Top advertising icons that are no more

Marlboro ManAdvertising icons like the Marlboro Man (pictured), Beattie and the Bisto Kids have generated millions in 'brand equity' by convincing consumers to pay more for their products. But changing tastes and tougher regulation have led to their demise. Who else has vanished from our screens?

Here we list some of the most famous icons of the 20th century that have disappeared from our television screens, cinemas, magazines and billboards. They've been retired as firms seek other ways to convince us our lives are a meaningless hell - unless, of course, we wise up and hand over our cash.

Top advertising icons that are no more

Top advertising icons that are no more

Can't touch it

Brands are already estimated to account for more than a tenth (12%) of shareholder value across leading companies and in some sectors that figure is even higher. In the retail sector, brands can account for up to 70% of a company's value.

Brands could be set to grow further in importance. Big investors are placing more importance on companies' intangible assets, in other words anything that isn't a physical asset.

Emotional business

The most important intangible asset, typically, is a firm's advertising brand, the image we hold in their minds when we think of a company. In other words, the way we feel when we remember the Bisto Kids or someone's granny on the phone.

It might be hard to imagine the Andrex puppy or Marlboro Man making such a difference to a firm's bottom line, but advertising icons have become the lifeblood of big business. And they've done so by playing on our emotions to sell.

So the next time you're out shopping and you pick up a tin of branded beans rather than a supermarket's own label, beware. You're succumbing to an advertising campaign.