Winston Fletcher, one of the advertising industry’s most luminous characters and the founder chairman of Warc, died suddenly in September 2012, aged 75. He had many friends and admirers in and out of the industry and was a regular and entertaining contributor to Market Leader.
The first article below (from Market Leader, Quarter 1, January 2013), contains recollections from four friends and colleagues who knew him well. The second, based on a news story breaking the news of his death, outlines his life and achievements.
These pieces are accompanied by a selection of Winston Fletcher's contributions to various Warc publications over recent decades.
Winston Fletcher, Market Leader, Quarter 3, 2012, pp. 50-52
Marketing carries out valuable functions of immense benefit to customers and organisations. It informs organisations what customers want and like, and informs customers that what they want and like is available.
Winston Fletcher, Quarter 3, June 2009, pp. 8-9
This is an article in two parts. 1) Advertising agencies used to call themselves by the names of all their founders, which could lead to accusations of poor branding (as shown in an anecdote); there is a case for saying that clients should know who their founders are, since it is their philosophy that governs the service they provide.
Winston Fletcher, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 48, No. 4, 2006, pp. 387-388
The impact of fragmentation is a universal feature of the modern world, limited not only to the media, as some market researchers appear to believe, nor even to the range of goods and services available to consumers.
Argues that it is impossible to demonstrate a general correlation between creative excellence and marketplace effectiveness, whether positive or inverse, because ads and their circumstances, and the ways in which one can be creative, are so varied.
Should advertising be intrusive or unobtrusive? Informatory or emotional? Short-term or long-term? Serious or fun? Aimed to win new buyers or hold existing ones? Regarded as a short-term cost or a long-term investment? The rules are there, and it is wise to stick to them - but they are different for different products.
Winston Fletcher, Conference Papers, Jan 1994
Winston Fletcher takes the contrary view to social commentators who often claim that the advertising- and supermarket-driven society is growing ever more homogenous and provides the consumer little choice.
Changes in advertising expenditure, linked to changes in the national economy, see-sawed up and down during the 1960s and 1970s, until the early 1980s saw the beginning of the long upswing which is now showing signs of ending.