MEET THE JUDGES


Neil French

Neil French


A copywriter’s copywriter, Neil French is famous for writing long ads that often have almost no visuals at all. It’s not unusual to see a Neil French ad that is completely bereft of imagery and yet still draws the reader in with a snappy headline and deftly crafted copy. His work for ibidphoto.com was remarkable as it was for a photo stock house and was composed from entirely from words; the headline – “Don’t bother to read this, the picture’s missing” – was not only a challenge but an indictment of the state of modern advertising.

Alfredo Marcantonio


Marc started out as a client at Volkswagen but later became a copywriter at Collett Dickenson Pearce, arguably the world’s most most creative agency. In 1981 he helped Frank Lowe to found Lowes, where he became Creative Director before running WCRS Matthews Marcantonio and BBDO London. By1998 he was Vice Chairman of AMVBBDO in London and Creative Vice President of BBDO Milan. His work on Hamlet, Heineken, Stella Artois, BMW, Parker Pens and Carling Black Label has won numerous awards and his books include “Remember those great VW ads?”and the Economist poster book “Well written and red”. www.gteatvwads.com

Adrian Holmes


Adrian Holmes originally studied film and photography at the Polytechnic of Central London, but on graduating realised he was actually happier behind a typewriter than a tripod. He got his first job as a junior copywriter at Grey London in 1976, and worked his way through a frankly alarming number of agencies before arriving at Lowe Howard-Spink in 1981. He eventually became Chief Creative Officer of Lowe Worldwide. In 2005 he joined Y&R where he spent five years as its EMEA creative director. Then in 2013 he co-founded the small but perfectly formed agency Holmes Hobbs Marcantonio, and now remembers why he came into advertising in the first place.

John Bevins

John Bevins


John Bevins started as a despatch boy at Hansen-Rubensohn- McCann-Erickson, Sydney, in 1963 . In 1972, he was appointed Creative Director of Ogilvy & Mather, Sydney. In 1982, he started his own eponymous, independent ad agency—with no clients and no staff. Eight years later it was named agency of the year. It ran for 28 years until Bevins and his partner Ian McDonald decided—rather than sell it with its clients—to close the doors and all stay friends. Bevins was inducted into the Adnews Hall of Fame in 2011, and prior to that the AWARD Hall of Fame and the Campaign Brief Hall of Fame. He won a Denis Everingham Award for copywriting and was awarded the first Advertising Federation of Australia medallion. He has been voted Advertising Person of the Year and Creative Person of the Year in a Campaign Brief reader’s poll.

Steve Hayden

Steve Hayden


Steve Hayden began his career at the end of the Mad Men era as a junior copywriter in Detroit for General Motors.  After honing his craft at a number of agencies on accounts as diverse as Toyota and Treesweet, Steve was recruited to Chiat-Day where he and Lee Clow made advertising history as co-creators of the “1984” campaign for Apple. In 1994, Ogilvy asked Steve to join the agency as “brand steward” for the newly-won IBM global account. While leading IBM’s renewal, Steve crafted campaigns for other major brands, including American Express, Kodak, Motorola, Dove, Cisco, AT&T and SAP. His contributions have earned him almost every major award and accrued an enormous amount of recognition for the agency.  He retired in 2012, but continues to work on non-conflict assignments directly for clients.