We have just heard from John Tylee of Campaign that Ron Collins has passed away. Ron worked at CDP a couple of times, once in the sixties and again in the seventies. On his first stint at the agency he was famously asked by John Pearce to paint JP’s suitcase in a tasteless and garish manner. John Pearce was fed up with losing suitcases by other people mistakenly picking them up. He figured that if his suitcase looked awful nobody would touch it. Ron rose to occasion and Mr Pearce never lost his suitcase again.
In the seventies, Ron was responsible for many of the agency’s most outstanding campaigns, notably the Cinzano commercials with Leonard Rossiter and Joan Collins, a spectacular Clark’s shoe campaign that he shot with Lester Bookbinder, and the famous Morecombe and Wise commercials for Havoline.
He left CDP to found his own agency, Wright, Collins, Rutherford, Scott with another CDP old boy, Robin Wight. This agency metamorphosed into the Engine Group, whose offices we used for our party last year. As some of you may remember, Ron was not well enough to attend the party as he had just undergone a serious heart operation.
My favourite story about Ron is the one about when he strolled in at 11 o’clock one morning. Colin Millward accosted him. ‘You should have been here at 9 o’clock’, said Colin. ‘Why, what happened?’ was Ron’s famous reply. May he rest in peace.