I’ve been talking a bit lately.

Not just the odd chat but actually pitching up to various agencies and putting on a proper lecture.

And not only in blighty. I’ve also chewed some ears off at DDB and TBWA in New York.

It’s not overly formal though, to me it’s felt like sharing 35 years worth of creative fun with a few mates.

But I must be getting the hang of it because I keep getting invited to do more.

On a couple of occasions I’ve found myself talking to around a hundred people.

And even more surprisingly (to me) I’ve recently been asked by two different CEO’s and a planner to do one for their clients.

I genuinely thought it had more appeal to a creative audience but it seems that a lot of different people are getting something out of it.

Unexpectedly it’s all turned into a snowball that’s gathering a fair bit of momentum.

Just as an entertaining side project I try to produce a new poster for each talk, and if time permits I send the brief over to the host agency a few weeks in advance.

I’ve started to gather a bit of a varying collection now even though essentially it’s the same talk every time.

Actually, that’s not entirely true, because I always seem to wander off piste and recall different stories along the way.

There is a definite overall plot (which I don’t want to reveal for fear of spoiling the experience for those who haven’t heard it) but several different themes seem to get repeated throughout.

    1. I’ve been doing advertising a long time.
    2. I’m not scared of self-promotion.
    3. I don’t like people saying NO.

I’ve enjoyed every single talk but my favourite is the last one I did at Leo Burnett.

Not only did they produce a poster for my collection (thanks Anna, Becky and Lance) but they also let me put on an exhibition.

It’s the first time I’ve seen a big bunch of my creative stuff together in one place and it gave me a funny feeling in my trouser leg that was most pleasant.

Burnett’s ECD Justin (Tindall) delivered the most flattering introduction I’ve ever had in my career and throughout the talk everyone seemed to laugh in the right places.

…and then we went for a beer and a kebab.

It really doesn’t get any better than that.

Big thanks to all those involved especially Lance (Crozier) who had the idea in the first place and to Head of Art Buying Leah (Mitchell) and the rest of her fantastic team.

Dave Dye and Andy Dymock.      Guy Moore and Don Bowen.

Anna and Becky and friends.

James Long and Adrian Britteon.

There was an exhibition too.

Everyone seemed to laugh in the right places.



A few months ago I got a call from D&AD…. they said, ‘don’t let us down, where is it?’

I said, ‘pardon?’ (Or something like that).

…You see there had been a bit of a mix-up and the brief for the 2012 D&AD cover had gone to the wrong Mark Denton (or maybe Mike Denton, or Marc Danton).

Their plan was to have 50 different covers to celebrate D&AD’s 50th anniversary realised by some big knobs in Design and Advertising like Ridley Scott, Sir John Hegarty, Paul Smith, Dave Dye, etc, etc, etc, etc and very flatteringly yours truly.

The trouble was, once the mistake had been realised I was starting 5 weeks after everyone else and 3 days after the official deadline.

Ordinarily I like the challenge of a tight deadline but at the time of the phone call I was in New York picking up a big design, TV and print brief from DDB and I was already in the middle of a print project for Leo Burnett London.

I remembered a piece of paper that I’d pinned to the wall behind my desk about a year earlier. It was a scribble of an idea I had for my gravestone.

It originally had no reason to exist, there was no brief for it, it was just one of the things that regularly fall out of the end of my pen.

So I thought ‘that’ll do’ and a few phone calls later we had a sculptor and a model-maker on board and a photographic session booked.

…Cheers Sean, Carmel and Steve. You did a brilliant job.

I’m dead pleased (BOOM, BOOM!).

Client – D&AD. Concept – M Denton Esq (that’s DENTON). Photography – Sean de Sparengo. Photography Assistant – Joe Giacomet. Sculptor – Carmel Said. Model-making – Steve Dring. Producer – Miss Sara Cummins.

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“How would you like to help us launch a new beer brand by creating the history of a fictional 88-year-old owner of a brewery and her family, designing the packaging, shooting commercials and an online mini-documentary, as well as producing print, posters and a hard-cover brand book?”


That was the question put to yours truly M Denton Esq and my Superwinning team at COY!

And of course the answer could only have been YES, as this kind of project is right up my strasse.

Not that I’ve ever been involved in any project that was quite like this.

The Agency was DDB NY and the client was DDB Worldwide. A bit unusual for a start.

They’d come up with the notion of launching a new beer brand from scratch and promoting it during the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival week.

Odd in itself, but what was even more unlikely was the fact that the brand would exist for that week and that week only.

For DDB it was an exercise in demonstrating their superior expertise in promoting brands by grabbing that slightly distracted audience and wowing them with ‘Ethel’s Brew’.

That’s the name of the beer, ‘Ethel’s Brew’.

Ethel being Ethel Goldschmidt, the afore mentioned 88-year-old New York Jewish, newly widowed Grandmother and founder of the fictional brewery.

The story goes that Ethel and her husband Burt fell in love with beer after a visit to Oktoberfest back in 1952.

Burt especially was obsessed with his new passion and dreamed one day he would launch his own beer.

Unfortunately, he died in a freak accordion accident before that dream was realised and in honour of his memory Ethel pledged she’d make it come true.

Only somewhere in the process ‘Burt’s Beer’ had become ‘Ethel’s Brew’ and a conservative 88-year-old Grandmother had spent all of her spinster daughter’s trust fund money and transformed herself into a bit of a vamp, determined to go out with a BANG!

The brilliant concept was the brainchild of the ‘Dynamic Jew-o’ Aron Fried and Carlos Wigle with the equally brilliant Menno Kluin steering the ship.

They were the most enthusiastic and supportive bunch I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. I really can’t remember the last time I’ve ever been given so much freedom.

