The British milk company Unigate produced a series of TV advertisements in the 1970s featuring characters called the Humphreys. The Humphreys were milk thieves whose only visible presence was a red and white striped straw with which to suck up the milk. TV personalities of the time, including Barbara Windsor, Arthur Mullard and Rod Hull featured in the adverts, but the campaign is best known for the slogan: "Watch out, watch out – there's a Humphrey about!"
A merchandising campaign accompanied the adverts and the Humphrey-themed mugs, milk bottles and straws are now collectors items. The campaign was devised by John Webster of the Boase Massimi Pollitt advertising agency.
Celebrities featuring in the Humphrey ads
- Muhammad Ali
- Benny Hill
- Rod Hull
- Sid James
- Henry McGee
- Spike Milligan
- Frank Muir
- Arthur Mullard
- Barbara Windsor
Several campaign stickers were produced, of which the following are just three examples: "Watch Out, Watch Out, There's a Humphrey About" which features two red and white striped straws projecting from a pocket; "Watch Out for the Humphrey Patrol" which features a row of the tops of thirteen red and white striped straws; and "Drink it Quick, Humphreys are Slick" which features a red-and-white-striped straw projecting from a partially drunk glass of milk. Three different full sticker sheets can be seen here.
- UK TV Commercials page featuring the lyrics to the Humphrey song.
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