thumbs up for cravendale


We've just had a brilliant meeting with Cravendale where we got everyone excited about follow up plans to Cats with Thumbs. Big plans are afoot. On the way out Freddie spotted our crest looking brilliant and enormous emblazoned across the wall of Arla Foods. We couldn't resist a thumbs up photo. That's Freddy and Hanne from the team, above. And this is Jimmy the polydactyl cat, who also feels positive about the meeting.


Cravendale crest

agency billings are bullshit (illustrated)

YCN illustrator Kerry Hyndman read Neil Christie from Wieden + Kennedy's recent thoughts on agency billings and created this rather stylish complementary image.


This gives me an excuse to reproduce the original rant:

Agency billings are bullshit

"Campaign asked me for a few words on the topics of whether the UK billings league table is an accurate indicator of agency performance. My thoughts, along with those of others probably better qualified to comment, are in the mag today, slightly edited for reasons of space. Here's the full version:

The media billings league table is like the wings of an emu. It is a vestigial relic whose function has been lost in the evolution of the business.

 In the era when dinosaurs roamed the earth, agencies’ revenue was derived from commission levied on UK media spend. The more you billed, the more you earned. Nowadays we’re paid in fees. Those fees may relate to global campaigns, integrated work, design, branded content, retail, etc – any number of things totally unrelated to UK media spend.

 It could be argued that in these times of ‘owned’ and ‘earned’ media, a good agency should be aiming to help its clients drive down their media spend by developing ideas that live beyond bought media channels. A client once observed to me, “I don't mind spending an extra £100K on fees if the work you do will save me £1million on media”.

According to the latest billings table, W+K London has fallen two places to number 33 in the UK. But in the UK rankings by revenue, the latest figures published put us at number 12 in the UK, with growth of 24%.

As an indicator of agency performance, the billings table is about as accurate as that other anachronistic work of fiction, the Campaign new business league table".

Cravendale thumbcats ‘pure TV brilliance’ say several experts

Cravendale Thinkbox Marketing 30 March

'Ridiculous but relevant, original but appropriate', say judges of our Cravendale campaign, which has been named Thinkbox best TV ad winner for Jan/Feb. Here it is again:

Of course, Thumbcats is not just a TV ad, it's a full-on integrated lasagne of a campaign. You can also find Bertrum Thumbcat on Facebook and on Youtube.

Screen shot 2011-03-29 at 12.25.17

Above: a sample pic from Bertrum on Facebook.

Our Lurpak 'Kitchen Odyssey' spot came second in the voting.


As we have mentioned before the platformers have been experimenting with Binaural audio and narrative. So, Richard Buchanan, Karl Sadler and Andy Cameron met with Martyn Ware yesterday. If you don't know much about Martyn, well shame on you. He is widely recognised as the one of the founding members of both "The human league" and "Heaven 17" and is generally regarded as one of the UK's best producers. This is one of his hits:

Most recently though he has been working with his company illustrious and their 3D sound system around the globe. Martyn has worked with 3D audio for almost a decade and is well versed in the pros and the cons. Yesterday, he schooled us on the main concepts and gave us some amazing insights into the way that humans hear sound. Martyn told us that a sound is something that exists both outside and inside the human mind. Firstly, he told us a fascinating thing: when producing a soundscape, he doesn't try to reproduce the sound as it is recorded. He tries to reproduce the sound as it is heard in the minds of people. A punch doesn't actually sound like a punch. I asked him how this was possible and he said it comes from experience and having a "deep vocab for sound". You can read all about this here. The idea that the sound in your head is not the actual sound you are hearing is an interesting concept….

Continues reading at

farewell then, Tapper

Tapper wieden

This week, we said goodbye to account man extraordinaire Jon Tapper, who has been lured away from us for life at WCRS. Even Dan Wieden (above) got down on one knee to pay tribute.

Jon left us with some closing words:

Being what supposedly could be termed a “W+K Veteran”  I thought I should impart some of the things I have learnt in my six and something years here.

1. Don’t look backwards.  It’s not about doing Cog #2. You can send yourself mad trying to figure that out.  It is about doing ‘what’s next’ and reveling in the fact we do not yet know what that is. Very few places allow you that opportunity so enjoy it.

2.The work comes first – No. The people come first. That is why and how we get to such great work.  Talented people working together with pride for what they do. Look after each other and you will be unstoppable.

3. As Neil highlighted on Wednesday night. When you think the conference phone is on mute…. Do not trust it!

Now for the sentimental close.

This is a very special place and a chapter of my life I will always remember fondly.

Thank you for the inspiration, education and laughs.

Good luck everyone,

See you in the pub.