Monday, January 09, 2006


Very sad news from Mike Doyle that creative legend John Webster died on the weekend. He is pictured here helping out the YoungGuns in 2001 by posing with street punks to prove he is still young at heart...

I had an email from my first wife yesterday informing me that John Webster of BMP fame had died over this past weekend whilst jogging in his neighbourhood in Hertfordshire.

I believe John was the best writer and creator of commercials in the world. He even won a bronze at Cannes for a commercial that he directed and could have had a career as a director but declined as he felt he wasn’t good enough.

Just before we emigrated in 1990 he showed me a storyboard for a TV series based on a character he created called Hamilton Mattress, an aardvark who makes a ‘hit’ as a jazz drummer. It took ten persistent years but he eventually got it made, a testimonial to his northern dogged nature.

He was also a gifted artist as the walls in his house testified.

Despite being reputed as being stingy with his money he gave my wife and I two weeks stay in his beautiful villa in Provence as a gift when our first child was born.

He leaves a wife,, who was sick in hospital at the time of his death as well as two adult daughters.

The business has sadly seen the last of a legendary talent.


Blogger CB said...

That is very sad, he had the magic touch when it came to ads. I admired him greatly for his ability to produce work that touched people from all walks of life, especially those who knew nothing about advertising.

Warren Brown

10:30 AM  
Blogger CB said...

That is truly sad news. I had the honour of working with John for a year at BMP. He was a lovely man. And a genius!

Mark Collis

10:44 AM  
Blogger CB said...

I went to London in 1976 with dreams of working with him at BMP.

I did get to see him and as you’d expect he was both kind and encouraging.

Perhaps what I most loved was his ability to do work that was both populist and creative.

Something a lot of generation Y creatives could think about.

Tom McFarlane

4:24 PM  
Blogger CB said...

That is very sad. John Webster was one of the most talented people I have ever met in advertising. Just before I came to Australia he offered me a job at BMP. Lovely bloke, it’s a great loss.

Ron Mather

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember seeing the John Smiths 'performing dog' ad in England when I was a kid. My Dad used to howl with laughter every time it came on.

There was another ad in the series where Arkwright's wife took the same dog out for a walk - it physically dragged her down the cobbled streets, down the hill, staight to the pub.

I wanted to get into advertising after that.

John Webster. What a legend.

Andy F.

11:21 AM  

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