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FormerlyHowell Henry Chaldecott Lury and Partners
IndustryAdvertising agency
FoundedOctober 17, 1987; 35 years ago (1987-10-17)
  • Rupert Howell
  • Steve Henry
  • Axel Chaldecott
  • Adam Lury
  • Robin Price
Defunct2007 (2007)
FateClosed by WPP plc
United Kingdom
ParentChime Communications Limited

HHCL (formally Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury and Partners) was an advertising agency based in London. The agency devised campaigns for Tango, including the Orange Man commercial in 1991, and St George, for Blackcurrant Tango, in 1997.[1] In 1994, it created the Does exactly what it says on the tin campaign for Ronseal.

The firm was voted 'Agency of the Decade' by Campaign magazine in 2000.[2] After mergers and a name change to United London, the agency closed in the beginning of 2007.[3]


Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury & Partners was founded by Rupert Howell, Steve Henry, Axel Chaldecott, Adam Lury and Robin Price and launched on October 17, 1987.

HHCL was bought by Chime PLC in October 1997,[4] and merged into the Red Cell Network in January 2002.[5] The HHCL initials were dropped and the agency became United London in January 2006, before being closed down by its owner WPP Group in the beginning of 2007.[3]


HHCL believed that the quality of a company's communications could lead to a real competitive advantage and produced a book written by Adam Lury: Marketing at a Point of Change which expounded this view.[6] HHCL regarded themselves as professional radicals—a positioning later applied to the agency as a whole.[7]


In the early nineties, the agency created commercials for Maxell cassettes[8] using commonly misheard lyrics shot in the style of the video for Subterranean Homesick Blues by Bob Dylan.

HHCL devised a commercial for Tango in 1991, in which a young man drinks some Tango, and a large orange man then runs up to him and slaps him on the face while two astounded commentators report on the action. The commercial was voted the third best commercial of all time by Channel 4 in the United Kingdom.[9] After children began copying the orange man's slap, the commercial was banned and re-shot with the orange man planting a kiss on the Tango drinker. Despite the controversy, The Orange Man advertising campaign was very successful at raising Tango's sales and profile.

In 1994, the agency rebranded the vehicle breakdown service The Automobile Association as The Fourth Emergency Service, and was responsible for the line 'It does exactly what it says on the tin' for Ronseal.[10] In October 1996, HHCL created the commercial St George for Blackcurrant Tango.[1] The commercial was voted one of the 100 best commercials of all time.[11]

In 1997, HHCL and the brand consultancy, Wolff Olins jointly launched the airline, Go.[12] In August 2000, Time Computer Systems handed its advertising account to HHCL, which saw the end of the adverts featuring Leonard Nimoy of Star Trek.[13]

In 2002, a campaign created by HHCL for Easynet's broadband services showed both male and female bosses punching their employees for wasting company money. The Advertising Standards Authority banned these adverts ruling that they could cause serious or widespread offence, and that they condoned violence and anti-social behaviour.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Framestore - We are Framestore. Extraordinary images, extraordinary talent". Framestore-cfc.com. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  2. ^ "AGENCY OF THE DECADE: HHCL & PARTNERS - HHCL proved its mettle with a canny combination of business initiatives and daring creative work such as Tango, setting the pace for advertising in the 90s". Brandrepublic.com. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Close-Up: Live Issue - From historic to history: so long, United London". Brandrepublic.com. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  4. ^ "AML - support.gale". Accessmylibrary.com. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Marketing at point of change" (PDF). Garethkay.typepad.com.
  7. ^ http://farisyakob.typepad.com/blog/files/the_anatomy_of_account_planning.doc[bare URL DOX/DOCX file]
  8. ^ "Maxell Israelites advert". YouTube. 22 June 2006. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021.
  9. ^ "Programmes - Most Popular - All 4". Channel4.com.
  10. ^ "Ronseal Advert". YouTube. 16 February 2008. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021.
  11. ^ Bernice Kanner, 100 Best TV Commercials: And Why They Worked(Times Books, 1999)
  12. ^ "Go Airlines". YouTube. 7 July 2007. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021.
  13. ^ "HHCL wins £30 million Time Computers account". Campaignlive.co.uk. 30 August 2000. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  14. ^ Whitehead, Jennifer (4 December 2002). "Watchdog rejects humour claims for punching ads" campaign. Retrieved 27 July 2020.

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