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Last Updated: Monday, 29 November, 2004, 13:26 GMT
Archive saves film and TV adverts
Benny Hill
Benny Hill found ads lucrative (Courtesy of Coca-Cola Company)
Rare advertisements featuring Benny Hill and the Rolling Stones are among those being preserved as part of a scheme to archive all film and TV ads.

The British Film Institute has already saved some of the earliest known cinema ads - such as a whiskey ad from 1897.

Others include the Rolling Stones plugging Rice Krispies in 1964 and Benny Hill backing Schweppes drinks.

BFI director Amanda Nevill said: "Generations of directors and stars learned their craft in advertisements."

She added: "They are an unparallelled educational resource which reflects the often hilarious changes in attitudes, manners and morals of successive generations, but they also reveal the creation of modern brand identity.

"The BFI is planning to locate, restore and catalogue the archive of British screen advertisements for academic and professional research purposes, as well as make it publicly available for pure viewing pleasure."

Ms Nevill appealed to advertising agencies to assist the BFI with the project. It has already received backing from Coca-Cola and its advertising agencies, who are providing funding and allowing the BFI to use their advertisements in the project.

Stones jingle

Rice Krispies ad
The Stones provided the music for this ad (Courtesy of Kelloggs)
Benny Hill's Schweppes ads were a familiar sight on commercial TV during the 1960s, after the comedian found it was easier to make money through advertising instead of performing on stage.

The Rolling Stones recorded their Rice Krispies jingle just as they were breaking into the UK charts. It is said to have been written by Brian Jones as the band's first original composition.

The lyrics feature the line: "Pour on the milk and listen to the crackle of that rice."

The BFI is planning to make the archive available to the public via its Screenonline website, and through a planned network of terminals across the UK, which will allow the public to access BFI archive material.


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