Campaign magazine’s golden age was the period between the mid 70s, when the Collett Dickenson Pearce agency was rewriting the rules of advertising, and the mid 80s when, having supposedly won the 1979 election for the Conservatives, the Saatchi brothers set about reinventing the business all over again. During this golden age, the magazine operated out of the first floor of a rather well-appointed white stucco building in Bayswater with a pillared portico over the entrance. The editor’s office had a balcony overlooking the street. Now its few remaining staffers (it is currently edited on a part-time basis by the editor of PR Week) are located in a dingy corner of a former hospital building on a mean side-street off Hammersmith Road.
Campaign was once one of the most resonant brands in British media – and during its heyday it was one of the best-written, sophisticated and vibrant magazines on the planet. It could hardly have been otherwise, given the nature of its readership: copywriters who would go on to write Booker Prize winning novels, commercial directors who would go on to make astonishing Hollywood movies and creative directors who were helping make the modern consumer society a reality.
The editor rightly given most credit for the Campaign success story was Bernard Barnett – but mention must be made of its two most naturally gifted editors, Mark Jones and Brian Davis. If you do nothing else before leaving this page, please take a brief glimpse at the Channel 4 documentary charting the final chapter in his terrible decline.
But here are some others who helped the magazine make its mark.
Emma Hall, Stefano Hatfield, Margaret Hood,
Jeremy Lee, Martin Loat,
Camilla Palmer, Fiona Plant,
Alice Rawsthorn, Susannah Richmond,
Eleanor Trickett, John Tylee,
Simon Watkins, Jenny Watts,
This is very much a work in progress. Any suggestions (names I should add, links I could better) gratefully received.