John was the embodiment of the eccentric and anarchic culture that was Collett Dickenson Pearce in its creative prime. Seen as “the sparkplug” of CDP, he didn’t enter the business until he was in his 50s having served as a wartime lieutenant colonel. Known for his single-mindedness and amazing self-belief, he dictated the way that CDP operated. And CDP was formed when he bought John Collett’s Pictorial Publicity when he was Director of Colman Prentice and Varley. He was famous for not tolerating meddling clients, once firing Ford, then CDP’s biggest client, because they kept trying to change the ads! CDP is remembered for producing some of the best advertising of all time, in an era when clients left agencies alone to work their magic. CDP was acquired by Dentsu in 2010.