Inspired – Emma Atkinson

Clifford D Field was David Ogilvy’s chief copywriter in the first Ogilvy & Mather New York office, and writer of some of the most elegant advertising of its time.

He was a soldier in Field Marshal Montgomery’s Desert Rats in World War II, wrapped in a silk dressing gown which gave him courage. He went to the cinema and ate popcorn with Marilyn Monroe. He was a New Orleans resident and writer of plays which were full of jazz, late nights and ‘beatnik’ mornings. He was sent home in the McCarthy era for his critical voice. He was my friend and mentor.

He introduced me to the art of serious smoking, serious drinking and serious talking late into the night. He was all about the spoken word. He was all about the craft of language, rooting out the heart of what really mattered. He was also a man who loved the beautiful things in life – from his collection of Asprey oddities to his Barbara Hepworth and his first editions.

So now, with a very real and everyday love of words, of people and design, I often think of Clifford as I sit here in my role as planning director for a design consultancy. He taught me to be creative about business and ambitious about life. Thank you.

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