David Abbott is the retired Chairman and Creative Director of Abbott Mead Vickers.
When Abbott retired in November 1998 he had spent almost forty years in advertising. He had worked in four agencies, two of which he had helped to start. On his last day in the business he did what he had done on his first day – he wrote an ad.
It was Bill Bernbach who first spotted Abbott’s management skills when he made him Managing Director of DDB London in 1969. From that time on – at French Gold Abbott and Abbott Mead Vickers, Abbott always had two roles, a creator of ads and a builder of businesses.
Within twenty years, Abbott and his partners Peter Mead and Adrian Vickers had grown AMV to become the largest agency group in the UK. (A position it still holds.)
Two alliances, first with Scali McCabe Sloves, and then with BBDO had given them international connections and for seven years, Abbott was a member of the BBDO Board.
And all the time he went on making ads and fighting the good fight. He talked about advertising to audiences all over the world, from Brazil to Australia. He preached what he believed; that advertising of commercial relevance could also be stunning in its execution.
Many charities, health groups, industry bodies and at least one political party, one ballet school and one labour union also benefited from Abbott’s creative abilities and strategic advice.
Abbott and his partners believed in quality – both in the work they produced and the company they ran.
“I like to believe that when staff or clients move on from AMV, they take with them a conviction that advertising is an honourable and effective trade, that hard work can be exhilarating, that ambition doesn’t have to be cut-throat, that a good idea deserves reverence and that talent grows best in the sunshine of security and encouragement.” David Abbott
Three years after his retirement, The One Club made Abbott a member of the Creative Hall of Fame, the first inductee from Britain since David Ogilvy in 1965.
David Abbott and his wife, Eve, have been married for almost 49 years. They have four children and eight grandchildren (who would like to see their names in print) – Aidan, Jobe, Edie, Ana, Gabriela, Grace, George, and Gabriel.
It is believed that Mr. Abbott considers himself a fortunate man.