in conversation with British advertising legends

Jeremy Sinclair CBE

Born, 1946, Newcastle

Jeremy Sinclair, who has become known as the ‘quiet man’ of advertising, was educated in Scotland. He had an innate interest in the play on words that he discovered around him in everyday life, such as signage. Needing a direction towards employment after studying in Paris, he applied to the Watford College of Art and Technology and was accepted on their course in copywriting.  After Watford, speculative letters led to a job interview with Charles Saatchi at Cramer Saatchi in 1968, and his first role as copywriter. He was soon put in charge of the agency’s Creative Department.

While working at Cramer Saatchi, Jeremy was responsible for many of their most significant campaigns, including the renowned ‘Pregnant Man’ for the Health and Education Council in 1969. His campaigns for Schweppes and the launch of Cosmopolitan magazine in the UK earned him international recognition with two Gold Lions at the Cannes Advertising festival.

Politics was also on the agenda. At Saatchi & Saatchi, Jeremy was behind Margaret Thatcher’s ‘Labour isn’t working’ campaign that resulted in the Conservative’s taking power in 1979 and he also created the ‘demon eyes’ caricature of Tony Blair. 

Jeremy was awarded the CBE in 2017 for services to advertising.

Jeremy on his philosophy ‘Brutal Simplicity of Thought’; “If you’re a writer, or creative person, you’ve got to think.  You’ve got to leave behind the irrelevances. You’ve really got to cut out all the frilly bits, so that you get right to the point. And that does take a certain brutality on yourself.  Not on anyone else, not the client and not your friends, but on your own thinking.