The Rise and Fall of the Ad Man

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Duration: 1 hour

Cultural commentator Peter York takes a characteristically insightful and witty look at the changing fortunes of British advertising through the story of the personalities who led it through its highs and lows.

Inspired by the maverick US advertisers of Madison Avenue, a new generation of British ad men created a unique style of advertising based on authentic British culture. It tapped into home-grown humour and marketed itself as almost a branch of the arts. During the 1970s, British ads came to be regarded as the best in the world.

But as York shows, the same combination of ambition, big spending and oversized egos which fed British advertising's glorious rise also led to a disastrous fall when the business climate changed in the 1980s. Now the British ad man has had to reinvent himself for a new, global market.

York gets the extraordinary inside story from top British advertising figures past and present including Alan Parker, David Puttnam, Tim Bell, Frank Lowe and the most successful ad man in the world today, Martin Sorrell.

Credits

Producer
Francis Welch
Director
Francis Welch
Series Producer
John Das

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