I have a heavy heart as I write this note, but a glint in my eyes of joy and humour. Colin Borg, a very good friend of mine for more than 40 years, died last month. He was our first Network Partner and an inspiration at our annual conferences, and so I feel it is fitting to pay him this short tribute.
We sorely missed him at the Luzern conference earlier this month — his very special warmth, charm and slightly off-colour and politically incorrect jokes. He was a blaze of colour in a monochromatic world, both literally (he wore some shockingly loud jackets, ties, pocket handkerchiefs and socks!) and intellectually. Colin was a great believer in the high ethics of self-medication, and the need to search harder for Innovation (the theme of the Luzern conference) if we are to achieve our industry’s public health and commercial goals. He believed in advertising as a power for good and was passionate about seeking out creativity in our industry, and was surprised — as indeed am I — that there is so little of it.
He championed the Nicholas Hall Awards for innovative new product development, marketing and creativity, which is why we are renaming the Creative Award in his honour.
Here are the three Awards we presented in Luzern on 10th April:
The Colin Borg Award for the Best European OTC Advertising
Winner: NISE (Dr Reddy’s, Russia)
Most Innovative European New Product of the Year
Winner: NIQUITIN THIN STRIPS (GSK, UK)
Most Innovative Global OTC Marketing Campaign
Winner: MUCINEX (Reckitt Benckiser, USA)
In an emotional climax to the Awards, the Borg family was presented with Colin’s Lifetime Achievement Award, given only twice before.
It summed up his large contribution to our OTC conferences in these words:
Colin Borg 1936-2014
Wordsmith • Raconteur • Inspiration • Friend