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1st October 1953 - 7th July 2015
On Wednesday 30th September, 2015, at 11:30am a service of thanksgiving and celebration for the life of Tim Broadbent, global effectiveness director of Ogilvy & Mather, was held at St Bride's Church, Fleet Street.
The Revd Canon Dr Alison Joyce delivered the bidding:-
We are here to celebrate the life and to honour the memory of Tim Broadbent - a man who was much loved and respected, and who will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Saying a final farewell is always hard. But our task today is to give thanks for all that made Tim the very special person that he was, and for all that he has meant to us; and to rejoice that the world was a richer place for his presence within it.
Lucinda Broadbent and Camilla Broadbent
A lot of you here know what it’s like to look up to Tim.
My sister Camilla & I had an awful lot of practice at that, because Tim was our big brother.
Perhaps you were in awe of his career, his cleverness, his encyclopaedic knowledge of cricket.
The first thing that impressed me was Tim… going to primary school. When I was 2 and Tim was 7, that seemed impossibly glamorous.
I was blown away by Tim being able to… ride a bike. I got a ringside view, as he got me to lie down on the ground as one of the obstacles in Tim’s personal cycling obstacle course.
On behalf of Tim’s family, and Kathy’s family, thank you for being here today to celebrate his life.
Tim was born on 1st October 1953, Ann & Simon’s first child, followed by Camilla, me & Tom.
From his mother, who’s here today, Tim got his huge ringing laugh, and his voracious reading habit. Ann taught him read at the age of 3 – using bribery. She paid a penny a page.
She remembers this exchange with her ‘golden boy’ when he was little:
Tim “You were quite wrong getting me all dressed up for Andrew's party”
Mum: “But you just wore you everyday clothes”
Tim: “Yes. But you washed my face !”
His sister Camilla recalls sitting in our Mum’s bicycle basket on the way to nursery, with Tim running very fast alongside. And feeling so proud to have a bond with one of the ‘big boys’.
My birthday’s only a few days after Tim’s - once we had a joint party. Our Mum made an invitation card in the shape of a three, which when you opened it turned into the shape of an 8 … though I’m not quite sure how much Tim and his 8-year-old pals appreciated having a bunch of 3 year old girls at their party.
Tim started his baby-sitting career early. His Mum recalls him in the grounds of Wells Cathedral, lining up his siblings and cousins in a race. ‘Ready’ said Tim, ‘steady…. bugger off!’
Tim had a swinging ’60’s teenagehood. He grew his blond hair long, smoked rebellious spliffs in front of our parents. His girlfriend moved into his room while he was doing his A-levels. And he was in a band… that played on David Bowie’s single ‘Moonage Daydream’, in 1971, with Tim on drums. His band had a magnificent name: Rungk. Tim explained, in an interview for a book about Bowie, “It’s Swedish for 'wank'. When you're 14, that's pretty funny.” He went on “We never got paid for the session, so I'm letting the interest pile up. And one day my lawyers will slap Bowie with a bill for twenty quid.”
Tim went to Sussex University, got not one but two degrees in philosophy, honing his ability to construct a subtle argument. He also studied hard the art of having a good time. I’d say both skills served him well.
Our lives diverged, there were swathes of time we didn’t have much contact. But Tim did reach out to me. When I moved to Nicaragua for a few years to support the Sandinista revolution, Tim, who was a good photographer, lent me his camera. And he didn’t complain very often about the fact I never gave it back.
When my lesbian samba band came to London, to play in a benefit gig for the Stonewall campaign, Tim came to see us.
The Sandinistas and Stonewall really weren’t Tim’s thing, so these were true acts of brotherly love.
I’d like to say thanks to Kathy for building many bridges between Tim and his family. In 2008 Tim and Kathy came to my civil partnership with Louise - which was remarkable not only because we live in Glasgow and they lived in Beijing, but also because Kathy’s father had just died. And for a wedding present, they invited us to China.
In the last weeks of his life, my big brother was still sending me book recommendations. I’ll read from one of his favourites, about naval battles of the First World War, because this bit conjures up for me Tim’s generosity and courtesy.
The Brits have blown up a German warship. They rescue a survivor from the sea:
“Wrapped in blankets, given a hot-water-bottle and brandy, the German Commander was treated as a guest of honour. The British Captain invited him to dinner, in the officer’s wardroom. He was offered ham, eggs, sherry and port. The Admiral sent a message: ‘We sympathise with you in the loss of so many officers and men. We much admire the good gunnery of your ships. We all feel you fought in a most plucky manner to the end.’”
