By  on April 8, 1994

NEW YORK -- A series of print ads by Barneys New York featuring gouache illustrations of men and women accompanied by offbeat copy lines -- "Clint was proud of his reputation as a loose cannon," "Raoul was the perfect host, but Eleanor owned everything," "Arlene wondered how vegetarians could be so cruel" -- was judged as the best fashion or beauty campaign of the season in an informal poll of agency executives.

The Barneys ads are done in-house.

Ad pros were also asked to cite the campaigns they thought were the season's worst. There were numerous candidates, with Joop managing a multiple mention for its fragrance and jeans, while some prominent designers were advised to freshen up their promotional approach.

Agencies were not permitted, of course, to cite their own efforts.

Helayne Spivak, executive vice president, creative director, Ammirati & Puris: "The Barneys stuff I really do like. They've captured an attitude. They always manage to set themselves apart and make a left, but never manage to make a wrong turn. They've done many different campaigns, yet maintained a personality through them.

"What I wish had been a little more effective was the Joop fragrance ads. It should have been a little fresher. It looks like a little bit of Chanel and Jean-Paul Goude. It didn't set itself apart enough."

George Fertitta, president, Margeotes, Fertitta, Donaher & Weiss: "The best fashion ads are Barneys. They use iconoclastic illustrations and enigmatic lines, instead of the usual photos for fashion. It keeps them on the cutting edge in an adult way.

"The worst fashion ads are Joop Jeans. The clumsy, confusing headlines sound as if they were translated -- badly -- from another language. The glaringly politically incorrect visuals means this campaign is so bad you can't even laugh at it.

"In beauty and cosmetics, the best ads are by Clinique. Their enduring campaign means they own the style of simple, sharp and clean photography of their products that says clinical, quality, modern and fashionable at the same time.

"The worst beauty ads are Bijan's. A self-indulgent, elitist designer pushes cosmetics only an oil sheik's wife could love. The attitude is very Eighties -- way over with."

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