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Phuket, Bangkok say goodbye to Thailand’s original adman, Roy Valentine Fordham

Roy Fordham, a pioneer for advertising and public relations in Thailand, died peacefully at home in Bangkok on Wednesday, January 27, 2016. He was 88 years old.


The Phuket News

Sunday 14 February 2016, 12:25PM


Father of well-known Phuket resident, Kit Fordham of Phuket.net, Roy arrived in Bangkok in 1953 from London on a one-year public relations assignment for the Chao Phraya Dam in Chai Nat Province, 200km north of Bangkok.

He fell in love with Thailand and stayed on, moving to Bangkok to help set up Thailand’s first advertising and PR firm, Groake & Company Ltd. As general manager, he created the public relations division, an outdoor site contracting division, and a market research division. All three divisions later grew to become separate companies.

He went on to work for Marklin Advertising in 1962, leading to a short stint in Hong Kong as Account Group Director, before returning to Bangkok in 1965 to head up Marklin’s Bangkok
Office. In 1968, he struck out on his own to set up Adplan Ltd, which rapidly became one of Thailand’s leading independent advertising agencies.

QSI International School Phuket

Adplan (later renamed Mayford) had many prominent clients over the years including Air France, Philippine Airlines, Foodland Supermarkets, Max Factor, Watsons, A&W, Diethelm and Siemens. Many clients stayed with the agency for years appreciating the personal attention and Fordham’s creative and dynamic approach. You can still hear one of his ‘jingles’ today on Bangkok’s airwaves – “Think of food, think of Foodland”. Bangkok commuters can also thank Fordham for convincing the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to set up the numerous bus shelters across the city. The rationale was to create high visibility advertising space for his clients as well as shelter for commuters. After thriving for 31 years, the agency finally closed in 1999 after the financial crisis in Asia.

Fordham was also a keen sportsman, playing rugby and tennis at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club (RBSC) and the British Club from the 1950s to the 1980s. He is also credited with bringing lawn bowls to Thailand, setting up the first bowling green at the RBSC in 1980.

Fordham put in a great deal of effort to attract players to the game and in 2001 members from the RBSC represented Thailand at South East Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.Fordham is survived by his wife, his two children and his granddaughter.

 

 

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