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BBH's Sir John Hegarty Issues Wake-Up Call to the Global Ad Industry

Arjowiggins Creative Papers introduces Sir John Hegarty, founder and global creative chairman of advertising agency BBH, as the new ambassador for "The Blank Sheet Project." An initiative from Arjowiggins Creative Papers, headquartered in Paris, France, The Blank Sheet Project aims to inspire creative excellence by encouraging individuals and businesses to be more innovative, thoughtful and sustainable. It asks creative professionals, given a blank sheet of paper "How will you leave your mark?"

Arjowiggins first asked this question of it managers and employees in 2010 as part of internal innovation program. Today, the inspirational inquiry challenges a global audience. Appleton Coated amplifies The Blank Sheet Project's message as the exclusive North American distributor for The Curious Collection of fine papers and Conqueror premium paper brand, both manufactured by Arjowiggins.

Hegarty, in a forthright interview with D&AD Chief Executive Tim Lindsay, discloses surprising and spontaneous confessions on creativity and invites the advertising industry to push itself to the limits: "What we're not doing today is coming up with the kind of ideas that are game-changing, that change the fortune of brands. Our audience, the people we are talking to, their appreciation of what we do has consistently gone down since 1990... it's now less than 10 percent. Our industry really has to look at that."

His call for "game-changing" creativity reinforces The Blank Sheet Project's message to think again -- and think differently. In choosing Hegarty to present his insights from The Blank Sheet Project, Jonathan Mitchell, business director of Arjowiggins Creative Papers says, "We believe that whatever our profession, we each have the opportunity to use the power of creativity to truly leave our mark. In Sir John Hegarty, we have a creative leader of world renown who shares this belief and isn't afraid to express sometimes uncomfortable insights to inspire us and motivate the next generation to be great."

Well-respected and awarded by the global advertising industry, Hegarty started BBH (Bartle Bogle Hegarty) in 1982. Since then, he has won Golds at every industry awards including the Cannes Lions, D&AD and British TV Awards, and he is the first recipient of the coveted Lion of St. Mark. In June 2011, his book, "John Hegarty on Advertising," was published in the United Kingdom by Thames and Hudson. His work includes the iconic Levi's "Laundrette" and "Flat Eric" advertisements, Johnnie Walker's "Keep Walking," and Audi's "Vorsprung durch Technik" campaign.

Following Neville Brody, who was the first ambassador of The Blank Sheet Project, Hegarty uses his interview with D&AD as an opportunity to challenge the complacency that he blames for the decline of an industry abut which he is passionate. The result is a rallying call to all creative professionals to be brave in their thinking, to drive through visionary ideas and, remarkably, to be wary of consensus between different agencies in the marketing mix: "In our industry, which is probably the most creative industry you can be in, you have to come in every day and have a new idea." He also urges young creative s to look more widely for inspiration in books, magazines, galleries, shows, and even "stuff you're not supposed to read."

The Blank Sheet Project interview includes many of the attention-grabbing and effective campaigns conceived by Hegarty and BBH. The memorable Levi's "Laundrette" advertisement (1982) helped reverse the fortunes of the American jeans company, set new standards for integrated marketing and put the fledgling BBH on the map, as well as inadvertently boosting boxer-shorts sales.

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