With Kathy by his side, Tim approached even the process of dying with enormous grace. When I saw him in January, I told him I admired his bravery in the face of his advancing lung cancer. Tim replied “I didn't know immortality was an option”.
So here’s to remembering Tim.
He was annoyingly good at so many different things.
There is one thing Tim did, that all of us can do, in our own ways, today and in the years to come. It’s this: to treasure his wife Kathy.
Pete Hogan and Anne O'Brien
It may come as a surprise to some of you, but once upon a time Tim Broadbent had hair.
And it wasn’t just any old hair. It was this archetypal public school side-parted floppy curtain, and it was golden. When I met him in September 1963, on our first day together at Dulwich College, Tim was this scrawny, skinny kid with glasses – and so was I, so we bonded pretty much instantly.
Back then we got called weeds, but the truth is that we were such stuff as nerds are made of. We liked comics and science-fiction and movies and comedy and pop music, and it was a golden age for all those things. As that decade neared the dawn of hippie and we hit our teens, our hair grew longer and our cigarettes became more exotic – I refer of course to Sobranie Cocktail fags - and music became the most important thing for us. After girls, that is.
The upper school of Dulwich College contained four or five amateur rock groups in those days, and the standard was pretty high – several of the musicians involved in them turned pro and still make their living in music to this day. Tim was the drummer with a group called Rungk, who were basically a garage band, but they did have one great advantage, which was that their guitarist lived opposite David Bowie.
Now, at this point Bowie wasn’t a star. He’d had one novelty hit and one critically acclaimed album that nobody bought except for people like me and Tim. Ziggy Stardust was still two years in the future.
Anyway, Bowie wanted to turn his friend Freddie Buretti into a pop star, so he wrote a couple of songs for him – both of which would later turn up on Ziggy – and recruited Rungk to be Freddie’s backing band, though the record was released under the name Arnold Corns. Come the day of the recording session Freddie got stage fright, and rather than abandon the whole thing Bowie took over the vocals himself.
Of course, the record sold hardly any copies at all, but Tim was always gamely philosophical about the whole business. After all, if you’re going to be a one-flop wonder, doing it in the company of David Bowie is definitely the way to go.
One hot day about 20 years ago in Soho, I met Tim Broadbent for the first time. Kathy introduced me. At the time I think she said she wanted to be reassured that it was safe to fall in love. As if she had a choice... It was clear to all that she was as madly in love with Tim, as he was with her.
That was at the beginning of what turned out to be an amazing relationship, that transformed both of their lives. Together they became the incredibly generous, warm-hearted, kind and welcoming couple that so many of us have had the good fortune to know and share our lives with
Together they built a very special relationship, that was fundamental to the people they became outside of it. Kathy, grew into the even more strong, successful, kind and caring woman we all love and Tim? Well, Tim just got happy again.
As all of his wit and huge intellect and his very particular and unique outlook on the world found a home with Kathy. She gave him the unconditional love and freedom to live his life as he chose to. He gave her not only the gift of putting it to great effect and making her very proud of him, but also the devotion, true love and respect she deserved.
Others will recount his enormous professional achievements better than I. I can only testify to a very big life, very well lived, amongst some magnificent people, drawn towards him during his lifetime for his wit, his humour and also for the mind sharpening effect he had on the people around him.
Because he did somehow sharpen people's minds and help bring them to life, he'd : inspire; challenge; mentor; lead... And in doing so he had the most amazing effect on the worked and lived with
Which is why "The Tim Broadbent effect" won't diminish. It won't come to a halt now. He will stay alive in our hearts and minds when we recall his wisdom, his expressions, the love he gave and received and the critical insistence that rightly, the work we do, or used to do in some cases, is nothing if not effective. And it will be in those moments that Tim will still be with us, and will remain forever hugely loved as the remarkably effective gentleman he was.
And for that Tim Broadbent and for making my lovely friend Kathy so very, very happy all these years, I wanted to say a very big thank you.
Kelly Brantner and Mike Waterson
Kathy, Tim and I met almost ten years ago in Beijing and we quickly became our own little Beijing family along with our friend Simon.
The four of us often spent evenings together having family dinners and it was clear to see how much joy cooking brought Tim as well as the joy it brought us eating his delicious roasted chicken or famous pork pie.
