It all began in the newly-opened offices of DDB London. John started there in the finished-art studio and ended up as an Art Director working on award-winning campaigns like The Banker’s Trust, Northern Irish Tourist Board and Volkswagen.

(Later, he designed and co-published a book on VW advertising, currently in its fourth edition.)

Next, John joined another legendary American agency, BBDO, as Senior Art Director working on Armstrong Flooring, BP, Dutch Bulbs, Playtex and United Bakeries.

With his copywriting partner, John Kelley, John then moved to become a Group Head at CDP, creating award-winning campaigns for Barclaycard, EMI, Fiat, Heineken and Wall’s.

In 1981 he was a founder member and Head Art Director at Lowe Howard-Spink.

AMV was John’s last ad agency before becoming a Film Director at The Paul Weiland Film Company.

From 2006 until 2010 he spent four very productive and enjoyable years at M&Y/Plunge.

John is now represented in London by Spoke Films and by Sweet Media in Dublin. John is also represented as a freelance director by the TV Dept.

You can read an interview with John at



As an Art Director, John has been honoured with 5 D&AD silvers, the BTA/ITV award for best commercial, 2 BTA golds and 3 BTA silvers plus various other awards for clients such as Heineken, EMI, Fiat, Express Newspapers and the Central Office of Information.

As a commercials director, John has won a silver and a bronze at BTA, 2 Clios, a gold and a silver lion at the Cannes film festival and 3 silvers at the Irish Film Festival. In 2005, a Heineken campaign he directed won a silver at ICAD (The Irish Institute for Creative Advertising & Design).

Parallel lives

With his writing partner, David McGrath, John co-created ‘Crèche Landing’, a spoof fly-on-the-wall documentary featuring talking babies with the voices of Bob Mortimer, Mel B, Donald Sinden and Paul O’Grady. Shown on ITV in 1998.

In 2004, ‘Something In The Air’, John and David’s romantic comedy about a newly-built Viagra plant on the West Coast of Ireland was optioned by Maverick Entertainment in LA.

John also acts as a consultant for agencies and for clients. Enjoys working in graphics, creating type styles and credits for movies. And recently designed the corporate identity for Atlantic, one of Ireland’s leading architectural practices.

View a PDF of John's recent design work.

    Visit "Remember Those Great Volkswagen Ads?" website.