AMV co-founder, Peter Mead has spoken of his friend and business partner, David Abbott, who passed away suddenly this weekend.
Abbott teamed up with Mead and Adrian Vickers to launch their advertising agency in 1977. Nearly two decades later the agency would go on to join the BBDO network after selling to Omnicom, where it still operates today as AMV BBDO.
In a statement issued to The Drum, Mead said:"He meant more to me than I can possibly express in words. He transformed my life from the moment I met him some 45 years ago. When he joined Adrian Vickers and me in our little agency it was like Lionel Messi joining Millwall. His talent catapulted AMV into the advertising stratosphere."
He continued: "I never saw him write a bad line of copy, could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I saw him lose his temper and remember countless times when the three of us were helpless with laughter. "
Meanwhile, Andrew Robertson, president and CEO of BBDO Worldwide, described Abbott and "a gentleman".
He continued: "Just being around him made you better.
"But what really sets him apart is his work.
"Personally I don't believe there has ever been a copywriter whose work has had more impact. The work he did on Sainsburys, Volvo, BT, The Economist, and so many others, had a profound effect on those businesses, and continues to inspire anyone who loves advertising.
"A couple of years ago he was in New York to receive a lifetime achievement award and we had lunch together. He told me that he had realized something important: you don't just have to know who your target audience is, you have to really like them.
"I have been looking back at some of his work over the last 24 hours. The genuine fondness and care he had for his audience is in every word of every ad, and every internal memo, he ever wrote" he concluded.
It is understood that D&AD will pay tribute to Abbott during its awards ceremony in London this week.