Read Peter Souter and Paul Brazier's D&AD tribute to David Abbott

Celebrated ad man and co-founder of AMV, David Abbott, died suddenly at the weekend, provoking a great outpouring of affection from the creative community that he inspired.

D&AD told The Drum within hours that it would pay tribute to Abbott at its annual awards, and it delivered in the form of TBWA/London president Peter Souter and AMV BBDO chief creative officer and chairman, Paul Brazier taking to the stage to discuss their memories of the great man.

The transcript of their tribute can be found below:

PAUL

Good evening. This feels sort of

familiar. Pete and I are used to

standing in front of a room full of

people who really wish they were

looking at David Abbott.

PETE

Eulogies are tricky aren’t they?

You usually have to lie about what

a talented, lovely, human person

the deceased was. And that can be

hard to pull off. (Our advice to

Paul Weiland is to never die.)

PAUL

But with David it’s not hard to

know where to start. It’s hard to

know how to stop.

PETE

David was, of course, the greatest

copywriter of his or any other

generation.

PAUL

But he was also a brilliant

strategist, a consummate account

man, an unmatched presenter, a

wonderful motivational speaker.

PETE

...an inspiring boss, a deft coach,

a wicked wit, a touching friend,

ridiculously handsome and, most of

all, kind to the centre of his

bones. Try following that.

PAUL

We aren’t going to show you a

medley of his work tonight because

obviously you will be familiar with

David’s genius. In fact, when he retired in 1998 he

had no fewer than 287 credits as

a copywriter in the D&AD annuals.

PETE

And lucky you. We’d love to be able

to read his incredible collection

of creativity for the first time.

Go look.

PAUL

There are no words to do justice to

David as a husband, a father, a

mentor and a writer...

PETE

Except these. These words from the

most perfect piece of copy ever

written....

(Switch from shot of David to shot of the Chivas Ad)

PAUL

Because I've known you all my life.

PETE

Because a red Rudge bicycle once

made me the happiest boy on the

street.

PAUL

Because you let me play cricket on

the lawn.

PETE

Because you used to dance in the

kitchen with a tea-towel round your

waist.

PAUL

Because your cheque book was always

busy on my behalf.

PETE

Because our house was always full

of books and laughter.

PAUL

Because of countless Saturday

mornings you gave up to watch a

small boy play rugby.

PETE

Because you never expected too much

of me or let me get away with too

little.

PAUL

Because of all the nights you sat

working at your desk while lay

sleeping in my bed.

PETE

Because you never embarrassed me by

talking about the birds and the

bees.

PAUL

Because I know there's a faded

newspaper clipping in your wallet

about my scholarship.

PETE

Because you always made me polish

the heels of my shoes as brightly

as the toes.

PAUL

Because you've remembered my

birthday 38 times out of 38.

PETE

Because you still hug me when we

meet.

PAUL

Because you still buy my mother's

flowers.

PETE

Because you've more than your fair

share of grey hairs and I know who

helped put them there.

PAUL

Because you're a marvellous

grandfather.

PETE

Because you made my wife feel one

of the family.

PAUL

Because you wanted to go to

McDonalds the last time I bought

you lunch.

PETE

Because you've always been there

when I've needed you.

PAUL

Because you let me make my own

mistakes and never once said "I

told you so".

PETE

Because you still pretend you only

need glasses for reading.

PAUL

Because I don't say thank you as

often as I should.

PETE

Because it's Father's Day.

PAUL

Because if you don't deserve Chivas

Regal, who does?

(We pour two shots of Chivas and raise them to the crowd)

PETE

D&AD. Please raise your glasses.

PAUL

And toast the greatest copywriter

there has even been.

PAUL & PETE

David Abbott.

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