What would David Abbott do?

David Abbott may have retired from advertising in 1998, but fresh from producing a new podcast series about the legendary adman, Ben Kay explains why his work is as relevant today as it ever was

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I wonder how many of you know who David Abbott is. He passed away nine years ago, he retired from advertising in 1998, and the only obvious proof that he existed in the industry is the A in AMV BBDO, the agency that still bears his name.

But I’d like to make the argument that he is still very much alive (and I’m not just saying that because I spent the last year compiling seven podcast episodes about his career). His words are still recognised and repeated by millions of people, he’s still persuading you to do and buy all kinds of things, and he predicted the state of digital advertising circa 2023 in a single sentence back in 2000.