Dawson Yeoman, the former Leo Burnett creative director and a
driving force behind Doyle Dane Bernbach’s emergence as one of the UK’s
hottest creative shops during the 70s, has died.
Yeoman, aged 60, suffered a fatal heart attack on Saturday at the
Berkshire home he had been renovating.
An award-winning copywriter, he was regarded as one of the most
effective creative chiefs of his generation. He took creative command at
DDB after David Abbott left to set up French Gold Abbott, the forerunner
of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.
Bill Thompson, who worked with Yeoman for more than four years at DDB,
including a six-month stint as his art director, said that Yeoman’s
preoccupation with raising creative standards did not always win him
friends. But he added: ’He was the best creative director I ever worked
Thompson, now a senior creative at McCann-Erickson, added: ’DDB’s
creative reputation was entirely because of Dawson’s quality control and
inspiration. He didn’t tolerate idiots but he had a way of getting his
people to be better than even they thought they were.’
Yeoman left DDB in 1984 after what is said to have been an uncomfortable
relationship with Tony Brignull, with whom he was forced to share the
running of the creative department after DDB acquired Brignull Le
He spent four years at Burnetts. ’It was a difficult time for him,’ a
former colleague recalled. ’DDB was in his blood.’
After his ousting from Burnetts and an abortive attempt to market a
water purification system, Yeoman returned to his copywriting roots when
he joined Publicis in 1992 as a group head.
He is survived by his wife, Kate, and three sons.