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The Sixties saw major changes in the newspaper and magazine industry, with the advent of colour supplements for papers and the first 'tabloids' appearing, while many of the older papers were either taken over or ceased publication.

The Sunday Times was the first newspaper to include a colour supplement, fairly closely followed by The Telegraph and The Observer. Newspapers had previously been organs for conveying current events or editorial opinions. A new diversity of articles started appearing aimed at different groups of the population.

One of the best-known and longest-lasting regular additions was initiated by the Daily Mail in 1968. Called Femail, it appeared for the first time on Tuesday October 29th and was edited by Shirley Conran, examining, discussing and enlarging on aspects of what they perceived to be the interests of their female readership. Magazines, too, took on a whole new look to match the changing culture. Women's magazines like Nova were very much more visually inventive, as were Vogue, edited in the Sixties by Diane Vreeland, and Queen, using photo-lithography to adapt type to fit around pictures.

  The Story of  Mersey Beat  - the 60s Liverpool music newspaper - by founder Bill Harry

Queen carried articles about the latest jet-set upper class 'fashion icons' using photographers such as Cecil Beaton, Anthony Armstrong-Jones, Cartier Bresson and Norman Parkinson but also, importantly, dealt with social issues. It was the first magazine to do an in-depth feature on 'social' drug usage and was at the forefront with feminist issues. The Sixties saw a battle for supremacy in the field between Queen and an American 'import' Harper's Bazaar. Queen held the high ground right up until the end of the Sixties, when it's circulation started to founder and it was eventually taken over for nothing, the two publications merging to become Harper's and Queen.

The music industry was going strong, not only with newspaper-style publications such as 'Record Retailer / Music Week' and 'The New Musical Express' ( NME ), but also glossy and colour magazines like 'Fabulous 208' which was put out by Radio Luxembourg and included an advice column by Dave Dee. In fact, a number of the British 'pirate' radio stations produced their own magazines.

Children still had their own traditional newsprint comics like 'The Dandy' and 'The Beano' but a whole new type of children's paper was now starting to feature cartoon-style adventure strips involving television series such as 'TV Tornado' and the glossy, futuristic 'newspaper', the brilliant 'TV Century 21' from Gerry Anderson.

Different age groups were increasingly being recognised and targeted in the youth magazine market, particularly female-oriented ones. These now carried not only story strips but also features on the fast growing pop scene, youth fashions, makeup techniques and even 'agony pages'. Examples of this were 'Jackie', 'Boyfriend' and 'Petticoat - for the new young woman'.

A brand-new concept in literature hit the streets with the birth of 'underground' magazines like 'IT', 'Yarrow Roots', 'Gandalf's Garden' , 'OZ' and Clive Goodwin's 'Black Dwarf' which catered to the anti-establishment, idealistic counter-culture of Sixties youth. Even the magazine 'Time Out' started as an 'underground' publication. Their pictures were anarchic in style, frequently being printed out of focus or super-imposed and the type was laid unconventionally, appearing diagonally or even upside-down.

The other great anti-establishment publication, Richard Ingrams 'Private Eye' made its first appearance in 1961, featuring its first 'gag' cover in April 1962.

It's back! - Bill Harry's online reincarnation of the Sixties 'Mersey Beat' music paper


Weren't there some great advertising slogans around in the Sixties?
Still frequently quoted today are 'Beanz Meanz Heinz', 'High Speed Gas', 'Go To Work On An Egg' ( why did they ever get rid of those cute little lions? ) and the superb 'Put A Tiger In Your Tank'. Come on, own up, you had a woolly tiger tail attached to your car or scooter radio aerial as well, didn't you! The 'Beanz' advert of 1967 was invented by Maurice Drake with an accompanying jingle by Johnny Johnston. Maurice was also responsible for 'Roses grow on you' ( made famous by Norman Vaughan ) and later, the Double Diamond advert ' I'm only here for the beer'. 1968 saw the start of Cadbury's memorable 'All because the lady loves . . . Milk Tray' adverts starring 'man in black' Gary Myers.

The first real pop music used in commercials was in 1963 when cartoon Beatles launched Nestle's Jellimallo bar. The Rolling Stones did backing music for Rice Krispies in a cartoon parody of Juke Box Jury and Cliff, Craig Douglas, Acker Bilk and Lonnie Donegan all featured in a 'live action' commercial for Quaker Puffed Wheat - 'A swinging way to start the day' - voiced over by D.J. Brian Matthew.

