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Ad legend Trevor Beattie on London’s ad scene: London work seems to all be weepy adolescent girls singing

By Stephen Lepitak | -

May 19, 2017 | 4 min read

BMB co-founder Trevor Beattie has lauded the work taking place across the UK outside of the M25 while offering his stinging point of view on the creative work currently being put out by his London contemporaries.

Beattie, who is viewed as the man to have devised the legendary ‘Hello Boys’ campaign for Wonderbra in the 90s as well as the FCUK brand, is a longtime champion of the British regions, especially his home city of Birmingham.

Trevor Beattie portrait

Trevor Beattie

Speaking to The Drum having chaired this years The Drum Roses Creative Awards judging panel in Manchester, Beattie said: “It’s so nice to have a break from London ad land: The self-importance, the beards, the surliness, the endless craving of The New. The smell of job-fear and obsolescence. The beards…”

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He went on to offer his thoughts on the general creative work that he felt was being produced in Britain’s capital: “London-generated work seems to consist almost entirely of a weepy adolescent girl singing an acoustic version of an old rock classic over a worthy, pan-generational story shot in slow-mo 360, laundered through Instagram and holographically projected up its own rectum.”

Beattie spent a decade as creative director and chairman of TBWA/London, producing award-winning work for clients as diverse as PlayStation and Playtex before launching BMB in 2005 alongside creative partner Bil Bungay.

On the evening, Beattie named the work Animation for Pause as the winner of his Chairman’s Award and even donated £500 to the cause having seen the work by Content OD.

He described the film as ‘powerful and searing work’: “As an industry, we really only do two things: move product and move people. The Pause film was a piece of work which moved me and the whole of our jury. Quite profoundly. It’s a story that draws you in and doesn’t let go. It introduces us to Joanne, who we genuinely care about. And just when we start to think that it’s a depiction of All Hope Lost, it turns things round. And delivers a positive, optimistic outcome. She’s doing “brilliant” indeed.

Beattie has in recent years moved into the movie industry and produced the Bafta-winning Moon, directed by former BMB creative, Duncan (Bowie) Jones in 2008 and is currently working on the follow-up movie, Mute, due for release in this year.

He is also set to devise the marketing campaign for Virgin Galactic, something that The Drum Marketing Awards Lifetime Achievement Award winner Sir Richard Branson will discuss in the latest issue of The Drum magazine.

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