Scott Whybin: The Campaign Palace could have thrived

By Paul McIntyre | 22 June 2012
Iconic 'Antz Pantz' campaign by The Campaign Palace.

EXCLUSIVE: Whybin TBWA Group chairman and regional executive creative director Scott Whybin broke his long, self-imposed media silence yesterday to reflect on the end of the internationally renowned  Australian advertising agency, The Campaign Palace.

Whybin, who carved  out his formidable creative reputation working with Palace co-founder Lionel Hunt, spoke to AdNews editor-in-chief Paul McIntyre in Cannes. 

His words are reproduced verbatim.

“I am very sad. I sat down today and thought about how much The Campaign Palace has given to me. And how much I loved it. And the fact of the matter is, it has been on life support for six years.  It really has been, and the people who took on that brand did not understand the DNA of it. That is the issue.

“Lionel Hunt, more than anyone, understood what that brand meant. The people who came on board with that brand had a responsibility to understand what The Campaign Palace meant and how it worked and they didn't. They didn't move with the times.

“The Campaign Palace was always about single-minded propositions and distillation of strategy. It was always simple, ‘mum could have written it’ stuff and it has gone.  It is a really sad day for Australian advertising.

“When I was a younger guy that was the brand everyone knew around Australia and the world. The Palace was that important. The people who basically thought they understood The Palace philosophy and never did, have run it into the ground. I hate the fact that it is gone. I'm upset about that.

“We should all understand when you take on brands like The Palace, you understand what the philosophy is.

“What should have happened?  We should not have let it go to the bean counters. We always had respect for financial management but the fact is when you get people involved with a philosophy without the capabilities to understand how to do it, it’s inevitable it will fail.

“The Campaign Palace to me was always a purist brand. It had to evolve. 

“It had to evolve with the times, with digital and the new world. It couldn't just stay where it was sitting. It was left dormant when it should have continued to be the aggressive brand that it was in the 1980s and early 1990s.

“It will never be out of fashion to be single-minded but it is how you treat that single mindedness and the channels you do that through. A single-minded distillation of strategy will always be in fashion. If you look at the amount of names in our industry right now that made their careers through that brand, it is a tragedy. It is gone and it is a tragedy. There are a lot of people who should have a hard look at themselves over this.”

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