Three Questions For... Paul Catmur

Three Questions For... Paul Catmur, ‎Managing Partner & Chief Creative Officer, Barnes, Catmur & Friends Dentsu

What are you most excited about that’s happening in the industry today?

The industry is currently running like the Trump presidency: fascinating, yet scary. Zealots have fooled enough people to wrest control of budgets without really knowing what they’re doing. The more sanguine are slowly coming to the realisation that not everything that is being proposed makes sense, and that maybe not everything that went before was completely without merit. The truth, as ever, runs somewhere between the two.

And if you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?

If clients agreed to run whatever was recommended and the agencies were paid purely on the success, or not, of that recommendation, I think we’d see some interesting times.

Other than that we need to find a way to be paid for ideas, not production.

What is your favourite ad of all time and why?

Here are two ads that changed my life:

1)  An ad that appeared in the London Evening Standard in 1987. It took up a couple of columns and featured a cheap illustration of a palm tree and the headline:



I was a dice dealer. I was in the Bahamas by Christmas. Advertising works.

2)  Dunlop: Tested for the Unexpected. Imagine Tony Kaye and Lou Reed are stuck in a lift for a day. If you haven’t seen it before, remember that this ad was for a tyre company, was released in 1993 and was on mainstream TV every night. Can you imagine showing this to a roomful of Dunlop salesmen at their annual conference? Balls of steel. After seeing this I knew I could never compete with the weirdness and would have to fall back on writing jokes, funny or not.