because I had to go wellington to present to adi/NZRFU, so I 've no idea what happened, but I'm sure it's no different to any other award show around the world. They're all incestuous & subjective.

If it's a good year for you, hey, you're the winner. If it's a bad year then you're pissed off 'cause you spent so much fucking money you're in deep shit with finance, etc. I've been on both sides.

I really enjoyed Axis '99 & '2000' 'cause I won loads of awards and '2006' cause we won loads more.

I didn't enjoy the years inbetween.

And, for all the nay sayers out there, I paid $1500 of my own money to run the 'Axis awards in the bin' ad in 2002 because i thought it was wrong that Tinning & I got in D&AD & won a Gold Lion with work that got fuck all at Axis.

No matter.

I am willing, without bias, to help anyone, from any agency, to produce/create any piece of great work that deserves to see the light of day, for any account.

(NZ got '9th Most Awarded' country in Cannes this year.)

So please, can we stop the griping and communicating.

I challenge you all: There are ideas I can sell for you. And there are ideas you can sell for me.

We Can All Win.

(Maybe that's next year's platform.)

Mon Sewer Blood

10:46 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever asked Duster to convene? Wouldn't that keep things real?

9:20 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad news for any female judges though.

10:29 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's only reasonable that you win an award before you're invited to judge them.

3:32 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duster has won an award you plonkers! His kid gave him a Best Dad trophy last Sunday - sheesh!

3:01 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the hell has Duster done to piss you people off?

5:11 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing - that's the point...

9:56 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duster would sort Axis out easy. He's lead Clems into an A league shop and overseen some of the best creative work out there. That work has won a lot of awards and funnily enough, they all have his name on them. Who have you got?

8:54 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My own, 8:54...

10:18 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Duster has his name on OTHER creative's work. Before he came to power Chris Martin and Hugh Walsh were among the most awarded creatives in the country, leading an agency that was already legendary. With the implosion of Saatchis Wellington, "The New Colenso" (a terminally anachronistic name they idiotically plagerised from "The New Saatchis" before it became M&C) picked up all the capital’s business by default.

The question that remains glaringly unanswered is: what has he ever done that he can truly call his own?

11:17 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Attaching his name to the likes of Chris and Hugh is like Helen Clark signing works of art.

11:35 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duster scored grand axis tv a few years back (back when it had some cred) for ANZ Serious Saver.

4:12 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duster hasn't won anything according to any database I've come across. When you say a few years ago are you referring to a time before computers?

Honestly, the guy's a hack (not even a has-been) - just admit it.

4:15 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guys a great CD. He has been responsible for over-seeing and shaping all award winning creative from Clemenger since the merger with HKM almost 10 years ago. Unless you are blind you WILL see his name on every bit of work produced in that time.

Your databases sound like they could be inaccurate - maybe check out one of the CB hottest 100 CDs list from the last few years, or even have a flick through any copy of The Work?

9:36 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I said, having his name on OTHER CREATIVE'S WORK as CD doesn't mean Duster had anything to do with creating it, dumbass. And as 11:35 pointed out, putting his name on the works of Chris and Hugh is practically fraudulent. Those guys are great creatives who'd run circles around Duster any day.

Duster hasn't - to my knowledge - ever won a gong in his own right. Certainly nothing much anyone can recall. Including you...

1:06 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah you're absolutely right. I guess you have to write all your own ads to be an award winning CD.

11:37 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One ad would be a good start.

As a CD, Duster is an anomaly. Every other CD in New Zealand earned the role with a history of great ads they’ve created IN THEIR OWN RIGHT. He landed the job by a convenient merger without having made a single notable wave at HKM – IN HIS OWN RIGHT.

The one ad that did pick up a gong during his time at HKM was the bank ad featuring the man grappling with the huge $100 note, which was created by Mick Greer – not Duster.

During the same period, Chris Martin and his partner Hugh continued the legacy started by Len Potts, by winning tons of metal with great ads created IN THEIR OWN RIGHT(Jesus I hate repeating myself).

So, I ask for the last time: what has Duster done - and won – outside of attaching his name to other people’s work?

10:26 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever worked with him? No?
I think you should just sit down and shut up.

8:44 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

10.26 why are you so bitter, he take your job?

Duster may not have won awards HIMSELF but it's pretty damn well obvious he knows what's going to win an award.

Just because you haven't won an award doesn't mean you can't see a great idea that would win one and help shape it.

His agency is fairly consistent


10:47 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally a straight answer!

Now that we've established that Duster is the only EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR in the world who got the job without creating a single award-winning ad himself, all that's left to be said is this:

I'll tell my mum (who also knows a great ad when she sees one) to apply for his job when he tires of riding on the coat-tails of worthy creatives like Chris and Hugh, Plimmer and Bleakley et al...

For the record I'm not bitter, I just wanted to establish the facts of this breathtaking anomaly. I'll sit down now.

1:55 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...


3:08 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God. Please sit down. For someone who's not bitter, you sure put on a good pretence of someone who is. It's people like you that make me question why I'm still in this game (after 20 years).

6:46 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hacks of the world unite!

9:36 AM NZST


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