Margaret Thatcher: the Marmite PM

BBH has created a tactical ad to to promote this Saturday’s Guardian coverage of the Thatcher legacy

BBH has created a tactical ad to to promote this Saturday’s Guardian coverage of the Thatcher legacy

The ad is to promote cartoonist Posy Simmond’s take on Thatcher’s life in the newspaper


Illustrator Lucy Wragg also came up with a similar idea, which she posted on her blog yesterday.

The similarity has caused a minor row on Twitter but BBH tell us that their team had not seen Lucy Wragg’s image and that their ad was created some time before she posted her illustration. Great minds and all that…


BBH Creative Teams: Peter Reid and Carl Broadhurst, Simon Pearse and Emmanuel Saint M’Leux, Harry Orton and Robin Warman
BBH Executive Creative Director: David Kolbusz
BBH Producer: Aine Donovan
Typographer and illustrator: James Townsend


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  • sarah

    Cheeky Guardian, that looks like a quick rip off.

  • PatrickBurgoyne

    @ Sarah
    Not according to BBH – see story

  • mb

    According to Lucy’s Twitter she emailed the Guardian at 7pm and the BBH ad was in the paper the next morning.

    Knowing the timeframes agencies operate on I’d be rather surprised that the agency would decide to change concept at 7pm the night before to go with this, prepare the artwork for the marmite jar,print it, shoot and retouch and have it approved – all this before the paper went to press.

    Of course its possible its not, but just seems really unlikely. Seems to me pretty naive to think the agency would be sitting their at 7pm without having supplied artwork – and then to go and yell about it on twitter without checking it out first seems a bit unfortunate!

  • Donny

    [comment deleted by moderator]

  • steve collins

    both images are a tribute to the success of a certain advertising campaign. i’m surprised there are only two.

  • Christian

    Come on. It is an obvious way to illustrate how she divides a nation.

    I remember thinking that reaction to her death last week was marmite.

    However am not making any IP claims! Everyone is just ‘reimagineing’ a huge national ad anyway!

  • Great minds may think alike, but I don’t get the colors. What’s up with those colors?

  • I think it is a clever idea changing the brand name and details to suit the purpose. The ideas do seem very similar but I guess it could just be a case of great minds thinking alike. The idea is not an obvious one though so the similarity is surprising.

  • I can take or leave Marmite.

  • @Laura Pess Thatcher loved true blue suits, plus the Conservative colours are generally blue. I think the colours are perfect for this topic.

  • @Laura Press – watch The Iron Lady with Meryl Streep.

  • Ben

    I tweeted the same idea 48 hours before the ad appeared too.

    BBH had an idea and got it out there, that’s what makes it good.

  • I’m not a fan or marmite!

  • Liz

    Who cares about who had the idea first, it’s a good idea. End of.

    I’m with @Ben on this one, Guardian just got it out there first.

  • Lucy

    I’d like to see a combination of the two! Lucy’s drawing is scarier than the BBH image of her, like the BBH blue band and ‘contains iron’ strap-line.

  • Nice idea but why didn’t BBH get Posy Simmonds to daw the marmite pot it’s a trailer for her sketches after all? She’d have done a nicer job, I think their image looks a bit soulless. I still have the ends of a jar of ‘Ma’am ite’ from the diamond jubilee, now that WAS a clever idea.

  • Very good idea … ‘Contains Iron’ – Fantastic!

  • It’s an easy concept to come up with – “love her or hate her” immediately springs Marmite to mind. Not surprised it’s appeared from many sources, I might try and make a collage of all the variations.

  • Nice concept. Did BBH need to get permission from Marmite (Unilever) to use its branding?

  • Karl

    Where can I get a printed copy of this from do you know please?