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The ad man offering support where it is needed most...


Birmingham-born advertising legend Trevor Beattie has promised to pay the "Clegg fees" to help a university degree student follow in his foot-t steps.

Mr Beattie announced plans to set up a new scholarship for a student of visual communications as he collected an honorary doctoral degree from Birmingham City University in recognition of his out-t standing achievements in media and advertising.

He found notoriety and industry acclaim for his eye-catching campaigns, particularly the Wonderbra "Hello Boys" poster in the 1990s featuring Eva Herzigova, as well as his campaigns for the Labour Party in the 2001 and 2005 general elections.

Mr Beattie, who was born in Balsall Heath and studied for an arts foundation degree at what is now Birmingham City University, said he owes the inspira-a tion for his stellar career to a former lecturer from Wolverhampton Polytechnic.

Mr Beattie described the now-retired John Lowe as a "star-maker," saying he still regarded him as a mentor who had supported him throughout his career.

The outspoken Labour Party supporter said he wanted to pay the full fees for a student throughout their Visual Communication degree at Birmingham City University in honour of Mr Lowe.

"I'm going to pay the Clegg fees for one student in advertising to go through BCU, called the John Lowe Scholarship," he said. "He was the best teacher in the world. There are ways of honouring good students but there's no way of honouring good lecturers, so this is my way - he's a star-maker."

Mr Lowe later moved from Wolverhampton to Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, where he taught for several years.

In 2005 he set up the advertising and PR agency Beattie McGuinness Bungay, which achieved immediate success, winning 16 of its first 20 new business pitches.

He is now about to take his media skills to a whole new level - devising the marketing campaign for Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic Space Tourism Programme and is set to become the advertising world's first-ever fare-paying space traveller.

Professor Chris O'Neil, executive dean of Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) said: "We are delighted that Trevor has agreed to support the univer-r sity in this way. The scholarship is in recognition of Trevor's former lecturer, John Lowe, who had a long-standing career at BIAD and made a significant impact on Trevor's education."

"Trevor has gone on to establish one of the world's greatest advertising agencies, and we are proud to have had an impact and influence on where it all started for him. We are delighted and proud that Trevor has chosen to re-invest and support the university in this way."

Mr Beattie, who has a flat in the Rotunda, said he comes back to the city often, but admitted to having some nerves ahead of the ceremony.

"It's daunting, because there's many people and because it's Brum - to be honoured in my home down is great.

"If it was any other place it would be different."

He said he thought Birmingham's character would help it shake off the dif-f ficult economic climate.

"Brum has got creativity. People claim it was the capital of culture, but it's got personality - that is what will see it through. It's seen it through the recession before and it will see it through the current pathetic Government we have."

BCU will next week award an honorary degree to Paul Thandi, chief executive of the NEC Group.


One of Trevor Beattie's best known advertising campaigns - for Wonderbra Next stop: Beattie's next campaign will be for Virgin Galactic
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 10, 2011
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