W.S. Crawford Ltd


1914-, London

W. S. Crawford Ltd was established in High Holborn, London, in 1914. During the 1920s it moved to larger premises and remained there until 1972 when it relocated to Westbourne Terrace. These premises were shared with Dorland Advertising as a result of their financial merger in 1967 but an agency was still operating under the original name well into the 1980s.

W. S. (later Sir William) Crawford built a large part of his reputation on his contributions to official and government publicity campaigns and he was Chairman of the 'Buy British Campaign' of the 1930s. He was succeeded as chairman of the agency in 1950 by Sir Hubert Oughton, a director since 1929, who continued until 1968. He was also President of the IIPA (Institute of Incorporated Practitioners in Advertising, the forerunner of the IPA) and AA and an important figure in NABS.

Ashley Havinden (1903-1973) joined Crawford as a trainee in 1922 and was promoted to art director in 1929, a post he held until 1967. Ashley's modernist typography and style influenced by cubism, futurism and The Bauhaus led to the agency's further success and progressive reputation during the 1920s and 1930s. Amongst these were Chrystler motors, the GPO, Simpson's department store, and Eno's fruit salts. Ashley worked with account executive Margaret Sangster (later his wife) and copywriter G.H. Saxon-Mills.

See: Richard Hollis, Ann Simpson & Alice Strang, Advertising and the Artist: Ashley Havinden (National Galleries of Scotland, 1999)

See also BATES UK

Archive Content

Date range: 1920s-1980s


Mainly business records with correspondence and chairman's reports. There are also booklets on company history, a Crawford's brochure with full lists of accounts and examples of advertisements (1924 -c.1955), a biography of Hubert Oughton (chairman), press cuttings relating to the IIPA/IPA, AA, NABS etc and albums of photographs of special dinner events for retiring chairmen etc. There is some Ashley Havinden correspondence in the collection.

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