Ken Grimshaw, the highly regarded J. Walter Thompson art director,
has died suddenly while on a shoot in Tobago.
Grimshaw, who was 48, had been diving on Sunday morning and was later
found dead in the swimming pool of his hotel. An autopsy is being
Grimshaw was on a shoot with Traktor for Malibu's "life less serious"
campaign, for which he and his long-time copywriting partner, John
Donnelly, created JWT's debut ad earlier this year.
Jaspar Shelbourne, JWT's executive creative director, said: "Ken
Grimshaw was such a brilliant bloke. His enthusiasm for what he did
never waned in over 20 years. It's hard to describe how much he will be
missed. Our thoughts are with his family and many, many friends."
Donnelly said: "Through tears, I've been given the hardest brief of my
career. To come up with an epitaph for the nicest, strongest, most
talented bloke I've ever known. A man I've built a career with, laughed
with and experienced life to the full with for over 20 years. I'm sorry.
I just can't find the words."
Grimshaw and Donnelly, who had one of the longest, most prolific and
awarded partnerships in the business, joined JWT from CDP in 1995. They
first teamed up at CDP Aspect in 1981 and later moved to KMP - which
became CME KHBB - where they worked on the Carlsberg account. They moved
to TBWA in 1985 and then to Abbott Mead Vickers in 1986, where they took
places on the board and worked on a range of the agency's trophy
accounts, including Yellow Pages, Volvo, The Economist and the Leeds
At JWT, the pair created noted campaigns in notoriously difficult
categories, including a blockbuster 50-second commercial for Persil,
which used dramatic vignettes instead of the usual images of housewives
and children. They created an ad featuring Bonnie and Clyde for
Their most recent work was the Kit Kat spot in which celebrities such as
Bernard Manning and Lemmy of Motorhead "take a break" from their public
personas and become nice.
Grimshaw leaves his wife, Carolyn, and a son and daughter, Katie and