Mel Williams, the Publicis deputy creative director and the
mainstay of the long-running ’Nicole and Papa’ Renault Clio campaign,
has died from a brain tumour aged 48.
His death last Friday at a hospice in London’s St John’s Wood saddened
the agency where Williams, an art director, had worked for more than 24
years and once ran the creative department in a caretaker role when
Publicis was between creative directors.
His last major work for Renault - a TV campaign introducing the Megane
Scenic - is on air at the moment.
Williams will also be remembered for his work on Harp lager under the
theme, ’Time for a sharp exit.’
Tim Mack, Renault’s UK communications director, said of him: ’No-one
could have looked after us better.’
Gerry Moira, the Publicis creative director, said: ’It’s impossible to
overstate the contribution Mel has made to the agency and impossible for
us to imagine a creative department without his indomitable
He added: ’Mel has been a vital part of this agency since the very
beginning and no individual has given more. Not just professionally -
with Renault campaigns that remain the benchmark for all car advertising
- but also personally.’
Williams, married with three teenage children, art directed all the
’Nicole and Papa’ commercials since the Clio’s UK launch in 1991.
Michael Conroy, the Publicis group chairman, said: ’Mel was very much
the custodian of the core values of Renault in the UK. He had real
feet-on-the-ground judgment as well as being an agency stalwart whose
considerable talent was matched by great integrity.’
The funeral will take place this Thursday at the Breakspear Crematorium,
Breakspear Road, Ruislip, at 3.15pm. Friends are welcome to attend. His
family has requested no flowers but donations to be sent to the National
Hospital for Neurology and St John’s Hospice.