Ron Collins, advertising art director, was a significant player in an era often viewed as a golden age of British advertising, the 1970s and 1980s.
Born 1 January 1939 in Leeds he worked at all of the key agencies of the time - DDB, CDP and Saatchi & Saatchi - before co-founding Wight Collins Rutherford Scott (WCRS) in 1979, which is still to this day at the core of the Engine group. One of his most renowned advert series was for Cinzano, in which the actor Leonard Rossiter spilt his drink over an immaculately dressed Joan Collins. Initially directed by Alan Parker, the advertisements ran for an impressive 5 years. Other memorable work included the “I'll bet he drinks Carling Black Label" series and campaigns for brands including Zanussi, Qualcast lawn mowers and Bergasol sun lotion.
Collins was born in Leeds and attended Leeds Arts University before graduating from the Royal University of Art in London from 1959 to 1961, where he studied alongside David Hockney and Peter Blake.
His first design job was with the in-house design studio at the Ford car plant in Dagenham, Essex before he started out in the world of advertising in London. Admired and feared in equal measure for his creative rigour and uncompromising stance, Collins was known primarily as an art director, but was also a skilled copywriter, as remembered by his son Damon, who followed him into the industry working as executive creative director at RKCR/Y&R and now co-founding his own company Joint.
Ron passed away on 7 February 2011.