Revisiting some of the UK’s most iconic ad campaigns

Last week, I finally got round to watching the last series of Mad Men.

It got me thinking about an exhibition that I recently attended, featuring advertising agency Collett Dickenson Pearce (CDP) – the UK’s answer to the famous fictional agency featured in the Mad Men series. The exhibition, held at Leeds College of Art, paid homage to the D&AD’s most-awarded agency of all time, with a retrospective look back at some of their finest work.




The inspiration for the exhibition were two members of the Leeds College of Art alumni – Colin Millward and Ron Collins. Both played pivotal roles at CDP throughout the 60’s and 70’s, Millward as their first Creative Director, and Collins as a renowned Art Director.

It’s fair to say that they played their part in producing some brilliant and iconic work for the likes of Heineken, Parker Pens, Hamlet cigars, Fiat and Benson & Hedges.


Benson and Hedges


Personally, I love looking back at old adverts and admiring the artistry involved in producing work like this – my favourite being the stunning simplicity of the Benson and Hedges imagery and messaging.

Granted, when you look back at some of the TV ads now, they do look very staged – but this was ground-breaking stuff back in the day, launching the careers of people like Charles Saatchi, David Puttnam, Alan Parker, Hugh Hudson, Terry Lovelock and Alan Waldie.

Take a look at a selection of CDP’s work here: https://youtu.be/Dd9wjvr6pOw

Follow Paul on Twiiter @ClearsilverCD

Images courtesy of HIstory of Advertising Trust, AdSlogans and Amateur Photographer

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Paul Wojtas

Creative Director

Winner of almost a dozen industry awards, Paul’s career includes stints with agencies in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds. As Head of Design for one of the UK’s leading recruitment advertising agencies, he worked with blue-chip clients including Adidas, Birmingham City Council, Boots, Britvic, BSkyB, HSBC, Manchester Business School, Morrisons, National Express, Next and Subaru. Paul worked with us on a freelance basis for a number of years before we finally persuaded him to join us full-time as our creative director.

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