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:
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.
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.)
But with David it’s not hard to
know where to start. It’s hard to
know how to stop.
David was, of course, the greatest
copywriter of his or any other
But he was also a brilliant
strategist, a consummate account
man, an unmatched presenter, a
wonderful motivational speaker.
...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.
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.
And lucky you. We’d love to be able
to read his incredible collection
of creativity for the first time.
There are no words to do justice to
David as a husband, a father, a
mentor and a writer...
Except these. These words from the
most perfect piece of copy ever
(Switch from shot of David to shot of the Chivas Ad)
Because I've known you all my life.
Because a red Rudge bicycle once
made me the happiest boy on the
Because you let me play cricket on
Because you used to dance in the
kitchen with a tea-towel round your
Because your cheque book was always
busy on my behalf.
Because our house was always full
of books and laughter.
Because of countless Saturday
mornings you gave up to watch a
small boy play rugby.
Because you never expected too much
of me or let me get away with too
Because of all the nights you sat
working at your desk while lay
sleeping in my bed.
Because you never embarrassed me by
talking about the birds and the
Because I know there's a faded
newspaper clipping in your wallet
about my scholarship.
Because you always made me polish
the heels of my shoes as brightly
as the toes.
Because you've remembered my
birthday 38 times out of 38.
Because you still hug me when we
Because you still buy my mother's
Because you've more than your fair
share of grey hairs and I know who
helped put them there.
Because you're a marvellous
Because you made my wife feel one
of the family.
Because you wanted to go to
McDonalds the last time I bought
Because you've always been there
when I've needed you.
Because you let me make my own
mistakes and never once said "I
told you so".
Because you still pretend you only
need glasses for reading.
Because I don't say thank you as
often as I should.
Because it's Father's Day.
Because if you don't deserve Chivas
Regal, who does?
(We pour two shots of Chivas and raise them to the crowd)
D&AD. Please raise your glasses.
And toast the greatest copywriter
there has even been.
PAUL & PETE