What do the D&AD Awards reveal about the state of advertising today?

No D&AD Black Pencils were awarded in advertising this year. But rather than suggesting an industry in decline, Patricia McDonald, CSO at Dentsu Creative and Media Jury chair at D&AD, sees it as cause for celebration

D&AD Awards

More than any other creative industry award, a D&AD Black Pencil is a talisman, a bellweather for our industry. Like ravens in the Tower of London or white smoke in the Vatican, the presence (or absence) of the fabled Black Pencil is scrutinised, debated, discussed. What does it mean for the health of the industry, the fate of the kingdom?

Of course, it’s tempting to view the absence of Black Pencils in the advertising track as a sign that the industry is struggling. In fact, having chaired the Media Jury, I think it’s an extraordinarily positive and exciting thing.

What happens in the jury room stays in the jury room, of course. I can say though that there was no shortage of incredible work. No shortage of passion, energy, debate, and discussion. What there wasn’t was absolute consensus. Which I for one think is fantastic news.