50 years of Saatchi: Jeremy Sinclair's favourite ads

From the pregnant man to 'Labour isn't working' M&C Saatchi's chairman picks his top work.

  • Award winner. Done at Cramersaatchi, art directed by Bill Atherton.

Hard to believe, but back then, the sentence: ‘Anyone married or single can get free advice…’ was
controversial. Single people having sex, whatever next? 

I’d never won a prize for anything ever before. Made me love the business.

    Award winner. Done at Cramersaatchi, art directed by Bill Atherton. Hard to believe, but back then, the sentence: ‘Anyone married or single can get free advice…’ was controversial. Single people having sex, whatever next? I’d never won a prize for anything ever before. Made me love the business.

  • ‘Poster of the Century’ according to a Guardian survey. Written by my deputy, Andrew Rutherford.

Mrs Thatcher’s comment: ‘Why is the word Labour bigger than Conservative?’

She bought it though. 

The poster is credited with persuading Labour Prime Minister, Jim Callaghan, to delay calling the election and leading to the ‘winter of discontent’, and giving Mrs T a healthy majority.

    ‘Poster of the Century’ according to a Guardian survey. Written by my deputy, Andrew Rutherford. Mrs Thatcher’s comment: ‘Why is the word Labour bigger than Conservative?’ She bought it though. The poster is credited with persuading Labour Prime Minister, Jim Callaghan, to delay calling the election and leading to the ‘winter of discontent’, and giving Mrs T a healthy majority.

  • As true today as in the 80’s. 

Good ads don’t age. 

Should be running now.

    As true today as in the 80’s. Good ads don’t age. Should be running now.

  • Another campaign we did for the Health Education Council. Art direction by Ron Mather.

A great cause for a great client.

Imagine coming into advertising and saving lives?

    Another campaign we did for the Health Education Council. Art direction by Ron Mather. A great cause for a great client. Imagine coming into advertising and saving lives?

  • In those days we loved long copy. Art direction by Bill Atherton.

This was based on science, asking questions, like: 

What kind of smoker are you? 

A crutch smoker?

A handling smoker?Finally, it says: If you are desperate for a smoke, switch to cigars, they are far less dangerous….. which I did.

    In those days we loved long copy. Art direction by Bill Atherton. This was based on science, asking questions, like: What kind of smoker are you? A crutch smoker? A handling smoker? Finally, it says: If you are desperate for a smoke, switch to cigars, they are far less dangerous….. which I did.

  • Cramersaatchi again, written by Charles Saatchi and Mike Coughlan, based on a public hygiene leaflet. 

Later criticised by David Ogilvy - ‘People don’t read reversed-out type.’

    Cramersaatchi again, written by Charles Saatchi and Mike Coughlan, based on a public hygiene leaflet. Later criticised by David Ogilvy - ‘People don’t read reversed-out type.’

  • The full page Sunday Times ad that launched Saatchi & Saatchi.
It was going to be signed by Robert Heller, Editor of Haymarket’s ‘Management Today’, but he backed out worried it might risk his journalistic independence.

    The full page Sunday Times ad that launched Saatchi & Saatchi. It was going to be signed by Robert Heller, Editor of Haymarket’s ‘Management Today’, but he backed out worried it might risk his journalistic independence.

  • One of two campaigns where Alex Salmond helped us win. 
No words, just a picture that tells the tale. 

Simon Dicketts and Bill Gallagher deserve the glory, consigning Ed to history.

    One of two campaigns where Alex Salmond helped us win. No words, just a picture that tells the tale. Simon Dicketts and Bill Gallagher deserve the glory, consigning Ed to history.

  • First time we did an ad featuring an opposing candidate, asking the reader to vote for him. 

Bought by George Osborne and David Cameron. Credit to them. And of course they won.

Later Labour replaced Brown with Corbyn who turned New Labour back into Old Labour.

    First time we did an ad featuring an opposing candidate, asking the reader to vote for him. Bought by George Osborne and David Cameron. Credit to them. And of course they won. Later Labour replaced Brown with Corbyn who turned New Labour back into Old Labour.

  • Is there anything more to add? 

The Conservatives were, and are, the greatest political force ever. Worth reading.

