We created the Andrex puppy in 1972. I was the marketing manager. Our brilliant ad agency, J Walter Thompson, had said to us not to make ads with kids and animals. We decided to try to do both.
It was a pretty unconventional and quite groundbreaking thing to do at the time. It wasn’t that long before 1972 that advertising of toilet tissue on TV was allowed at all. Up until the 1960s, advertising of toilet tissue was only in print. Advertising feminine hygiene products was only allowed on TV in the 1990s. We forget how society and regulators have changed. The regulations were much more prudish.
Getting the puppies to behave and not fall asleep was a nightmare. They were only six weeks old. We fed them with rice pudding, and after a few minutes they would fall asleep because they were so tired.
The puppies added enormous emotional impact to the ads. I can remember unveiling the first one to the sales team and they loved it. I still think they are wonderful and iconic, although the old original ads of the 1970s are clearly dated in terms of content and production values.
Getting the puppies to behave was a nightmare
One of my strongest feelings about the campaign is not a soft and soppy one but a business one. When we started the campaign, Andrex had a 23% share of the toilet tissue market. By the end of the 1970s, it had risen to 30%.
When I first saw the ad on TV, I felt huge pride and excitement. I can remember having an interview with Torin Douglas at The Times.
I went on to become the European chief executive for Scott Paver and now I’m an advisor to various boards, especially in the retail sector. I still love puppies.
Raymond Dinkin was marketing manager at Andrex