Tim was forever in pursuit of the perfect pastry for his beef wellington, watching and judging MasterChef UK and adding new recipes to his growing home collection.
I remember when Tim finally decided that I was “ready” for the responsibility of loading the dishwasher but even here Tim was very particular and the type of frying pan that could or couldn’t go in the dishwasher was always a source of concern for Kathy and I. One morning in Singapore I woke up and saw that I had an email from Tim that he’d sent well after 1:00 am the night before. Attached to the email for Kathy and I was a detailed flow chart showing us exactly what could or couldn’t go in the dishwasher and while it was a wonderful flow chart it never solved the one issue I had which is I have no idea how to recognize if a frying pan is T-fel coated or not!
One time after Christmas when I returned from Canada I had brought back a number of homemade goodies for Tim and Kathy including my mom’s famous butter tarts. Safely transporting these back from Canada wasn’t going to be an easy task but my mom had found a small tin that perfectly fit a dozen tarts. One evening I took the goodies to Tim and Kathy’s home in Beijing and Tim absolutely loved the tarts but what he noticed, which neither Kathy or I had, is that the tin was a Christmas one and written on top was the word Joy. From then on that tin became known officially as “the joy tin” and it travelled between my home and theirs with all sorts of foods, chocolates or spices we’d picked up for each other on our travels. Tim always kept exact track of who had the joy tin and magically it always ended up with me around Christmas time… I think Tim sorted that out to ensure a constant supply of my mom’s tarts. There’s no doubt that the little tin brought us a lot of memories and joy.
I’ve learned so many important life lessons life from Tim that I’ll carry with me always like no home library collection is complete without a military history section, that you cannot call yourself a true sports fan without an appreciation for cricket, that you should celebrate time with friends with a glass of champagne and you can never say thank you enough to strangers or loved ones for their acts of kindness towards you.
Tim, thank you so much for your friendship, your love and unconditional support, your pearls of wisdom and sharing your recipes that are now part of my home collection.
First Part: personal
What I really loved about Tim:
Effortless Intelligence. Extreme clarity of thought
Love of fun, total lack of BS. Extreme modesty
Huge knowledge on a vast range of subjects
What I really disliked about Tim
Playing chess and always losing badly after lunch
Playing chess before lunch and being totally demolished
Second Part: Professional
Came to know Tim + his father very well having published a lot of both their books and papers
A. Tim's very considerable contribution to the advertising profession
> A major contributor to the advertising world's key problem; Advertising Effectiveness. Does advertising work? How to demonstrate it works
> Outstanding personal success (still the only multiple IPA Grand Prix winner,) in building some of the worlds greatest brands
> Outstanding help to others around the world with no thought of personal gain - very influential from London to Cannes to Beijing to Australia, and many points in between.
B. But his contribution didn't stop at the creation of brands and the generation of focus on Effectiveness
He wrote and spoke and argued on many other key aspects of the advertising business. To many his father Simon was probably the most important advertising theorist of the 60's - 80's period, with the great David Ogilvy the most read. But in concrete terms - downloads on the Warc Knowledge database, Tim's output was read about three times as much as his fathers, and probably only just behind DO himself in reality. Certainly way ahead of most advertising writers on advertising... Tim thoughts were sought and read and absorbed by thousands of people in many countries. One paper alone was downloaded well over 10,000 times
C. And it didn't stop there. For many years Tim contributed to what many thought the most arcane of groups; the Advertising Associations Economics Committee. It all started when Tim became very cross after hearing that a young London optician had been struck off (prevented from practising) after advertising cheap specs for students. Several years later the profession's generally and opticians in particular were forced to allow advertising (and the optician was reinstated). Largely as a result of the efforts of the Economics Committee, with Tim leading the charge. So next time you see a SpecSavers ad, or your agency is given a new big legal account, say a little prayer for Tim. He is probably largely responsible for adding a modest but significant percentage of all agency billings today.
Third part - closing
Tim leaves a big hole in many lives
We shall remember him for as long as we live
With gratitude that he lived among us...
Alisa Bentley read Ecclesiastes 3: 1-13
3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.
13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.
Oli Maxwell read Extract from 'Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy' by Douglas Adams
The choir & organist of St Bride's performed the following anthems and songs:-
If ye love me - Tallis
And I Saw a New Heaven - Bainton
Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah - Handel
Old Friends - Simon & Garfunkel arr. Jones
Libiamo from La Traviata - Verdi
Age semper hilarious - Idle arr. Charles
He Who Would Valiant Be
Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind