CV: JOHN HEGARTY Chairman and Creative Director, Bartle Bogle Hegarty

I was at the Hornsey College of Art in the early Sixties, and wanted to be a painter, but was told I wasn't going to be the next Picasso. But I was told that I was really full of ideas, and it was suggested I go to design school.

So, in 1964 I went to the London College of Printing to do graphic design, and I had a wonderful teacher there called John Gillard, who showed me some of the advertising work being done at the time for the Volkswagen Beetle. I hadn't really thought about going into advertising at all, but when I looked at this work it was as if a light had been thrown into a darkened room, and I decided that was what I wanted to do. I started working with John unofficially on ideas in the pub opposite.

When I left college I got a job in an agency called Benton and Bowles, which is now part of the DMB&B network. But I had to wait two months before I could start, and in the meantime was offered a job at a magazine, on the design side, called Town Magazine - a forerunner to current men's style magazines. I'd thought somehow that working for a style magazine would be quite nice and cosy, and that advertising would be the hard, cut-and-thrust industry, but instead, I found people at Town were screaming, shouting and stabbing each other in the back. I found that advertising, by comparison, was full of wonderful people, who were interested in what you were doing. And, when I'd been at Benton and Bowles for a few weeks, the then creative director, Jack Stanley, came into my office and told me he'd hired a young copywriter to work with me - I was an art director - by the name of Charles Saatchi. And I thought: "Just my luck - I bet he's almost certainly Italian, lives at home with his mum and can't spell."

I was right on the latter two fronts, but we hit it off immediately. But soon Charlie got snapped up by another, more senior art director called Ross Cramer, to work on bigger projects. They went off to CDP, and I carried on at Benton and Bowles, gradually realising that it was not the best agency in the world and constantly reminding them of the fact. In the end, they just said that I should maybe seek my future elsewhere, which I suppose was a nice way of being fired.

So I joined a small agency in Soho called John Collings and Partners to work on the account for El Al, the Israeli airline, which we won lots of awards on. But John Collings then moved to Camden Town, which didn't seem to me to be the direction to go in. But in 1967, Ross and Charlie, who had left CDP by this point to set up their own consultancy, Cramer Saatchi, asked me to go and join them. And in 1970, when Charlie decided to turn the consultancy into an agency - Saatchi and Saatchi - he asked me to join as a junior partner, while Ross left to direct commercials. I helped build the agency up, getting to be deputy creative director, and did some terrific anti-smoking ads that I was really proud of.

In 1973 I left to set up the London office of a European agency called TBWA. There, we brought back the Ovalteenies, and for Johnson and Johnson we created a wonderful cartoon character called Johnson Junior to advertise cotton buds - "for those important little places". But I suppose the most famous work I've done has been since setting up BBH, which I left TBWA to do in 1982 - Levi's and Audi's "Vorsprung Durch Technik" being the most notable of those campaigns. With our Levi's campaign in particular, I think we had an enormous impact upon fashion, attitudes, styling, and the way people do things.

I'm more of a teacher now, encouraging, throwing ideas in and moving things forward. Had I been a painter, I might have been reasonably successful, and have had the odd show. But the great thing about advertising is that I get the chance to put a thought on a 48-sheet poster, plastered up all over the country. Of course, there are limitations, but once you understand them and can make them work for you then I think it's very exciting. I do think advertising is the art gallery for the common man.

People will often say, "Is advertising art?" and I say that advertising is persuasion, and persuasion is an artn

Interview by Scott Hughes

people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
voicesBy the man who has
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

SEO Executive

£24 - 28k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Technical SEO Executive to join one ...

Research Analyst / Insight Analyst

£25k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Research Analyst / Insight Analyst to joi...

RTB/ Programmatic Campaign Manager

35,000 - 50,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: Our client is the world's largest...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?