Harry, the worldly-wise child star of Safeway’s TV advertising, is being
given a girlfriend who could gain top billing in one of the UK’s most
As three-year-old Molly made her debut alongside Harry on TV this
Wednesday, Roger Partington, Safeway’s marketing director, admitted she
might eventually displace him.
Although Safeway’s agency, Bates Dorland, has plenty of unused footage
of Harry, aka Jack Hanford, the boy will be starting school soon and
will not be as freely available as he has been. Harry was filmed in more
than 60 spots in 18 months.
‘We don’t know if Molly will take over because it depends on how
successful she is,’ Partington said. ‘But it’s only fair to give her a
fair crack of the whip.’
Molly will appear in a series of four ten- and 20-second ads, which will
dominate entire breaks during peak-time programmes such as Coronation
Street and the Bill.
The commercials were written by Jon Canning, art directed by the late
Russell Waldron and directed by Ross Cramer. Media planning is also
through Dorlands, with media buying by Zenith Media.
Molly, who is actually named Rosey Purkiss-McEndoo and comes from
Richmond in Yorkshire, was chosen by the agency from 2,000 hopefuls who
responded to national press ads and another 2,000 who were put forward
by casting agencies.
Partington said he was not expecting criticism about the scripts for the
ads, despite Harry expressing regret in one commercial that there was
‘no chance of a snog then?’ However, he revealed that one script, in
which Molly refers to her new friend as ‘old love handles’, had been
rejected by Safeway bosses.