The best that can be said of a UK ad industry preoccupied with the here and now is that it has only ever supported the History of Advertising Trust now and then. The fact that HAT s headquarters is in the Norfolk village of Raveningham may have som...
A commercial for a shower gel got a lot of people into quite a lather when it was aired 19 years ago. And the reason for the fuss? It was the first ad on UK television to feature a woman's nipple.
Bob Jacoby, the diminutive boss of Ted Bates, was as crafty as they come. In selling his agency, then the third-largest in the US, to the Saatchi brothers in 1985, he cut a personal deal worth a reported $110 million more than anybody had ever made...
The outdoor industry has been good to Jean-Claude Decaux, having turned him into one of France's few self-made multibillionaires.
In the days before Macs arrived in adland to dazzle agency art directors with their sophistication, there was the Grant Projector. From the 50s until the high-tech revolution rendered them redundant in the mid-90s, no creative department was withou...
Legend has it that Paul Green walked into his first client meeting as the founder of Britain s first media independent and offered to hand over a cheque for 1 million. It was a dramatic gesture to pledge the equivalent to what he promised would be...
It is one of UK advertising s great unsolved mysteries, a curious case that would have tested the deductive powers of Detective Chief Inspector Morse and is still the subject of much speculation whenever ad folk gather for a glass or two. Just who ...
He s known simply as Monkey, although he isn t a real primate. Just an animated knitted sock that can stake one of the oddest claims to a place in adland s annals. What s remarkable is that Monkey is probably the only character in modern advertisin...
Roy Thomson was famous for knowing instinctively where there was good advertising money to be made. But when the Canadian launched the Sunday Times magazine on 4 February 1962, adland was far from convinced he was on to a winner. Advertisers and ...
It was small, squat and so ugly that you would be forgiven for wondering why anybody apart from the German engineers who gave birth to it could have loved it. Yet it s no exaggeration to say that the Volkswagen Beetle was the spark plug that made a...
Seldom seen not wearing one of his trademark wildly coloured suits, Robin Wight is adland s perpetual Beau Brummell and may be the best living reminder of the time when the creative revolution in UK advertising also made it fashion-conscious for the ...
Was Bill Cosby the frontman for one of the world s greatest marketing cock-ups or the cleverest ever ploy to sustain a brand s market leadership? Twenty-eight years after the US comedian and actor fronted a set of commercials to introduce consumers...
A ten-minute walk separates Maurice Saatchi from what many industry commentators would cite as the most visible symbol of the salutary lesson history taught him.
If there was ever a moment when adland was forced to recognise that it could no longer take a devil-may-care approach to financial management, it occurred in November 1980 at the Old Bailey. But why a clutch of senior executives from what was then ...
Satellite broadcasting as we know it in Britain today was shaped by a dramatic confrontation and an eventual merger between the two organisations determined to dominate the new medium. In one corner stood the Rupert Murdoch-bankrolled Sky Telev...
The red tick that for almost 40 years has symbolised the Advertising Standards Authority s role as the no-nonsense enforcer of self-regulation was a direct result of official rebukes that the watchdog was not barking loudly enough. The accepted wis...
Four decades after they first appeared, the remaining memorabilia from one of the most memorable ad campaigns in the UK are still sought-after collectors items. Mugs, T-shirts, badges, aprons, straws and even sneakers complete with pom-poms regula...
Long before The Ivy and Le Caprice began eating away at adlanders' expense accounts, the trendiest dining place for free-spending agency types was known simply as the Tratt.
Imagine an agency building shared by Charles Saatchi, Sir John Hegarty and John Webster. Add Lord Puttnam and Martin Boase for good measure. And top it off with Stanley Pollitt, one of the founding fathers of account planning, and Michael Peters, the...
How ironic that "Keep calm and carry on", a poster created to calm Britons nerves at the outbreak of war (and which never saw the light during those dark days), should find its message having such resonance in these economically beleaguered times. ...
It is just a front door, and not even an original - just a replica of one destroyed in a fire 40 years ago.
It was shot on 16mm film in a Granada TV studio 46 years ago for just £900.
Almost half-a-century after they first appeared, you can still find plenty of mementos of one of history's most famous ad campaigns being offered for sale by online auction sites.
