With the benefit of hindsight, it's astonishing to think that there were once a lot of adfolk who believed Abbott Mead Vickers would never crack TV.
The problem, they argued, was David Abbott, the agency’s creative chief whose literary style just didn’t suit the medium.
They had to eat their words, however, when Abbott’s debut work for Yellow Pages broke. Not only did it have all the warmth and charm that epitomized Abbott’s work but, in J R Hartley, it created one of UK advertising’s most iconic characters.
Previously Yellow Pages was perceived as a directory used mainly for distress and emergency needs. Nobody much thought of it as a leisure and pleasure guide. That all changed with the arrival of J R Hartley, a pensioner who finds a copy of his out-of-print book on fly fishing thanks to Yellow Pages.
This ad was kindly donated by the Arrows Archive, which contains all TV ads nominated for the BTAA Awards since 1977. The archive is maintained by the History of Advertising Trust.