Hands Up Who’s Heard Of Frank Budgen?

We’re smack bang in the middle of the age of collaboration. Any press release for a creative hiring now contains that reassuring phrase ‘Known for being collaborative’. (To me it always reads ‘We’re pleased to announce we’ve finally found a creative who will listen to us’.) The feeling the team had creating the work is as scrutinised as what they created. But collaboration means different things to different people. For most of the team it conjures up enjoyable meetings onRead more

Hands Up Who’s Heard Of MAD DOGS & ENGLISHMEN?

Remember Alessandro Volta? Douglas Engelbart? What about Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis? Thought not. Even if I asked who invented electric light, the computer mouse and social media, those names are still unlikely to come up. More likely, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg will spring to mind. They didn’t invent those ideas, they either stole from those guys or ‘built on their thinking’.But although now virtually forgotten, their work was crucial, take away their thinking would be likeRead more

THE LOOKY-LIKEY AMALGAM.

I few months back I recorded a podcast with Richard Shotton, one of the brightest people in the business. Whilst preparing I read Richard’s book, The Choice Factory, it’s great, full of fascinating insights and observations on human behaviour and how we respond to marketing. Whilst taking in all this intelligent insight an interesting theory occurred to me; why don’t we just create ads that people like? Granted, it’s no theory of relativity, but it’s odd that it’s barely aRead more

Hands Up Who’s Heard Of GEOFFREY SEYMOUR?

ADVERTISING’S OSCAR WILDE. An appreciation of the work of Geoffrey Seymour. By Mike Everett. It is one of the great ironies of the advertising business that one of its most talented writers is better remembered for his salary than his work. When he joined Saatchi & Saatchi in 1982, Geoff Seymour was paid £100,000 a year, a sum of money that soon became known in advertising circles as a ‘Seymour’. It may have been as an eye-watering amount at theRead more

GREEN BOOKS: New Yorker Ads 4.

The Advertising Standards Council wouldn’t let that title pass. I guess it was my intent when I cello-taped it to the cover. There are a few old New Yorker ads in there, but the majority are English, from the early seventies. It’s odd collection, looking at it now is a bit like wandering through a car boot sale. There’s the finds that have famous attached, so may be worth something:   1. Illustrator/Artist Glen Baxter’s Gilbey’s Gin ads. 2. Photographer ArtRead more

SELLING BREAD FROM A BIKE. Mike Everett.

FINALLY, A POST ABOUT AN AD THAT’S CAN BE SEEN TV TODAY. CHAPTER 2 OF MIKE EVERETT’S BOOK ON ADVERTISING. The famous Hovis ‘Bike Ride’ commercial was relatively easy  to write. But, boy, did it take perseverance to find somewhere to film it. In order to understand why the famous Hovis campaign was created it is necessary to return to the dark days of the early seventies. This was a time when Britain was in a mess. Its slow post-warRead more

PODCAST: Richard Foster.

Read any article on good copywriting and you’ll find the same names appear. David Abbott and Tony Brignull usually battle for the top two slots, Tim Delaney and John Salmon fight it out for third place. But talk to writers about the same subject and another name appears; Richard Foster. Richard is the only one of the five who has worked under the other four. (He may well be the only writer to have worked under the four?) For aRead more

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’? But I guess Alan is his mate, so he’s 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.Read more

AUTHOR seeks PUBLISHER for short-term RELATIONSHIP.

I’ve found a great book on advertising; ‘Methods of the Madmen’. The only problem is it’s not available. It’s been written by a friend of mine, Mike Everett, as well as writing the book Mike wrote many great ads whilst at Collett’s and Lowe’s, including the Olympus David Bailey campaign, the freaky ‘Wrangler. That’s what’s going on’, Birds Eye’s ‘Dishonest woman’ and a bunch of Hamlet ads to name but a few. He’s kindly allowed me to feature a few chapters hereRead more

PODCAST: Graham Fink. (Part 1.)

Context. It’s the word that comes to mind every time I think about writing one of these intros. What seems familiar today was once considered very left-field, risky or just plain crazy. Each pushes the peanut along for the next generation. Take the 1988 D&AD Annual, it’s hard to believe now, but all but one ad in the press and poster section had black headlines, the one that didn’t was Graham Fink’s Metropolitan Police campaign. I was a generation behindRead more

INTERVIEW: Sir Alan Parker.