The campaign said to have been responsible for the first ad slogan to become part of everyday language is shrouded in mystery. Some question whether it ever even existed.
Mad Men devotees love speculating about the real-life inspiration for Don Draper, whose bursts of seemingly creative genius are punctuated by serial philandering and attempts to cover the tracks to his murky past.
Marion Harper, whose fathering of Interpublic set the stage for today's global marcoms industry, was a high-flier in the most literal sense.
Two Toby jugs - one bearing a down-in-the-dumps expression, the other looking smugly satisfied - would claim a place in any collection of advertising memorabilia.
If adlanders who lunch were asked to vote for their all-time favourite maitre d', it's odds-on that Elena Salvoni would top the poll.
There was only one agency in London that had the class to set up home in a former luxury apartment block whose tenants included Frank Sinatra, Merle Oberon and Arturo Toscanini.
The pod-popping launch of a significant new era for British advertising happened on 15 November 1969, when the country's first TV ad in colour made its debut.
Is advertising art? It's an issue that has caused deep chips on the shoulders of many an agency creative who could never understand the disdain their work attracted just because it sold things.
With technical wizardry now such an integral part of TV's output, it's hard to imagine what a stir Channel 4's iconic logo created when it first appeared 30 years ago.
In the three decades that followed its debut in the early 60s, the carousel slide projector was a key player at every big agency presentation - and one of the most cantankerous.
The lively atmosphere greeting visitors to JWT London's bar at the end of most working days might seem at odds with the sober-looking greybeard in naval uniform whose portrait sits atop the wines and spirits on display.
The Smash Martians' place in British advertising history is assured.
Film-makers in the US have never shown much affection for the ad industry. Down the years, adfolk have usually been depicted as manipulative cynics who make people buy things they don't need.
29. Stanley Pollitt and Stephen King
Roland, famously described as the first rat to join a sinking ship - the ill-fated TV-am - rather than fleeing it, may never lose his reputation as the godfather of dumbed-down television.
Saatchi & Saatchi old-timers will doubtless be crying in their beer the day the demolition men move in on the agency's Charlotte Street home.
Probably no advertising better reflected the changing lifestyle - and eating habits - of middle-class Britain during the latter half of the 20th century than the Oxo campaign.
It's a safe bet that in a dark and dusty corner of a few creative departments and design studios, there lurks a tin of Cow Gum.
The "loadsamoney" culture that pervaded adland from the 60s to the 80s - and its sometimes tragic repercussions - symbolically came together when "the Seymour" entered the industry's lexicography.
Few high-rolling admen were eager to practice what Bill Bernbach preached when he challenged consumers in his iconic 1959 ad for Volkswagen to "think small".
The 1973 "boy on a bike" commercial for Hovis was a dazzling piece of deception.
Short of selling their grandmothers, there's probably nothing a creative wouldn't do to win a Cannes Lion. Come to think of it, even grannies might well be sent packing with a Lion at stake.
Agencies the world over have their favourite watering holes. But "of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world" - as Humphrey Bogart put it in Casablanca - the most famous of the lot stands on the corner of a winding, palm-fringed road at ...
The 1959 TV campaign for Strand cigarettes seemed to have everything going for it. Not only was it innovative, stylish and intriguing, but it also had a soundtrack people still hum. What's more, it had a central character - the Strand man - that ever...
Chris Joseph - who named his agency after the solid silver hallmarked hook that replaced his missing right arm - will be remembered as the adman who won a big victory in protecting the industry's rights over its creative ideas.
Cosmopolitan's UK arrival, in February 1972, linked advertisers with an attractive but not easy-to-reach market. The magazine targeted stylish, classy and liberated young women who wanted great orgasms and didn't mind admitting it.
John Pearce was the embodiment of the eccentric and anarchic culture that was Collett Dickenson Pearce in its creative prime. And nothing summed up Pearce's non-conformist style more than his taste for red socks.
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The console is dead: The Socialisation of Gaming
The games console as we know it is dead. When Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One earlier this week, it was clear that this was more than a device that would enable you to play Call of Duty or FIFA – this was, in Microsoft’s own words, “an all-in-one home entertainment system”.