'You're never alone with a Strand' was a memorable cigarette advert from 1960 but failed to get across whatever it was trying to say. The 'Lonely Man' theme, a hit record in its own right made people associate the ad with loneliness. A Daily Express survey in the same year demonstrated that only 23% of women watched TV commercials. 30% did sewing or knitting, 19% carried out household jobs and 13% apparently did the cooking. Most advertised products were soap products but the advertising authorities decided that their claims were becoming a bit too extravagant and banned 'ultimate' claims such as 'Persil washes whitest' and 'Daz washes whitest of all'. The advertising geniuses found other ways of getting their message across and an 'OMO' ad won 'best commercial of 1962'.

Cigarette advertising was banned from children's television slots in 1963, all actors appearing in these ads having to be over 21, and was dropped from television altogether in August 1965.The Oxo family had begun their long running 'soap' style adverts in 1957 and were an ever-present throughout the Sixties, featuring the lovely Mary 'Katie' Holland. Other successful 'leftovers' from the Fifties included 'Murray mints, Murray mints, too good to hurry mints', Rice Krispies 'Snap, Crackle and Pop, the gorgeous harem girls delicately nibbling Fry's turkish delight and a whole hoard of nagging little brats chorussing 'Don't forget the ( Rowntrees ) fruit gums, mum.

'Hands that do dishes can feel soft as your face with mild green Fairy Liquid' was one that had us rolling in the aisles and was to feature Patsy Kensit with the classic 'Mummy, why are your hands so soft'?
All together now . . . Because Daddy does the . . . ho ho. . .
Nestles very kindly gave us the first blond, bespectacled 'Milky Bar Kid so strong and tough' - he wouldn't have lasted 30 seconds in my class! More to our taste were the Cadbury's Flake girls, pretty hot stuff for the Sixties!
Bing Crosby starred in a commercial for Shell which involved a whistle-stop motoring tour of Britain. Not a bad song for a commercial . . . da . . da . . da . . 'We're going well, we're going Shell, you can be sure of Shell' especially with his unmistakeable velvet tones.

Digby the Old English sheepdog became the first of a long line of Dulux dogs in 1963 and the catchphrase of the year was surely 'Schhh . . . you know who' from the king of the voice-over, Top Secret star William Franklyn on behalf of Schweppes in a series of secret agent Bond-style spoof adverts. Christmas 1964 wouldn't have been the same without 'Tick-a-tick-a Timex la la la' being heard, seemingly constantly, on the telly. Previously mentioned, the Esso tiger campaign - still going strong - came to us in 1964, the Homepride Flour Men tried to persuade us that 'graded grains make finer flour' from 1965 with the assistance of some famous voiceover artists such as John LeMesurier, and the 'Go to work on an egg' series provided overtime for chickens everywhere in 1966.

Clement Freud and Henry the bloodhound amused us with a double-take for Chunky dog food in 1967. The year was a comparatively inventive one as it also saw the 'Boy in a man's world' adverts for Meccano and Captain Bird's Eye sailing into port for the first time to extol the virtues of fish fingers - well, someone had to do it and things were a bit slack in the Father Christmas business at the time . . . The French actor Fernandel was sacked from the Dubonnet adverts after it was discovered that he couldn't utter a single word of English, not even 'Do have a Dubonnet'.

Although huge amounts were spent on TV advertising, only a few classics remain as lasting memories. Listed below are the top 20 advertiser 'spends for February 1968 - we all know the products but who can remember the adverts? 1968 came and went leaving the incredibly successful beer advert jingle 'Double Diamond works wonders so drink one today' stuck in our minds forever. The old ones are still the best . . .
I'm Clint, and I'm only here for the beer . . .

Radio Adverts

Although the BBC was not into radio advertising, it was the main source of income for its pirate airwave rivals in the North Sea. Here are a few of the more well-remembered ones:

Coca Cola (featuring 5th Dimension)

Opal Fruits - made to make your mouth water
Crazy Foam - the push button fun Heinz Beans - a million housewives every day..

Top 20 Television Advertising 'Spends' - February 1968

1. Oxo
2. The Milk Marketing Board
3. Weetabix
4. Heinz soups
5. The Daily Mirror
6. Vim scouring cleaner
7. Mackintosh's Quality Street
8. Daz washing powder
9. Stork margarine
10. Ambrosia milk pudding
11. Maxwell House coffee
12. Galaxy milk chocolate
13. Rowntrees' After Eight mints
14. Guinness
15. McVitie and Price digestive biscuits

16. Supersoft hair spray
17. Sunblest bread
18. Australian Immigration ( whaaaaat????? who remembers this? )
19. Colgate UltraBrite toothpaste
20. The Egg Marketing Board

In the States...

How did Mrs Burke stay as slim as her teenage daughter?
Find out ... at her son Adam's page which is entirely devoted to this long-running US 'Grape Nuts' advert

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