Final line: ‘Vote Conservative for a more equal, more prosperous Britain.’

    Is there anything more to add? The Conservatives were, and are, the greatest political force ever. Worth reading. Final line: ‘Vote Conservative for a more equal, more prosperous Britain.’

  • Once again Alex helps us win a debate, this time the Scottish referendum on independence.

    Once again Alex helps us win a debate, this time the Scottish referendum on independence.

  • Another cause, years ahead of its time.

    Another cause, years ahead of its time.

  • Confession: this never ran. 

They refused to do blue on blue.

    Confession: this never ran. They refused to do blue on blue.

  • The last of a long line of Silk Cut ads first created by Charles.
When fag ads were just about to be stubbed out, the fat lady sang.

    The last of a long line of Silk Cut ads first created by Charles. When fag ads were just about to be stubbed out, the fat lady sang.

  • Another Rutherford classic. 

Read the answer to question 8.

First draft said: ‘Home of a famous advertising agency’.

    Another Rutherford classic. Read the answer to question 8. First draft said: ‘Home of a famous advertising agency’.

  • As the Berlin wall was coming down, we offered this idea to our paint client, Sandex, who turned it down. The line was going to be: ‘Some things last forever, not your wall Comrades’.

Never waste a good idea. We turned it into a Saatchi ad. The account man, Paul Cowan, flew there and posted it himself. Suits can be useful.

    As the Berlin wall was coming down, we offered this idea to our paint client, Sandex, who turned it down. The line was going to be: ‘Some things last forever, not your wall Comrades’. Never waste a good idea. We turned it into a Saatchi ad. The account man, Paul Cowan, flew there and posted it himself. Suits can be useful.

  • The most famous failure we ever did. Tony Blair was always going to win – and he did. 179-seat majority. The country had had enough of the Tories. Later Iraq did for Tony but the image lives on.

    The most famous failure we ever did. Tony Blair was always going to win – and he did. 179-seat majority. The country had had enough of the Tories. Later Iraq did for Tony but the image lives on.

  • Timeless ad by Simon Dicketts and Fergus Fleming for the anti € campaign. 

Sometimes an ad can help change the world.

    Timeless ad by Simon Dicketts and Fergus Fleming for the anti € campaign. Sometimes an ad can help change the world.

  • One of a series featuring only the client’s name.

    One of a series featuring only the client’s name.

  • Animatronic Arnie saves the day.

    Animatronic Arnie saves the day.

  • Manhattan Landing. Part of the launch of ‘The World’s Favourite Airline’. Rita Dempsey and Phil Mason helped it take off.

    Manhattan Landing. Part of the launch of ‘The World’s Favourite Airline’. Rita Dempsey and Phil Mason helped it take off.

  • Many years later, same slogan, new agency, same theme. 

The world loves British Airways, so Britain loves British Airways.

Written by Paul Hodgkinson.

    Many years later, same slogan, new agency, same theme. The world loves British Airways, so Britain loves British Airways. Written by Paul Hodgkinson.

  • True, true. 

Goodbye Mrs T. She put Saatchi on the global stage.

RIP

    True, true. Goodbye Mrs T. She put Saatchi on the global stage. RIP

  • Recruitment ad for Britain’s secret service, MI6, written by Mark Goodwin caused quite a stir…

    Recruitment ad for Britain’s secret service, MI6, written by Mark Goodwin caused quite a stir…

  • Then we wrote this for Campaign.

    Then we wrote this for Campaign.

  • This won the pitch. 

Created by Ieva Paulina and Camila Gurgel.

    This won the pitch. Created by Ieva Paulina and Camila Gurgel.

  • Try it.

    Try it.

  • Finally, finally, an ad for Campaign, celebrating our 50th.

    Finally, finally, an ad for Campaign, celebrating our 50th.

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Jeremy Sinclair, the chairman of M&C Saatchi, has been dedicated to the Saatchi brand for more than 50 years. He was a creative at Cramer Saatchi, which became Saatchi & Saatchi in 1970, he co-founded breakaway agency M&C Saatchi in 1995, and he has stayed ever since. Here he picks his favourite ads of the last half century.

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