6 October, 1989
The adman, Ron Brown, is the new president of the Design and Art
Directors Association after a shock vote at the Association’s AGM at the
ICA this Monday. Brown was initially given little chance of being
elected to the post because of a tradition that dictated the presidency
should alternate between the design and advertising sectors.
The key to Brown’s victory may lie in the fact that while he was the
solitary representative of the advertising side in the shortlist, there
were four designers to split the design vote. ’All the public debate was
about the designers,’ the D&AD chairman, Edward Booth-Clibborn, said,
’but the silent man came swinging through.’
The 53-year-old Brown, David Abbott’s partner of nearly 20 years at
Abbott Mead Vickers SMS, admitted he was ’surprised’ to have won.
Brown joined AMV shortly after its launch, when there were just nine
staff and he and Abbott were the only creative team. The two first met
up when Brown joined Doyle Dane Bernbach where Abbott was creative
Brown has art directed many of AMV’s most famous ads, from the Economist
through Sainsbury’s, Yellow Pages and the RSPCA.
In a rare Campaign interview in 1995, the self-effacing Brown said: ’I’m
as competitive as anyone but you could say David has helped make me