Lord Bell, known as “Thatcher’s adman”, has died at the age of 77.
He was Managing Director of Saatchi&Saatchi when the agency was appointed to the Conservative Party account in the build-up to the 1979 general election.
He presented the most famous piece of political advertising in British election history – Labour isn’t working – to Thatcher and went on to work on the 1983 and 1987 campaigns.
Bell became a great personal friend to the former Prime Minister and visited her frequently right up to her death.
Bell is undoubtedly one of the biggest contributors to the rich culture of British political advertising.
Tim Bell became Lord Bell thanks to a Blair-era peerage. He built a significant communications agency network and was giant figure in the industry (and beyond) for over 40 years, but courted controversy for his willingness to represent clients many felt were unsavoury.
I met him on a couple of occasions and found him to be very sharp-witted and he certainly lived up to his billing of being the sort of man for whom “dogs would cross the road to have their heads stroked”.