Jeremy Bullmore being interviewed for Inspiring Minds in 2018

As a respected and truly inspirational gentleman, much admired by generations across the world of advertising, it was an absolute must to include Jeremy Bullmore in HAT’s Inspiring Minds project. HAT’s Jane Jarvis was privileged to have his undivided attention for a few hours in late 2018 and record, on camera, his memories and thoughts on his career and the changes across the decades and in the current digital world. You can watch the videos below.

Jeremy joined JWT London in 1954 as a trainee copywriter and became a television writer and producer in 1958. From 1961-1964 he was a Copy Group Head (from 1962 Creative Group Head) and also Head of Television (1961-1976). From 1964 – 1975 he was Head of the Creative Department as well as a member of the Executive Management Group and then Deputy Chairman from 1975-1976. Jeremy became Chairman in 1976 and retired in 1987. He became a Director of the WPP Group plc in the same year and member of the WPP Advisory Board.

HAT holds the extensive JWT London archive which documents the agency’s management of campaigns for nearly 200 clients. This includes research, reports and strategies as well as 650 guard books (1922-2003) containing press advertising proofs, TV/Radio scripts and material relating to their own company history. Several collections have also been donated to HAT by the families of key figures who worked for the agency including the personal papers of George Butler (JWT Art Director 1932-1962), Stephen King (JWT Head of Account Planning 1968-1976) and John Treasure (JWT Chairman 1967-1974). JWT had long and fruitful client relationships with some of the most iconic household brands of the twentieth century, making this collection a treasure trove of British social and cultural history.

Early days and aspirations

It was Jeremy’s love of reading from an early age and a chance ‘discovery’ of his writing on television by JWT’s Head of Art Department in 1954 that lead to a career he describes as “based on words”.

The advent of Commercial Television 

Jeremy started at JWT in 1954 as trainee copywriter just a year ahead of the launch of commercial TV in the UK. He explains:
I bluffed my way through that I knew something about TV for long enough to learn something about TV...

First ads and work at JWT

Remembering the first TV commercials and how his role developed, Jeremy was at JWT from 1954 retiring in 1987.
It was endlessly absorbing - I don’t think I ever thought 'this is a career' until I finished it!

On digital 

For Jeremy, there have been two significant lasting changes in advertising during his lifetime - commercial TV and then the arrival of all things digital. He reminds us of Stephen King’s sliding scale of immediacy and shares many thoughts on digital advertising and how we still have much more to learn:
I don’t think those creating ads that appear on the internet have yet understood how to maximise that medium for brand use, brand nourishment and brand building.

HAT are very grateful to Jeremy for this wonderful contribution to our Inspiring Minds project which will also form such a lasting legacy in the archive to educate and inspire future generations.