And the Roses Awards 2010 go to...Wieden & Kennedy

We've always felt that the North, South advertising divide is all a bit pointless and non-existent in our current times. There's some good work being done at agencies that care about doing that sort of thing and plenty of dross at places that don't. And that's the same no matter where you are. There are some agencies in all parts of the country with client lists that would make any marketing manager salivate and there's plenty with barely a household name to their, well, name. As budgets are being slashed we really do believe that it's not location that matters, it's ideas. And with the advent of "virtual agenices" and so on, they can come from anywhere.

So there's no chips on our shoulders then. Hopefully that's clear? Great. Because now we could potentially ruin that perception. And as we've just clearly established, that's not us. Honest.

It's the Roses Awards you see. We fear they've just made a massive mistake.

An amendment to their rules means that now "you can be based anywhere in the UK including London providing you are producing work for a client whose headquarters are outside the M25."

So that means Mother with their brilliant Rocky work, W&K with Lurpak, BMB and their Yorkshire Tea campaign could - if they actually entered - be picking up the Roses Awards this year. Brilliant campaigns all of them. But wouldn't The Roses be in danger of losing their one point of difference?

We love The Roses, not because it gives "lesser" agencies a chance to pick up a bit of silverware. But because it helps to promote regional agencies that may not be actually getting the publicity they do deserve. And because, outside of Soho, agencies tend to be spread very widely apart. So the Roses gives us a chance to create healthy rivalries with each other. It makes us want to try to better "local" competing agencies who may actually be 100's of miles apart from us.

Basically It's like a regional heat for X-Factor. You witness a few terrible sights, a few "how did that get through" moments, and amidst all that, you get to see a few gems that you know will go on to receive bigger accolades.

So our fear for this rule change is not that we'll end up with fewer awards on the mantelpiece, just a fear that agencies will have fewer reasons to care about entering in the first place.

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