Adland’s philosopher king Jeremy Bullmore is 90

I see that Jeremy Bullmore, one time chairman of JWT London, WPP’s in-house intellectual and celebrated agony uncle, is 90.

Jeremy was the other side of JWT in its great days, the intellectual (the word is un-ignorable with Jeremy) aspect of what was London’s biggest agency, really a holding company in its own right with market research and PR too. The other side was a vintage collection of double-barrelled account barons, clad in yards of Saville Row tailoring. Jeremy was a Brooks Brothers man.

Two Jeremy stories. After I left Marketing Week the staff (not the management) organised a surprise party for me and decided to find an adland luminary to say a few words. They chose Jeremy, who I barely knew.

But he turned up and, before presenting me with a set of Pepys, observed drily: ‘nice to meet you Stephen.”

Just the other day a former member of JWT’s media department in its full service days told me about the time a very well known media exec came in to address the troops. Somewhat well refreshed after lunch, he put his feet on the desk and showed signs of falling asleep.

Jeremy had popped in to say hello to his not-so-distinguished guest, was horrified by this display and firmly but politely invited the media exec to leave. Which, somewhat taken aback, he did.

So a man with standards and steel beneath the genuine affability.

Here’s one of his regular essays for WPP, A 20th Century Lesson for 21st Century Brands.

Worth a read, and this is worth a watch (from 46 years ago.)

Happy birthday.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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