Victorian meaning of flowers

Gentian: Integrity

(Kleager, 2013)

david abbott

(Winslett, 2014)


On the 11th of October in 1938, in Hammersmith, London, a copywriting legend named David Abbott was born. Young Abbott attended a boarding school for a year and when he decided it was a waste of his time and his parent’s money he enrolled at Southhall Grammar School where he won a scholarship to attend Meron College in Oxford in 1959. When Abbott’s father passed he quit his studies to help support his family, however, one good thing did come of his studies there as this is where he met his one-day-business-partner, Adrian Vickers. He pursued his career as a copywriter by working for Kodak in the advertising department, and later worked on the Shell and Triumph brands at the Mather & Crowther agency in 1963. He went to work at Doyle Dane Bernbach as a copywriter in Manhattan in 1965 and was a part of their famous Volkswagen ads. After that he worked at the London branch under the job description of Creative Director in 1966.

He later set up a new agency named French Gold Abbott in 1971 and 7 years later he co-founded AMV. AMV or Abbott Mead Vickers became the most successful advertising agency in the UK, entailed 288 offices in 80 countries and later was renamed AMV BBDO. The agency went public in 1985 and rose to international recognition, with clients like Sainsbury’s, Aviva and BT. At the age of 60, Abbott retired to spend his time writing fiction and produced a novel by the name of, “The Upright Piano Player”which was published in 2010. He was included in the Creative Hall of Fame of the One Club for Art and Copy in 2001 in New York and a year later he was given a lifteime achievement awared at the Clio awards. During his lifetime he achieved many Art Direction and Design awards too. His biggest clients during his career included, Chivas Regal, The Economist, Volvo, the Yellow Pages and Ikea and hiw work extended over the mediums of newspaper, radio, print, magazines and television.



(Chivas Regal, 2014)

Abbott had this to say to aspiring writers, “Use your life to animate your copy. If something moves you, chances are it will touch someone else, too. Think visually. Ask someone to describe a spiral staircase and they’ll use their hands as well as words … Don’t be boring.”

i never read

(The Advertising Archives, 2014)

(Jaques, 2014)                                     (Pressure, 2009)

Abbott is known for letting his work speak for him, as he was a low-key family man. He was known for his witty and intelligent campaigns and he was consequently named the greatest copywriter of his generation. He showed his high principle as he refused to write ads for tobacco or toys. In regards to toys he stated, “We objected to the media placement and the aiming at programmes that children saw so that they could badger their parents. We were not trying to become the most priggish, prim agency in the world. We owned our company and we thought, ‘What’s the point of owning a company if you can’t do what you want?’” When it came to tobacco, this struck a nerve for Abbott because his father’s death was a result of years of smoking.

                                    (Monopoly, 2010)                     (Ben and James, n.d.)


(Biscarri, n.d.)

When asked about the difficulty of running your own advertising agency successfully, Abbott had this to say: “You basically stuff the place full of talent and allow that talent to bloom. So you have to have something that makes the great people want to come and work for you. And it’s never money. You can always earn more money at a bad agency because they need you more.”


(Sainsbury’s, 2014)

His advert for Sainsbury’s is seen as the piece of advertising that established the brand as a major player in the Uk. Abbott was the first to address women as intelligent, thoughtful shoppers who cared more about quality than price, and he achieved this tone by studying their nature (Davison, 2014) (The Telegraph, 2014).


(Ear, n.d.)


(Biscarri, n.d.)


I am extemely inspired by Abbott’s Economist campaign. I love his play on metaphors and the wittiness of the ads. They have this way of making the reader feel intellectual. They are humerous in a way that doesn’t get old. I especially love the way he manages to say so much with such few words and the how he implies things with the absence of words, asking the reader to read between the lines. I have always been inspired by copy driven ads and aspire to better my writing for this type of ad.



Ben and James, (n.d.). IQ. [image] Available at: [Accessed 27 May 2016].

Biscarri, J. (n.d.). Leader’s Digest. [image] Available at: [Accessed 27 May 2016].

Chivas Regal. (2014). [image] Available at: [Accessed 28 May 2016].

Sainsbury’s. (2014). [image] Available at: [Accessed 28 May 2016].

Davison, P. (2014). David Abbott: Advertising copywriter renowned for his integrity and acclaimed as one of the finest in the industry. The Independent. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 May 2016].

Ear. (n.d.). [image] Available at: [Accessed 27 May 2016].

Jaques, L. (2014). Industrial. [image] Available at: [Accessed 27 May 2016].

Kleager, B. (2013). Secret meanings of flowers. Huntsville, Ala.: Treasured Secrets Pub. Co., pp.14, 21, 33, 47, 82, 137.

Kotzer, A. (n.d.). B#. [image] Available at: [Accessed 27 May 2016].

Monopoly. (2010). [image] Available at: [Accessed 27 May 2016].

Pressure. (2009). [image] Available at: [Accessed 27 May 2016].

The Advertising Archives, (2014). I never read the economist. [image] Available at: [Accessed 27 May 2016].

The Telegraph, (2014). David Abbott – Obituary. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 May 2016].

Winslett, J. (2014). David Abbott. [image] Available at: [Accessed 27 May 2016].







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