Tuesday 4th October, 2011
If, like me, you’re a fan of David Ogilvy, you’ll know his advertising agency bumped Britain from fourth to first-choice tourist destination for Americans – thanks to the 1950s ‘Come to Britain’ campaign.
Not everyone liked it, though – least of all in the British press.
In 1957, ‘Cassandra‘ complained in the Daily Mirror about the campaign – and the Reading Eagle (that’s Reading in Pennsylvania) picked up on the ensuing spat in a cheery article called ‘Englishmen in Tiff Over American Tourist Lure’.
“What a wretched picture this is of Britain!” rumbled Cassandra. “The supplicatory bazaar.
“What a blatant piece of bribery to catch the Yanks! How the cynical admen (probably writing from the steam-heated Sparta of Madison Avenue) have taken over!”
Back came the reply, in clipped Oxonian tones.
“We’re not steam-heated vulgarian yahoos,” remonstrated David Ogilvy. “A number of fairly thoughtful people work out the advertising.”
A gem of a phrase – though whether it’s as true today, I’ll let you judge.
Read the full Reading Eagle article – online here.