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Top advertising icons that are no more
  • The lone cowboy quadrupled sales of Philip Morris' Marlboro cigarettes when he first appeared in the 1950s. Despite increasing evidence from mid-century scientists of health risks associated with smoking, Marlboro Man was influential in persuading the public to continue to light up.

  • Remember the little mascots for Robertson's jam? People sent away in their millions to the jam makers for golly brooches and other golly-related memorabilia. When Golly retired in 2002, the official reason was that children had lost interest in him. But many suspected the forces of political correctness were at play. Over 20m gollies were sent out by Robertson's in their heyday. Many have become valued collectors' items.

  • A boy and girl in ragged clothes catch the smell of Bisto gravy on the breeze and sigh longingly "Ahhh... Bisto." The advert, drawn by cartoonist Wilf Owen, first appeared in 1919. The gambit aimed to capture an 'Oliver Twist' quality, appealing to the 'urchin' segment of the working class market.

  • The yellow talking cartoon bird made his calls to advertise Post Office Telecommunications (now BT) perched on telephone wires. His catchphrase was "Make someone happy with a phone call". Bernard Cribbens provided the voice.

  • Beatrice Bellman was a popular character from a series of TV adverts by British Telecom, famously played by Maureen Lipman. She was a stereotypical Jewish mother and grandmother, with a heart of gold. Her adventures mostly involved nagging her long-suffering family over the phone. The name Beattie was a play on 'BT', as British Telecom later became known.

  • Any BP ad showing green fields and clean seas. Nowadays inappropriate for reasons too obvious to outline here.

  • Toilet paper makers Andrex have chosen to digitise their iconic puppy for the first time since the dog hit our screens in 1972. The series of more than 120 adverts featuring a live puppy made even something as utilitarian as toilet paper appear cute - no mean feat.

  • A blue floating shost-like creature with a long pointed nose, he featured in an educational animation programme created by Nick Spargo for British Gas in 1975. Willo's job was to extol the virtues of gas. Actor Kenneth Williams provided the voice. Willo later went on to great success in his own TV series, before retiring into obscurity.