Stuart Smith

Consultant Editor

Stuart Smith on Gary Digby and ITV

Stuart Smith

Say what you like about him, veteran ITV sales director and professional rough diamond Gary Digby will be sorely missed. One rival put it this way: “Media buyers will now see ITV as an easier place to do their negotiations and will expect to save millions.” Digby has been closely associated with ITV’s Lazarus-like commercial […]

Is Unilever’s sustainability drive a hostage to fortune?

Stuart Smith

Unilever chief executive Paul Polman stands to reap rich rewards if his strategy based on sustainability pays off, but the risks are high. Ogilvy & Mather, which has just wrested the Unilever corporate brand development account from Fallon, will shortly unveil the fruits of its labour. New agency, new agenda – and top of that […]

Stuart Smith on festive TV campaigns

Stuart Smith

Up to 25% of UK retailers’ annual business is generated in the narrow period spanning the run-up to Christmas to the end of January. And this year retail expert Verdict reckons it’s going to be the best time to pluck the goose since 2007, if only because a massive hike in VAT will make all […]

Stuart Smith on ITV and CRR

Stuart Smith

It’s always refreshing to see a new broom sweeping clean, and Adam Crozier, recently installed chief executive of ITV, did not disappoint as he squared up to a House of Lords select committee this week. Among the insights he disclosed was an admission that ITV programmes were crap. Sorry, I’ll rephrase that in commercial media-speak. […]

stuart smith

Is Kraft killing the goose that lays the golden eggs?

Stuart Smith

Is the Kraft/Cadbury merger really working? Certainly, we are led to believe so by Kraft Food’s chairman and chief executive officer Irene Rosenfeld, who was over here last week rallying the troops. Back in September she told the Financial Times: “We feel terrific about the integration of Cadbury. One-third of Kraft’s top management is from […]

Crunch time for business sponsorship of the arts

Stuart Smith

Cuts to funding of the arts threaten to sweep away corporate support in its wake and throw the baby out with the bathwater. Sitting on the desk of culture secretary Jeremy Hunt is a document detailing the draconian budget cuts that the Arts Council England (ACE) will have to make in the wake of Chancellor […]

Why winning at Cannes means so much to WPP

Stuart Smith

If a Cannes award is the best measure of an agency’s creative prowess, then success next year is the only option open to WPP. As journalists well know, the most interesting nuggets of information are often to be found at the bottom of a press release. And WPP Group’s latest fact-packed compendium – out last […]

Big Society

Stuart Smith

What exactly does David Cameron’s vision of the Big Society amount to? The cynical, but evidence-based, conclusion is: spontaneous acts of unrewarded generosity by almost every segment of society except the state itself. This is a tactic that comes with its perils. According to Alan Bell, chairman of Bell Design & Communications: “There needs to […]

Stuart Smith on Coke’s irreverence

Stuart Smith

Unabashed by a reprimand from the Advertising Standards Authority last autumn, Coca-Cola’s Glaceau Vitamin Water is again courting controversy, this time with an on-pack promotion encouraging employees to take a “sickie”.

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