TV Cream

Bric-a-Brac: O is for...


Your man, there. That all-important number.

In an age of supposedly sophisticated ‘viral’ marketing that counts itself successful if it makes half a dozen people look at an elaborately-crafted hoax website for thirty seconds each, here’s an example of old school advertising achieving maximum bang for its buck. An unprepossessing TV and video sales and rental showroom in the Lea Bridge Road, Hackney, OTV achieved near national notoriety by spotting that, with the nascent Channel Four being crippled by an actor’s boycott of its advertising slots, the way was clear for its Tony Aitken-esque brown-suited manager to slip in front of the camera himself, and flog his humble electronic wares to the populace at a knock-down price. And so he did. On average, at least twice per commercial break. Every commercial break. Without fail. Soon he’d expanded to a second premises in Stockwell, but then the strike was resolved, ‘proper’ ads starring Rosalyn Landor and Nick Hancock returned to the Channel, and the rates shot up far beyond OTV’s grasp. But we remember. Wonder if he did Betamax?



  1. B B Beyer

    August 11, 2009 at 12:42 am

    His name was Joe Williams, as I recall. There was another similar ad. in the London area at the time featuring the proprietor of Colindale Ford, who used to parachute in to the studio to declare “we have a great deal to offer”. Ray Thackray I think he was called…

  2. George

    January 31, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    I vaguely recall this ad but Ray Thacker was VW not Ford.

  3. Romans Soldier

    September 1, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Actually yes, he did do Betamax. I bought a Sony C6 from there (Lea Bridge Road… a bit down from Whipps Cross Hospital, opposite the ice rink almost) and it lasted almost all the 12 weeks’ guarantee!!!

  4. George White

    March 28, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Also, Barrett’s, Barrett’s, Come to Barrett’s, Barrett’s Liquormart.
    Ireland’s Superquinn’s Maurice Pratt

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