Gervais film takes inspiration from 'The Man from the Pru'

LONDON - Ricky Gervais has borrowed from one of marketing's most enduring catchphrases, 'The Man from the Pru', for the title of his latest project -- a feature film that will be set in a building society.

Gervais has just finished the script of 'The Men at the Pru', a dramatic comedy that he has described as a cross between 'The Office' and 'Mad Men'.

'The Man from the Pru' was first used by the Prudential in the 1940s, referring to the company's force of salesmen. It was used in various forms for 30 years but by the 1970s he was out of fashion.

It was reintroduced by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO in 1997 in a campaign starring then chief executive Peter Davis.

According to The Independent, Gervais and co-writer Stephen Merchant have met with executives at the Prudential to research the company's archives as well as assure them that it would not be subject to ridicule in the film.

Filming on the production, which is set in Reading in the 1970s, will begin next year.

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