January 24, 2022

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From the MAA Archive: BBH’s John Bartle, Nigel Bogle and John Hegarty – our blasts from the past

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Are these the most famous names in modern advertising? They’re certainly contenders and their blasts from the pasts give an intriguing insight into what many see as the golden age of creative advertising. For Bogle and Bartle see links below this article.

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Sir John Hegarty is a member of the hugely talented group of UK creatives who emerged from art schools in the 1960s. An accomplished art director he worked at Benton & Bowles and Cramer Saatchi before leading creative at TBWA London and then co-founding BBH in 1982. He memorably described creativity as “Turning Intelligence into Magic.”


He is a founder of incubator company The Garage Soho. Hegarty was knighted for his services to the advertising and creative industries in 2007.

My MAA blast from the past

My choice is the VW Funeral spot from DDB New York. Aired in 1969. A brilliant piece of writing and direction, but more than that a brave decision by the client to run an ad for his product, where the v/o is a dead man and we’re at his funeral. Genius.

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(Art director Roy Grace, copywriter John Noble, director Howard Zieff)

What made BBH special

The best BBH ads were nearly always sexy. Not much of a stretch for Axe/Lynx’s ‘Even Angels will Fall’ from 2011, a classic example. It was banned in one country (a badge of honour maybe) after just one complaint on “religious” grounds. Bet most other people liked it.

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