Sir Alan, where did you grow up? I grew up in Islington. Ours were the first council flats built after the war and I moved in aged about three or four. Ironically, the flats overlooked the street where my Dad was born and brought up. (My Grandad was the local barber and the family were evacuated in the war when a bomb hit St Mary’s Church close to their shop. He was also the local bookie—illegal then—and so they movedRead more

INTERVIEW: Brian Palmer.

Sometimes the people who innovate are forgotten in favour of those who refine their ideas. Whatsisname, the inventor of the mouse that Steve Jobs ‘refined’, is a prime example. Few people today know the name Kingsley Manton & Palmer, let alone that of its creative partner Brian Palmer. Yet Brian wrote the first ad to run on U.K television. He set up the first agency the U.K. after World War Two. His agency was the first to work open plan, first to list on the stock exchange and theRead more

INTERVIEW: H before BB, (John Hegarty).

I joined the business in 1985. The best agency seemed to be Bartle Bogle Hegarty. Every year ever since they’ve been in the top five, sometimes they’ve been in the top one. Their success has been very well documented, what did Sir John did before that hasn’t been. So… Where were you brought up? I was born in North London, although at that point Edgware wasn’t in London, it was in Middlesex, which doesn’t exist anymore. My family was living inRead more

INTERVIEW: John O’Driscoll.

Where were you brought up John? Before I answer that question are you sure about this interview? I don’t give short answers and have a tendency to go on a bit! Ask my family! Yeah, I’ve heard that. I was born and bred in a Surrey village called Hersham. Birth place of Julie Andrews and Jimmy Pursey of Sham 69. What was the first ad you remember? It wasn’t until I was 13 that I remember seeing an advert thatRead more

B&H, Part 2: The surreal years.

I used to walk past this poster every week for about a year. I was fifteen, my Art teacher had got hold of a life size billboard poster, a 48 sheet, or I should say 48 sheets. It was twenty or thirty foot long, and papered the entire corridor that lead to our classroom. We were all bemused by it at first, just a close-up of an electric circuit board? weird? Was it even an ad? Then we found the gold pack-shot.Read more

INTERVIEW: Mike Cozens.

  Where were you bought up? Farley Road, Catford, S.E.6. Mr Smiths was where the Richardson Gang had their 1966 Gangland slaying. My Mum worked there. Frankie Frazer used to escort her up the Road. He famously said ‘I’ll take you home Lilly, you meet some dodgy characters around here’. That’s where I was dragged up. Was advertising your first choice? Not exactly. I was invited to leave Haberdashers Askes at the age of sixteen. Fortunately the only teacher whoRead more

LESTER BOOKBINDER: Advertising.

The third and last post on Lester Bookbinder, unless by some miracle I get to interview him. If I thought finding the pictures was tough that was nothing compared to finding the words. But here’s what I’ve managed to discover. a) He was born in New York City in 1929. b) He trained with the photographer Reuben Samberg. c) He opened his own studio in 1955. d) He moved to London in 1959. e) Long before the New York Police Chief Bill Bratton started talkingRead more

IN-CAMERA 6: Barney Edwards.

”Question why anyone would be interested in this picture? What should be excluded or included to make it a better picture?“ – Barney Edwards. Where did you grow up? In my head, on the road, to a soundtrack. 04:00 Pre- Dawn. Sinai Desert. Cold. Dark. The door of our tin roofed Nissan hut thrown open wide. Shoal, a massive, Romanian-Israeli Army Dive Master towered over us, in Buddy Holly specs, accompanied by his growling Alsatian bitch. Shouting in broken English and Israeli.Read more

IN-CAMERA 5: Graham Ford.

Where did you grow up? South East London When did you take your first picture? When I was eleven. Then I asked for a camera for my fifteenth birthday. One of my brothers showed me how develop a film and to make a contact print. I was completely absorbed by photography for the next 40 years. What was your first job? Aged 18, I spent two weeks in an ice cream warehouse, at minus 20 degrees. It paid for my newRead more

IN-CAMERA 4: Max Forsythe.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Newry in Northern Ireland, a great place to live before religion destroyed it. When did you take your first picture? Probably in my teens, my uncle was a wedding photographer, so I used his half plate camera. I took a lot more serious pictures on a trip to the US when I was 18. What was your first job? I was an Assistant Art director at what was then Hobson Grey.Read more