By Clare Donald, Chief Production Officer at Ogilvy & Mather London and Board Member at The British Arrows


The British Arrows is an advertising awards body that’s been celebrating the industry for the last 40 years.

The Arrows are pretty much unique in that they focus only on moving image advertising and reward ideas and craft in equal measures.  Having produced film across a number of different disciplines, the acknowledgement of the extraordinary skills that enable great ideas to be made - is really key for me.  So, when I was asked to join the Board last May, I was delighted to accept.

Previously the awards have been split across two separate shows.  As of May this year, the board decided - under Chairman, Charlie Crompton and MD Janey de Nordwall - to combine them in one big show.  As Charlie has said, any great piece of work is a magical combination of idea and craft - so it made sense as part of our modernising plans, to roll the two events into one big celebration.

Other exciting things that we’re building on include a collaboration with the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis.  Each December, for thirty years, the winning ads have been compiled into one big film and shown over a month at the gallery.  Last year more than 27,000 people attended over 88 screenings.  This is great for us as it shows the level of passion around the world for British advertising.

The last thing - and an absolutely critical one for me - is the Arrow’s commitment to diversity and education.  We are investing in ‘Pathways’, an innovative and inclusive programme to help new talent from all sorts of backgrounds enter the advertising industry. Developing relationships with educational and charitable organisations whose remit is to find opportunities for their young talent within our industry, as well as drawing on our prestigious ‘little black book’ of contacts, British Arrows will act as the conduit between the two. This inventive programme is fully supported by all the Board’s companies and is already gathering support from the likes of 4creative, Pearson, Centrepoint, The Prince’s Trust, Creative & Cultural Skills, universities etc…

It is worth reminding ourselves how much passion goes into the work we all do.  British Arrows does such a great job of raising our profile.  Creating awareness of the job opportunities in our industry to groups of young talent who might not otherwise consider such a career can only be a good thing - both for them and for the industry at large.  

I’m loving being involved in these exciting plans and very much looking forward to a big night on the 24th May.