Legend, meet legend
To the London College of Fashion then, where under the auspices of the IPA, the legend that is David Abbott was in conversation with the legend that is Tim Bell. One can gauge the latter's self-regard, considering that he - nominally the interlocutor for the evening - had a longer introduction than the former.
Still. Once you got past that, and the heavy air of nostalgia, pearls were to be had from both. Some of these gems follow, in these hastily transcribed notes:
- Bell: "Suits go round telling lies to become famous."
- The book that inspired Abbott to become a copywriter was Madison Avenue by Martin Meyer.
- Abbott failed his first copy test at Mather & Crowther. He had to write about the place he was living at the time - Eastcote. As that wasn't suitably inspirational, he was allowed a second bite. He wrote about Ireland, and got the job.
- He wrote his ads for Triumph like they were for VW, in an attempt to get noticed by DDB.
- On the industry feeling sorry for itself, Abbott reminded us, "It was always difficult to make good ads."
- He is a Millwall fan.
- On starting AMV: "You want to be in a partnership with people who are good, happy and optimistic in the bad times."
- Creative companies should be playful.
- Abbott: "You need resilience: be disappointed in the evening, but in the morning say 'more fool them'."
You'll note that there wasn't much on creativity. Abbott saved that for the end:
The trick is to bring statistics to life.
As he never would have said, simples.