De la Fosse nets top John Caples award as Brits win big

EmmadelaFosseDigitas UK chief creative officer Emma de la Fosse has been awarded the prestigious Andi Emerson Award at the 42nd annual Caples Awards in a triumphant night for UK agencies, which landed 44 gongs, including a “special jury prize”, four golds and 16 silvers.

Founded in 1978 by BBDO copywriter Andi Emerson and named in honour of her former boss, the legendary John Caples, the awards juries have always comprised creative directors from around the world, who pay for their own expenses. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s awards were also free to enter.

Each year, the Caples jury president can hand out the Andi Emerson Award, to honour an individual who, over the years, has made an outstanding contribution to creativity.

The 2020 president Nicky Bullard, who is also McCann chair and chief creative officer, said: “When I was asked to pick my person for this award, it was probably the easiest brief I’ve ever been given. As many of you know, there’s something incredibly honest about The Caples. It’s a whole lot of fun. When we judge, the room is full of passion and integrity. And It has a certain, intangible magic. All those things are Emma de la Fosse.”

Bullard said that De la Fosse, who admits to being a “stuck-up advertising creative” before she joined direct marketing agency OgilvyOne in 1998, had “blazed a trail” for nearly 30 years.

De la Fosse’s award-winning creative work includes “The Bench” for Cancer Research UK, “The Gnome Experiment” for Kern, “Dishoom” for Bombay Café, and “The Magic of Flying” for British Airways.

After just over a decade at OgilvyOne she was named joint creative chief, alongside partner Charlie Wilson and was promoted in 2016 to be Ogilvy & Mather UK’s first group chief creative officer. De la Fosse switched to Digitas in 2018.

But Bullard said: “Forget these grand titles. Emma is still that girl who bangs the table, does the right thing. And makes magic happen.”

In the main awards, McCann put in the best performance, landing the jury’s special prize for best art direction for its “Help for Heroes” campaign, which also picked up a gold in the PR category.

The agency landed two other golds – for Xbox/Microsoft The Birth of Gaming Tourism – as well as two silvers.

Wunderman Thompson took home a gold for BT Group’s “Unscripted” campaign as well as three silvers and seven bronzes for its work for HSBC, Lux, and Nestle.

Meanwhile, Elvis picked up five silvers and a bronze; AMV BBDO two silvers and eight bronzes; TBWA three silvers and two bronzes, with Proximity London and Engine (two bronzes each) and Oliver (one bronze) also among the winners.

Former Proximity co-founder Duncan Gray, a trustee of the Caples since 1995, said: “We were hoping this would be the best-ever Caples in terms of the work and it exceeded our expectations.”

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