John started in advertising as a junior Art Director at Benton and Bowles, London in 1965. He almost finished in advertising 18 months later, when they fired him. He joined a small Soho agency, John Collings & Partners, going places. They did - out of town.
In 1967 he joined the Cramer Saatchi consultancy which became Saatchi & Saatchi in 1970, where he was a founding shareholder.
John left in 1973 to co-found TBWA, London as Creative Director. The agency was the first to be voted Campaign’s (the UKs leading advertising magazine), Agency of the Year in 1980.
In 1982 he left to start Bartle Bogle Hegarty which was soon to become one of the most talked about and awarded advertising agencies in the world. The Agency has won every Agency of the Year accolade and every creative award possible and has been at the forefront of the industry for 27 years.
In the first two decades of BBH’s history, John was responsible for campaigns for Levi’s such as the ground breaking commercial starring an unknown model called Nick Kamen who stripped off down to his boxer shorts in a launderette and introduced the British to the phrase 'Vorsprung Durch Technik' for Audi. He was the first to pick a young model/actor called Brad Pitt to star in a commercial and he also pioneered the importance of music in Levi’s commercials. The result being the soundtracks from seven Levi’s commercials getting to the UK number one spot. John also oversaw the phenomenon Flat Eric, who kicked Eminem off the number 1 singles slot in 1999.
BBH now has offices in London, New York, Singapore, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Mumbai and John oversees the creative output of all these offices. This unique global structure also contributed to the company winning the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement twice, in 1996 and 1997.
John has won Golds at every industry awards including D&AD, Cannes and British Television. He has been given the D&AD President's Award for outstanding achievement and was admitted to the US One Show Advertising Hall of Fame. He has also been voted as one of the most influential people in fashion thanks to his work with Levi’s.
In 2006, he was awarded honorary doctorates from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College and Middlesex University and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Design Museum.
John was awarded a Knighthood by the Queen in 2007 in recognition of his services to the advertising and creative industries.
In June 2011, John successfully launched his book ‘Hegarty on Advertising – Turning Intelligence into Magic’. Already into its first reprint.
In the same month, John was honoured for his creativity at the Cannes International Advertising Festival, being the first recipient of the inaugural Lion of St Mark’s Award.
He was also invited to be an Honorary Fellow of The Marketing Society for his contribution to outstanding communication campaigns.
Last updated 13/08/2012