PODCAST: Sir Frank Lowe.

“Frank Lowe single-handedly cajoled a whole generation of writers, art directors and film directors into revolutionising British and world advertising.” – Sir Alan Parker.

It seemed a bit over the top.
I know he was very good and had a big impact on the business, but single-handedly’?
I guess Alan is his mate, so probably bigged him up a bit.

Having just spent three hours nose to nose with Frank, I got a taste of what Alan was talking about.
I can’t think I’ve met anyone who’s as sure of their own opinion.
That may read like a back-handed compliment, it’s not meant to be.

Just that he totally believes in the power of advertising, he’s so unwavering that it was striking.
Especially today, when nobody seems be very sure of what advertising even is.

It’s easy to see (and hopefully hear) how generations of clients and agencies would’ve been persuaded, cajoled or battered into aiming higher.
Higher to Frank meant “not just achieving sales success, but ensuring any advertiser entering people’s lives uninvited, left them a little better or richer for their visit”.
Enjoy being cajoled.

National Provincial.
The little girl needed the loo, she twists and turns trying to hold it in until someone shouts ‘cut’.
The result was charming. (Although people would probably locked up for that today.)
But there was a problem; it was one take, a 67″ take, the agency had booked 60 second spots.
They didn’t want to cut it to a 60″ and it wasn’t long enough to fill a 90″, (the only available time lengths being sold for cinema at the time).
Frank ‘cajoled’ the media company into running 67″ ad.

(Frank is on the left, spotted looking bored by a producer at the agency, then cast.)


CDP was Britain’s DDB.
It revolutionised advertising in this country, producing campaigns that the public loved; Hovis, Hamlet, Heineken, Harvey’s Bristol Cream. (That’s just the ‘H’s.)
You may have noticed that I’m not shy of posting a very long stream of work, but trying to figure out what to show here was tough as the volume of good work was just incredible, way more of it than I’d remembered.
So I tried to impose a bit of discipline, I figured the best way to judge an agency is to look at what they do across all their clients.
Anyone can hit it out of the park once, but year after year, client after client, category after category, that takes skill.
So I’ve tried, but didn’t always succeed in picking one ad per client.
So here we go…




Benson & Hedges Gold Box.

Benson & Hedges Small Cigars.

Birds Eye.





Daily Express.

Dunn & Co.




Harvey’s Bristol Cream.



J&B Rare.

Nescafe Coffee.


One Hundred Pipers.

Parker Pens.


Silk Cut.

Senior Service.

Special Panetellas.




Albany Life.





Hanson Trust.


Hula Hoops.

The Independent.



Long John.

Mail On Sunday.


Plymouth Gin.



Stella Artois.





You Magazine.

Articles about Frank.

‘Dear Mr Leverhulme, I Think We May Have Solved Your Problem’ – Frank Lowe.

(Thanks Grant, it’ll be back soon.)

20 responses to PODCAST: Sir Frank Lowe.

  1. Mick G says:

    Somehow I manged to land my first job at Lowe H-S and was able to learn off brilliant people like Waldie, Dave Christensen, Mike Stephenson, Derek Apps, Vince Squibb, Chris Palmer.

    But not Mark Denton*.

    *I know you read this blog Mark, big X.

    • dave dye says:

      Thought it might’ve been you Anna, that was probably the hair high point in the Collett’s tv canon. Dx

  2. dAVID hORRY says:

    Dave , excellent – will be over from Shanghai to see Frank, O’Driscoll, Dave Brown, Marc et al – in April – would love to meet up.


    • dave dye says:

      Hey Dave, nice to hear from you, let’s meet up at Wave in Great Pulteney St and record a podcast…then have a beer? Dx

  3. Carl says:

    Hey Dave, just dropped you a message via Instagram from the account CreativeAdChelt. If you get the chance to have a read and drop us a message that would be ace. Cheers!

  4. seba wilhelm says:

    I met Frank 20 years ago, when Lowe bought Agulla&Baccetti. I remember thinking he had the rarest talent of being both approachable and distant at the same time. When you converse with him you feel like he’s your best friend. The minute the conversation ends you feel like he doesn’t even know you. In any case, a real charmer. A troublemaking gentleman. And a huge talent.

    • dave dye says:

      Hey Seba,
      Interesting, quite a few people have said similar things, one saying ‘Frank could make you feel like a King one minute and a worm the next’.
      Maybe thats just his carrot and stick management style? Few people achieve things who can just do one.
      I have to say he was all carrot when I spoke to him.

  5. Hi Dave! I really enjoy your content —I’ve been reading it for some months now. You know, I can’t hear the podcast on Podcast Addict. It says: “Failed to retrive podcast episodes… Broken RSS feed: At line 14, column 1: duplicate attribute”. Do you know how can I fix this, so I can hear the podcast on my phone?
    Cheers and thank you for this amazing blog.

    • dave dye says:

      Hey Nicholas, glad you enjoy it, looking into the rss issue, it’s now on Spotify too; which works. Dx

  6. Stephen Reed says:

    Great Podcast. The industry is sorely lacking people with the right level of charm and bravery that is needed to sell and create great work. Harumph.

    Also, absolutely love the sound design on the Fiat film. Weaving in the electronic element into the classical stuff – so ahead of it’s time. Love it!

  7. rodger Stanier says:

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you so much for uploading your conversation with Frank Lowe. It was fantastic! Such great stories and insights that although they lived in a golden age so many of them are still relevant today.
    You managed to tease out amazing stories and kept Frank to plan, but let him meander when the stories needed more time.
    I lecture at Edinburgh Napier University and will use many of the subjects touched on here. (hope you don’t mind) But mostly it was such an inspiration for encouraging bravery and not settling for second best. Something we all need to aim for.
    Every single account man and client in the world should be strapped to a chair and made to listen to this 100 times.
    Thanks again for this amazing collection of work through the ages.
    I wish my loft was as well stocked as yours.
    Cheers R
    Perhaps next time, though, get him some throat lozenges

      • SG says:

        The iconic ‘through the bottle’ work for the brand. I thought that might be on the list. At BBH we looked at it and went ‘how the f*ck did they get away with that?!’….

  8. Mike Sands says:

    Love the main pic at the top with Frank on the left. John Salmon looks like a suit and, (Rees-Mogg wouldn’t like that comma after the ‘and’) the guy on the right looks like a politician. Frank Lowe was always my hero. I even bought a Kent & Curwen cricket pullover, hoping some of his genius would rub off on me…

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