Everyone at the IPA was saddened to learn of the recent passing of Tony Cullingham.
As the leader of the Watford Ad School for over 30 years, Tony tutored and helped launch the careers of 700 young creatives. Many of those students are now Creative Directors running departments all over the world.
In recent years, Tony led The Barn, BBH’s creative placement scheme, alongside BBH ECD Helen Rhodes – a former Watford student herself. Tony was named a Fellow of the IPA in 2022 for his remarkable service to the advertising industry.
"Tony has been a part of our family for over two years now, and has been a source of inspiration for decades before that. There wasn’t a person he didn’t speak to, and not a person who didn’t speak of him fondly. He was a true trailblazer, transforming people's lives, being a relentless voice for up-and-coming creative sparks. He was so loved by so many. We are all absolutely devastated. All our thoughts and all our love are with his family right now."
Tony’s legacy in our industry is unique. So many great Creatives owe their success in no small way to Tony’s tutelage. Our thoughts are with Tony’s family and friends.
"My creative roots were formed in Watford. As a former student of Tony’s, it is difficult for me to put into words the enormity of his influence and impact on my life. It has been one of my greatest privileges working alongside him to relaunch The Barn. He wanted to find people who thought differently, who would approach a problem with something most of us would never have thought of. He was a legend, a one-of-a-kind, with the most unique teaching style of honesty, unpredictability and passion. It is no understatement to say that most of the creative departments in London are staffed thanks to his unwavering commitment to creativity and diversity over the last three decades and more. This is his legacy. This is all Tony. He left us too soon and he will be so deeply missed."
Tony was so important to his students who rather revere him. He is a great loss to adland.