THE FIRST 100 YEARS OF JWT & UNILEVER 1902-2002: Trivia

Did you know that the first Timotei girl was an air hostess - or that Fanny Craddock hated Katie? The other side of the JWT/Unilever relationship ...

- The original silken-maned Timotei girl was an SAS air hostess , Gia Bremberg, who responded to an ad in a Stockholm newspaper. Clearly unsure about quitting cabin duties for commercials, she never gave up her job with the airline but took her annual holiday to coincide with the Timotei shoot. As far as anybody knows, she never got herself an agent and is still doing the London-Stockholm run.

- In 1967, the Sunsilk film "Girl in a boat" was the first to use the John Barry Sunsilk Theme. It was recorded by Acker Bilk as The Girl with the Sun in Her Hair and even made it to the charts, complementing the clarinettist's biggest hit Stranger on the Shore.

- At the beginning of the 60s, JWT introduced its own version of work experience by turning its copywriters into shopworkers for a week. Patricia Mann went up North to the test area for Pond's Cold Cream and worked behind the counter in the Newcastle Co-op.

- Auberon Waugh as quoted by Campaign in 1985 on the latest Oxo family commercial: "Good God, that looks like a real Dad! What's he doing in a commercial?"

- For the famous Halloween Chlorodent ad of 1953, the photographer Saul Leiter needed a pumpkin big enough to fit over a model's head. He failed to find one large enough in the fruit and veg markets of New York. In desperation, a JWT rep was despatched at 2am in the morning to upper Connecticut where, armed with a torch and a tape measure, he searched through various farmyards until he found the perfect pumpkin.

- Although the "Katie" campaign for Oxo failed in research, she went on to become a huge favourite - despite being a serial bigamist and defying the laws of nature. Between 1958 and 1975, she appeared in more than 200 commercials, changed husbands seamlessly in 1965, produced an 18-month-old son in one short summer break, moved to the US and back, and then up North (because of Philip's job) and obligingly even changed her name from Mary Holland to Katie Holland to avoid confusion.

- So many Oxo commercials were made throughout the campaign's history that it was cheaper to buy Katie and Philip a home of their own than keep building sets. A suitable house was found on the Northumberland coast, and Philip was conveniently relocated by his company.

- Thanks to Hitler's bombers, staff numbers in JWT London declined drastically during the war. Of those remaining, most took their gas masks to Hansforth, near Manchester, to service Levers. Others evacuated to Watford to look after Vaseline and Pond's.

- The acid-tongued celebrity cook Fanny Craddock was no fan of the Oxo family. "The word I detest most in cooking in this country is 'Katie'," she said.

- At the height of the Cold War in 1967, JWT made headlines by being the first agency to get into the forbidden territory of Russia and film in Red Square.

- In 1920, the president of Lever Brothers, a certain Mr Countway, decided to move the Lifebuoy account to Ruthrauff & Ryan, an agency with "a hard-hitting, buck-eye approach" which he felt more appropriate for "a stinking product to remove stink".

- The earliest Pond's advertising was executed by James Walter Thompson. It read: "When crossing the Pond, cross with Pond's Extract." They don't write 'em like that any more.

- JWT's researchers were nothing if not thorough. In 1950, they carried out a survey as part of a study of soap and soapless products for Unilever. It was the first comprehensive study of water supplies to be published in Great Britain and included 50 pages of hitherto unpublished Ordinance Survey maps.

- Lux Radio Theatre began in 1934 with Cecil B De Mille as one of its hosts. It ran for 21 years, became the most popular radio programme in the US and in 1936 had an audience of 40 million. During its run, it starred almost every major Hollywood star including Clark Gable, Spencer Tracey and Bette Davis. The show eventually moved from New York to Hollywood when it ran out of Broadway plays to produce. The TV counterpart, The Lux Video Theatre, was created with the spread of TV in the US. It started on 2 October, 1950 and moved to Hollywood on 3 September, 1953. The first Hollywood production was Message in a Bottle, starring Maureen O'Sullivan and an aspiring actor-politician called Ronald Reagan. George Stevens received his awards for the movies Shane and A Place in the Sun on air, cementing the relationship between Lever, JWT and Paramount.

- Princess Marina of Greece had her ad career cut short on her engagement to the Duke of Kent. Her endorsement of Pond's Cream had to be withdrawn for fear of offending the British Royal Family, whose code banned participation in advertising of any kind.

- JWT's Bill Hammond and Lux were synonymous for more than three decades. He joined the London agency in 1955 as a trainee art director and remained on the Lux account as art director and producer until 1992. In that time, he worked on all the Lux productions and was responsible for producing the lather in bath water of some of the most famous Hollywood stars. He also headed off some potential disasters that occurred during the shooting. Such as the day Diana Rigg got stopped for speeding in the sports car she was being filmed driving. And the time when Ursula Andress' wardrobe for She was sent from Hollywood. Because of a mix-up, it turned out not to be the expected glamorous costume but the charred remains of a dress she wore at the end of the movie.

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