The Platinum Egg 1985: Sören Blanking.

In his memoir, “Guldägg & Beska Droppar” (1996), Sören Blanking devotes a whole chapter to his cigarette holder. Initially, it was part of a cigarette holder concept that a team of Swiss physicians developed to help people gradually, step-by-step stop smoking, but Sören Blanking stopped at step 2. In any case, when the trade press wanted to do stories about him in the 1980s because of his position in the advertising industry..., the photographer would always insist on having him clench the cigarette holder at a rakish angle from the corner of his mouth. He was, after all, “Sweden’s most literary copywriter”! Born in 1936 in Eringsboda, Blekinge, he was a reporter at the Östgöta-Bladet in Vadstena, attended the Royal Swedish Naval Academy, was TT News Agency’s youngest parliamentary reporter ever, went to Berghs advertising school, then went on to Svenska Telegrambyrån in Stockholm. There he quickly understood that STB’s Malmö branch was where the real creative action was. One reason was John Melin. Sören asked for and was granted a transfer. In 1964, he wrote the first of several recruitment ads for Emmaboda Glassworks. Headline: “Can you build a career in the middle of nowhere?” He described the glassworks in insightful, flowing prose as a workplace where people played the starring role. Not technology or products. The newspaper’s culture pages loved the ad. Three years later, he wrote a full-page ad for the daily press in honour of the 100th anniversary of STB’s founding. [The ad is pictured below, and its full text can be read at right.] Whatever you think about advertising – that’s an invention dreamed up by Satan himself, or that it’s necessary for our common welfare (oh, boo-hoo!) – its purpose has never been described more, well … beautifully. At about this time, most of the creatives left the Malmö office to found Arbman 2. Sören stayed as creative director until 1969, when he founded Sören Blanking AB, which became one of the most highly regarded agencies ever, also with offices in Stockholm.

After the Platinum Egg: he continued to confirm the thesis that advertising copy could be as long as you like, as long as it’s well written. After his work for Alfa-Laval in the 1980s, the daily press was awash in image advertisements with long copy, but alas the prose was never a match for his. (If you don’t like reading long copy, no matter how wonderfully formulated, his memoir is available as an audiobook, too.) Sören Blanking passed away in 2023.