Mother is the UK’s leading independent advertising agency, founded in 1996 and now with offices in London, New York and Buenos Aires (Madre). It has a reputation as an innovator as much through its landmark campaigns, which step outside traditional ideas of advertising, to its internal culture where every individual in the agency has client contact and responsibility for the work.

Current Affairs According to the World’s Hottest Thinkers

An anthology of The Sun’s News In Briefs


154 x 107 mm

120gsm uncoated paper, 2mm grey board, buckram binding cloth, litho-printed, foil blocked, thread sewn and case bound

Created exclusively for CONTAINER #1:Hot&Cold in an edition of 200


I’ve known Mark Waites at Mother for a long time—ever since we were neighbours in Clerkenwell. I knew he was keen on objects-as-ideas and went to see him to see if he’d like to get involved. He said yes and put a creative team on it, Thom Whitaker and Danielle Noel, to come up with some ideas. Which they duly did.

 NIBS is almost an institution

NIBS is almost an institution

Like any other client or brief, they looked down a number of avenues for thoughts, and presented maybe a dozen or possible ideas. The winning idea was based on the insight that if you enter “hot” into Google, the first 10,000 or so images are all ‘hot babes’. The Sun had been running the News In Briefs panels—where the young woman in the picture supposedly opines on a news topic and often quotes a philosopher for good measure—inset into the main Page Three photographs for ten years and is a concept riddled with irony itself. The idea to put it into a hardback book just took that a step further.

 Collecting copies of The Sun pointless and not as much fun as doing it with NI

Collecting copies of The Sun pointless and not as much fun as doing it with NI

The first challenge was getting the material. I briefly flirted with the idea of collecting copies of the Sun but calculated there wouldn't be enough available, plus it would be better to do it with News International. This proved to be quite difficult as Page Three was under intense scrutiny and facing mounting criticism in the wake of Leveson etc. I went to meet them in Wapping and learned that had it been a year ago, they would have most likely ordered another 1,000 copies for themselves, but as it was, they were reluctant to give the project their blessing—and thus permission to use the rights. After a bit of hand-wringing, I managed to convince them that publishing the book probably wasn’t going to add to their troubles and we were sent a whole high-res file of Page Threes to choose from.

Of course, we ignore most of it. 

 Doing it with NI seems more subversive somehow. 

Doing it with NI seems more subversive somehow. 

In a stroke of irony, one week before CONTAINER #1 came out, News international removed News In Briefs from Page Three

The book was originally intended to have a NIBS panel on each of the 120 pages of the book, but since we had to pay News International for each article we used, I reasoned that the idea wasn’t weaker by having them on the right hand of each spread and this seemed more in keeping with them all originally being on page 3.

To try and keep costs down, we used a book printer in Devon, who caused a few sleepless nights as clearly they’re not used to be asked to make dummies (or produce books to any kind of deadline). It became a running joke chasing the dummy and it only turned up when conversations got heated, which I don’t like doing but reason that if I ask nicely first then I’m not to blame if I have to ask not-nicely. This didn’t set things up well for the production as we’d chewed up all the contingency time we had, but as always happens, they duly turned up when they had to and we needed have worried.