John Salmon asked me to write a piece to be included in this book. My first attempt, the account of a riotous party hosted by a famous copywriter, fell foul of John’s editorial veto. When I asked him why he’d rejected it, he said ‘because it makes the famous copywriter look like a prat and it makes the CDP creative department look like a bunch of lushes’. ‘But they’re both true, John’, I protested. ‘Yes, I know they’re both true but I don’t want to say so’. So I wrote this instead. This time John accepted it and never changed a word.
Australian Ad Age
I went to a Catholic grammar school in North Finchley. Sir John Hegarty’s mum was the school secretary, and amongst the dysfunctional Irish, Polish and Italian kids who made up most of the school’s population was a bloke called Terry Comer. Like me, Terry became a copywriter (along with a third classmate of ours, Patrick Woodward) and ended up in Australia writing a weekly column for Ad Age. I bumped into him at the Cannes advertising festival one year and he asked me to do a review of London, restaurants, to give him a week’s break from writing. This is the result. I don’t know if Terry got a fee for that week, but I never did.