Monday, 14 June 2010

Benson & Hedges, South Wimbledon

Following Brian Duffy's death on 31st May, BBC4 broadcasted on Saturday night "The Man Who Shot the 60s", originally shown earlier this year. If you missed this tribute to one of the iconic photographers of the 60s and 70s, you can still watch it on BBC iPlayer over the next six days.
After working for some of the most influential fashion magazines, Duffy ventured into advertising, something he didn't particularly enjoy. As he put it himself, by the 70s, "99.9% of what I was shooting then was advertising – crap. The people who were hiring me, I didn't like. It was like being on the game and disliking the men who are fucking you..." Still Duffy shot some amazing pictures, especially for Collett Dickenson Pearce's Benson and Hedges 'Pure Gold' campaign launched in 1977. The surreal images of this award-winning campaign certainly captured people's imagination far more than the posters, TV ads (until 1965), or painted signs that had been promoting 'Pure Gold' cigarettes since 1962.

Pure Gold

Even if this sign at the end of a row of closed-down shops has been painted over, with a double or triple coat on the lettering, it is still possible to read what was written when the sun is at a right angle (and with a bit of work with Photoshop).
The whiter patch on the left masks what looks like an old logo of "B&H". The letters are much more curvy and fluid. Very similar to those my school teacher drew on the blackboard when she showed us how to write capital letters. The patch on the right may hide a similar logo but I am not sure.

Location: Merton High Street / Picture taken on: 14/03/2008

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