David Abbott's Economist ad recreated

David Abbott's "management trainee" poster for The Economist has been recreated in honour of his impact on the advertising industry, following his sudden death on Saturday 17 May.


David Nobay, the creative chairman of Droga5 Sydney, created the homage in honour of Abbott, who he worked with briefly on an Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO pitch for Thomson Holidays.

The original ad attributes the words "I never read The Economist" to a management trainee aged 42. In Nobay’s recreation, a 42-year-old advertising trainee says: "I never heard of David Abbott."

Nobay said Abbott was a "true gentleman and a legend" and recalled a time he made Nobay feel like a "200lb butterfly" by complementing him on the way he had recaptured Abbott’s voice during that Thomson pitch.

Many industry figures have paid tribute to the celebrated copywriter and co-founder of AMV BBDO since his death on Saturday.

Paul Bainsfair, the director general of the IPA, said: "David Abbott wasn’t just the best copywriter of his generation. He was in a class of his own. A truly exceptional talent.

"He last came in to the IPA to speak to a full house about his book 'The upright piano player'. Even though he was by then in his seventies, there were more young people in the rapt audience that day than usual. He was one of the greats."

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