An AD Club Tribute to David Abbott

David Abbott. Credit: Julian Hanford

David Abbott, co-founder of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, was highly regarded as a gifted copywriter, and was recently recognized by the International ANDY Awards as one of the most iconic advertising legends of the past half-century with an inaugural Bravery Award, in honor of the ANDYs 50th. Abbott’s legacy will live on through his principled approach and the profound impact of his work, particularly for Sainsbury’s, Volvo, BT, The Economist, and many others.

Born in 1938, Abbott started his career as a copywriter working at Mather & Crowther before moving onto DDB London, where he was transferred to the agency’s New York office in 1966. In 1967, he became a creative director of DDB London, later joining forces with Peter Mead and Adrian Vickers to create AMV in 1977, which subsequently became part of the BBDO network in 1991.

Enjoying a long and successful career, Abbott became known specifically for his work for Volvo, Sainsbury’s food and the iconic J.R.Hartley ad for Yellow Pages, winning countless awards including ANDYs.

Abbott handed over the creative reins of AMV BBDO to Peter Souter in 1998 after stepping down as chairman. He went on to pen a book The Upright Piano Player, which was published in March 2010.

Without question, Abbott is one of advertising’s greats. He has left an indelible mark.