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Valentines’ Day in Warsaw…

…and some of the other experiences, disadvantages and benefits derived from being one half of an art and copy team. One day, during our long creative partnership, Paul Smith remarked that he spent more time with me than he did with his wife. That’s the thing about being a creative team: it’s the nearest you […]

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The Lost Patrol…

…and other stories of Mad Men who’ve served in the military. Be warned, for purposes of veracity, this blog contains foul language. In the mid-sixties, when I started working in advertising, almost every male member of staff had been in the army, navy or air force. Either they’d been called up for National Service or […]

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The Ads in the Attic

It seems that my past work falls into two categories: the ads I remember doing, and those I don’t. Every year, at the end of autumn, I clamber onto the roof of my house and remove the leaves that clog up the rainwater drainage system. Don’t worry. It’s not as dangerous as it sounds. My house […]

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An evening with Tony Kaye

BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR. KAYE.   T-T-Tony’s T-T-Talk wasn’t so much a talk as an amazing display of heartfelt emotion and hardcore talent. Despite my old boss, Terry Lovelock, joking to me that Tony Kaye should pay the audience £20 each to see him, rather than the other way round, Tony Kaye’s D&AD […]

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A week in Wyoming

A WEEK IN WYOMING.   Last year, I was asked by Paul Smith to attend an Ogilvy senior management seminar in Wyoming. Here’s an account of what we did. First of all, you might well wonder what I was doing at a senior management seminar in the first place. At my age I am definitely […]

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The Voyage of Discovery

THE VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY An account of a fact-finding trip that I undertook in the eighties. I will never forget that Thursday evening back in 1982. It was about eight-thirty at night, I was relaxing at home at my flat in Primrose Hill, when the phone rang. It was my boss, David Brown, creative director […]

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An ad that sells

Selling the idea of buying a book.   Want to see a piece of advertising that sells?  Go no further than Earl’s Court Underground station.    In this electronic age, how do you advertise the good, old-fashioned pleasure of reading a book? With a good, old-fashioned ad – and I mean this in a totally […]

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Never knowingly understood.

Would you Adam and Eve it?  It’s the new John Lewis commercial: Never knowingly understood. Years ago when I was at Collett, Dickenson, Pearce, Paul Smith and I presented a particularly obscure idea to John Salmon, the creative director. So obscure, in fact, that we had to explain to him what it was all about. […]

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No contest: Lemsip versus Alka-Seltzer.

David Brown, in his role as a group head and later as creative director of Collett, Dickenson, Pearce, often used a phrase to turn down work that he considered to be crass: ‘you wouldn’t like it if you made it’. Thus, many potentially embarrassing pieces of work were rightfully consigned to the wastepaper basket of […]

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One commercial I don’t rate and one I do.

Years ago Terry Lovelock wrote some very funny commercials at Collett Dickenson Pearce for TV Licence Evasion. In one of these ads a man and his mate are walking towards the man’s flat. The man tells his friend that he’s been fined for not having a TV Licence. As they enter the flat, the man says […]

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