Oh captain, my captain: AdSchool’s David Bell given Axis lifetime achievement award

As a founding member and the first course leader of the AdSchool at Media Design School, David Bell has whipped a multitude of young advertising minds into shape and readied them for the cut and thrust of the real ad world. And to honour these efforts over the years, he was handed the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2011 CAANZ Axis Awards last week.

“My hunk of gold has reminded me of the true value of the awards: to inspire others to do their best,” he says. “Getting the award means far more to me than the wonderful personal feelings (and the titanic hangover) it has given me. Much more important is that it represents cast-iron proof that the industry values what AdSchool has achieved over the past 12 years.”

Bell, who thanked his partner Jeneal Rohrback for allowing him to focus on his educational fancy, also thanked the industry for acknowledging his and AdSchool’s contributions in such a public way. And many of them also thanked him in their own creative ways with the congratulatory compilation from industry colleagues (Toby Talbot’s gratuitous use of champagne was well-received) and past students.

“The award should really go to all past and present AdSchool students. As I’ve always said, when they are great, they make us look good. Media Design School deserves great credit for allowing us the freedom to sculpt such an insanely complex course, as does Randall Inch who somehow grafted academic rigour into the maelstrom. The good work carries on under [current AdSchool course leader] Kate Humphries, who is doing a far better job than I ever did. She already deserves to do the walk in 2020!”

It wasn’t just Bell on the receiving end of industry plaudits. Recent AdSchool graduates Jack Delmonte and Jono Fox, now on placement at Droga5, received the highest student accolades, walking away with the TVNZ Student Axis Award. The two devised the ‘Carmonica’ campaign for Mini while still studying at Media Design School and on placement at DraftFCB.

“It was definitely a night for our AdSchool to shine,” says Humphries. “I want to offer my huge congratulations to Jack and Jono. I can’t think of two more bright, talented and humble young men to win the award. They worked hard, did well and deserve all the recognition they have received. I must add that they’re in good company. I counted about 13 awards that went to former students of AdSchool. In fact, David was so busy rushing about photographing and congratulating the students that he nearly missed receiving his own award!”


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