Carlos and Aron flew from NY to GB for the shoot, rolled their sleeves up and got stuck in.

There was such a great team spirit that I thrust a couple of cameras into their hands and they helped us capture some of the enormous amount of collateral required in just 2 days.

And what a fantastic, funny, totally delightful couple of days it was too.

The only really hard part of the shoot was finding Kosher nosh in South Woodford.

I’ve got to mention that we couldn’t have produced the project without the enormous amount of help and support we got from Mark Grosvenor, and the rest of his team at Tag.

The commercials look a million dollars worth thanks to editor Joel Miller at Cut + Run NY and post-production courtesy of MPC. Music was specially composed by Finger Music.

My mate and long-term creative collaborator Sean de Sparengo did the impossible by not only shooting over 25 portfolio quality stills but also DOP-ing all of the moving stuff (AT THE SAME TIME!).

And last but definitely not least, thanks to Andy (Dymock) for helping me with the print, the 40 page brand book being a mammoth task in its own right, let alone the required labels, outdoors posters, banners etc.

All in all it was a highly enjoyable project, the only sad note is that it’s not the start of a long running campaign.

I absolutely, definitely haven’t had quite as much fun since 1987.

Director/Designer – M Denton Esq, Producer/Kosher Katerer – Miss Sara Cummins, Associate Creative Directors – Aron Fried and Carlos Wigle, Executive Creative Director – Menno Kluin, Chief Creative Officer DDB NY – Matt Eastwood, Global Chief Creative Officer – Amir Kassaei, DDB Producer – Katy Fuoco, Photographer/DOP – Sean De Sparengo, Senior Art Director – Shawna Laken, Copywriter – Katie Riddle, Typography – Andy Dymock, Retouching – Rob Sherratt at TAG, Editing – Joel Miller at Cut + Run NY, Post Production – MPC, Music – Finger Music, Queen of Super 8 – Miss Fern Berresford, Sensational Hair by Anna Dentonetti and Marvellous Make-up by Louise Constad. And with great thanks to Tanya, Holly and Steve at Short Films for all their support.

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….obviously that’s a blatant pork pie.

We’re just following the lead of the new Rice Krispies Squares campaign that retains the theme ‘It’s all LIES – they’re not even Square’.

We’re chuffed that we were asked to produce the latest TV and poster executions…then again the last ones went down very well with the punters and the posters got into D&AD for art direction.

We hope you like the new ones, each poster was hand painted by a trained badger.

Many thanks to Creative Director – Don Bowen and brilliant Creative team – Sabina Kelly and Phil Deacon. Designer/Director – M Denton Esq,  Design Assistant – Kate Henderson, Typographer – Andy Dymock, Production – Miss Sara Ann Cummins

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We’ve finally got around to producing business cards for A Large Evil Corporation.

Of course, they’re not normal business cards.

They look like filthy lucre and they feature portraits of Guy Thomson and Seth Watkins (the bosses of A.L.E.C).

If you’d like a closer look send them over an animation script and they’ll send you a bundle in a plain brown envelope.

Design – M Denton Esq, Photographer – Oli Carver, Typographer – Andy Dymock



We got a call a few weeks ago from our mates at A Large Evil Corporation and it turned out that they wanted to expand their graphic identity with a new range of postcards and other bits of collateral.

It occurred to us that it might be mildly amusing if we created some made up evil products from a fictional evil trade catalogue.

They concurred.

So first of all we selected various objects from valves and microprocessors to plungers, and we gave them evil names and catalogue numbers.

…and then we shot them. Or rather our Oli did.

The most popular seems to be the nut and bolt duo (or Imelda and Ferdinand to use their correct titles)…then again, we like them all.

Photography and image manipulation – Oliver Carver, Concept/Design – M. Denton Esq, Production – Miss Fern Berresford, Typography – Andy Dymock.

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Not much to say about this one really – except it was the best shoot I’ve worked on since 1979. M Denton Esq

Director – M Denton Esq. Producer – Miss Sara Cummins. (Brilliant) Creative Team – Naz Nazli & Rob Welch. (Fantastic) Agency Producer – Carley Reynolds. (Amazing) Client – Ashley Knight. (Sensational) Post Production – Paul O’Brien at Framestore.

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I really like making telly adverts and I really like making posters.. so when I was asked to help with the new Rice Krispies Squares TV and print campaign I felt my trousers move in a most positive fashion. M Denton Esq.

Agency – Leo Burnett, Art Director – Caroline Rawlings, Writer – Chris Birch, Director – M Denton Esq, Designer – M Denton Esq, Producer – Sara Cummins, Agency Producer – Lou Pegg.

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Director – Mark Denton / Sean de Sparengo. Design – M Denton Esq. Prod – Sara Cummins. Creatives – Rick Cant & Barney Hobson. Agency Prod – Ross Plummer. Agency – Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam.

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From drainpipes to DMs, Budgie jackets, to Beetle Crushers, Oxford bags, Rupert strides and cheese cloth shirts, Bondage trousers with accompanying nappy attached, (handy if you bumped into a gang of Teds down the Kings Road), highly polished Royals, Seersucker slacks, and Slazenger cardies to simple V neck Pringles. Once you shop you just can’t stop, cos in the minefield that is the youth cult what you think is the latest garb is very soon the latest garbage.

Here at Coy! Communications we’re in the process of producing a major exhibition and documentary that will help to shed some light on a uniquely British phenomenon.

Why did Skinheads carry combs? Was it really necessary for Teds to slap half a tub of Brylcreem on a Ducks arse every night and most importantly, were Plastic Sandals ever really cool. Dust off the dressing up box, it’s the incredible journey of the Youthcult.

Watch this space!