Having joined the Young Advertising & Marketing Ltd in 1960 as Creative Director, Brian Hoyle took home leave in UK in year 1963/64. The creative staff members arranged two photos; one to mark departure another to mark return. (Happy to see you go! – and Happy to see you back)
This was a particularly happy team of studio artists with copywriter Barbara Brockman between Brian and Sandra our secretary. Robert Wong (standing on chair) our photographer was to one day to set up his own business.
Extreme left is studio manager Sze I Ming next to Richard Tang who led audio-visual services.
Youngs was one of the earliest advertising agencies in the region. This early history was very well documented in the memoirs of Gerry Gunn (AKA Shakib) who was then an account executive. He had been with Youngs from earlier days when a relative of the original C.F. Young ( he founded it 1946) worked with him This was Mike Hammersley who recruited Brian Hoyle in London. Mike was a stereotype of Singapore’s colonial past who served as an Aide de Campe to the Governor.
Brian Hoyle’s memory of Mike Hammersley was of a fretfullly reluctant managing director who grabbed each day’s mail looking for the cheque from Royds of London. This was to finalise the transfer of ownership to that London agency. Eventually the deal was done and we carried on with a newcomer taking charge. Enter Mike Brierlrey from Kenya who joined Leslie Hughes in the front office.
On the creative front we were able to make a good name as innovative fresh thinkers. We attracted valuable new business with accounts like Caltex, Singapore Tourist Promotion Board and Chartered Bank. Mike Brierley travelled extensively around SE Asia looking for business that proved hard to find. A Kuala Lumpur office was developed to service important Beechams business with accounts like Brylcreem and Ribena alongside East Asiatic Company and the Dumex milk powder brand.
For one reason or another Brierley left to join Grant advertising. Youngs was then vulnerable to predatory agencies like Jackson Waine, new from Australia. They tried unsuccessfully to poach Brian Hoyle along with Youngs accounts.
The Creative Circle
In 1962 Brian Hoyle consulted like-minded people in the advertising business and formed the Creative Circle. Agencies and media companies readily joined in the spirited drive to actively and collectively advance standards. A committee was formed. As founder chairman he was joined by John Hagley, Arthur Gough, Chris Arthur, Allan Barry, Trevor Inkpen, John Freeman and Bill Mundy. In that year an Awards competition was organised. In the commemorative Circle yearbook of 1963 Hoyle’s editorial waxed lyrical with high sounding aims and purposes. That same Annual contains many profiles of agencies and personalities promising a bright future. There are also plenty of specimens of creative work entered for the Awards competition of 1963.
In those uncertain times the owners, Royds of London, were growing restless and looking for a buyer. At about this same time there was a movement among the staff for unionisation, the first in the profession in Singapore. Unrest was put aside by everyone so that a take over could be completed and a new phase begin with new owners to rename the business as LPE Singapore Ltd.
6th Asian Advertising Congress
This important event was held in the last week of June1968 in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. A commemorative book was published by newly formed Hagley & Hoyle Pte Ltd in 1970. There were many lectures and workshop events and there was a competition to select outstanding advertising work. The 1970 book is a valuable reference source for those organisations and people at the heart of advertising in Singapore and the wider region.
Formation of Hagley & Hoyle – a creative specialist consultancy.
Towards the end of the 6th Asian Advertising Congress, Adrian Zecha, publisher of the Asia Magazine and a senior member of the Straits Times Publishing group invited Brian Hoyle to join the organisation as a Creative Director. It took six months to extricate from his contract with LPE agency.
After a taking up offices with Asia Magazine, it was decided to provide creative services under contract with freedom to serve the larger market of advertising and marketing in the region. Thus the new company was formed when Brian Hoyle invited John Hagley to share in this new undertaking. John left his position with Advertising Consultants.
H&H made rapid growth rapidly securing new clients. They concentrated on fee paying creative production rather than acting as a commission taking advertising agency. They attracted prestigious business from Hotels, Government agencies, trading Houses, while serving all Straits Times group companies. H&H provided the backbone of creative production studio work for newly formed Batey Advertising so that they could take over the prestigious Sinagapore Airlines account. Later H&H was to create the flagship Export promotion annual, Showcase Singapore which became a very successful publication.
Brian Hoyle was joined by Shakib Gunn who managed the Showcase enterprise In 1975/6 Brian sold his control of H&H to Tom Hodge, Peggy Tan and Shakib Gunn and returned after 16 years to UK.