Obituary: Tony Solomon

Antony Charles Solomon, advertising executive: born 13 July 1913; married 1946 Birgitte Rosetzsky (one son, one daughter); died London 18 March 1993.

TONY SOLOMON was one of the great characters of the post-war advertising scene.

Solomon was born in St John's Wood, London, in 1913, and educated at Highgate. He then went to Nuremberg to get to know both German and the family's jewellery business, before attending the Beaux Arts, in Paris, continuing his education in French and the Arts with particular emphasis on drawing and sculpture.

He joined Mather & Crowther Ltd (now Ogilvy & Mather Ltd) in 1936, in the Art department. The managing director at that time was Francis Ogilvy (David Ogilvy's brilliant elder brother), who was an inspiration to anyone fortunate enough to work for him. Solomon's career prospered and largely because of his presentation skills and his ability in dealing with clients he was soon transferred to become an account executive and subsequently an account director.

In 1939 Solomon went off to war; his fluency in German and French made him perfect casting for the role of Intelligence Officer with the 159 Brigade of the 11th Armoured Division where he served under Brigadier Jack Churcher. Solomon had a very distinguished war record. He was in the front line during the invasion of Normandy, his Brigade were the first into Antwerp, and he was there at the seizure of Belsen. Later, at Flensberg, the British uncovered a German Government Bureau. On General Montgomery's orders some 70 senior German officers were arrested, with Capt Tony Solomon taking a key role in the operation. Shortly afterwards he met a Danish woman named Birgitte Rosetzsky who was working with the Resistance; they were married in 1946 and remained perfect partners for 47 years.

After the war, Solomon returned to Mather & Crowther, handling large accounts with great aplomb. However, perceiving the developing need for advertising films, he joined Pearl & Dean and learnt how to make commercials as well as working as their highly successful new business director.

With the advent of commercial television in 1955 he was invited to join Dorland Advertising Ltd, largely because of his expertise in film-making. At that time Dorlands was an extremely conservative company with a low profile. Solomon brought dynamic professionalism and creative ideas to the agency as head of television and was soon elected to the board. He then contributed to promoting Dorlands as one of London's leading agencies.

His work there is legendary and includes the series for Dubonnet featuring Fernandal 'Do 'ave a Dubonnet' and one for Rose's lime juice - both were Schweppes brands, where the client was the great Frederick Hooper. His other clients included Alfred Cope of Copes Pools, Imperial Tobacco and Esso.

On one famous occasion when awaiting to record an Esso Blue Paraffin commercial the voice-over actor failed to put in an appearance. In frustration, Solomon said, 'Let me have a go at it,' in order to get the sound balance correct. He then said: 'I'm your Esso Blee Dooler' instead of 'Esso Blue Dealer', which brought the house down and formed the basis of the campaign. It was during this period that Solomon nurtured and encouraged some of the young people in the business who are now among today's leading film directors and producers, including Alan Parker and Hugh Hudson.

Tony Solomon was always punctual, well-groomed, and ready with a fund of wonderful anecdotes and stories. He was loved by his clients and colleagues as well as a vast array of friends in the business. He was always loyal to the world of advertising and was much respected for his strict ethical attitudes to how he believed business should be conducted.

In 1976 he semi-retired to take up the Chairmanship of the British Television Advertising Awards, not, as might have been forgiven, from a distance, but 'hands on' every day until recent ill-health slowed him down. It is acknowledged that his leadership brought the awards to be recognised throughout the world as the principal showcase for British advertising

talent.

At the last BTAA Awards Ceremony on 15 March Solomon was presented with a special commissioned Trophy - a 'Quiver of Arrows' - to mark his retirement as Chairman of BTAA.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor