Paul Priday photo


Dr Paul Andrew Brian Priday - OL Manor 1964

25th September1945 - 11th May 2017

Paul sadly passed away aged 71 after battling with Neuro-endocrine cancer.

Paul entered the college in September 1959. A prefect and Head of House, he was also a keen sportsman gaining colours in the College 1st XI Cricket (’64 & ’64) and Athletics in ’64. He also made the 2nd Hockey XI ’64, and 2nd Rugger XV. Paul was also a regular in many of the various House teams: Hockey, Tennis, Swimming, Athletics and was Captain of Cricket.  He also took part in the school plays.

Paul will be sorely missed from our annual Australian OL gatherings, in particular as he was one of the founders who met up in the Southern Highlands 25 years ago to form the Australian chapter of the OL Society.  
Paul was instrumental in organising many of the venues in which we met at over the years including Finola's in Balmain, in addition to generously hosting two events at his family’s beautiful waterside house in Birchgrove. 

For those of us who were fortunate to share his friendship, we have lost a true gentleman far too soon.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to Margot and their daughter Polly.
Ann Brockbank. OL, Australian Chapter Liaison.

Dr Paul Priday was co-founder of Begg Dow Priday and then national creative director of J. Walter Thompson who later embedded himself in agencies to explore gender roles in adland.

Dr Priday charted an awarded creative career through a number of agencies. He also contributed to the industry as Chair of AWARD and continued to mentor younger creatives throughout his career.

After stepping away from advertising, Priday embarked on a PHD at Sydney University and embedded himself in two of Australia’s largest advertising agencies for his thesis to understand how women were treated in the creative side of the industry. Inspired to discover if the role of women portrayed in the hit show ‘Mad Men’ continued to exist, Dr Priday observed McCann and M&C Saatchi as well as overseas agencies, coming to the conclusion that many of the barriers for women in the creative industry continued, even as the industry strove to make diversity a priority. His controversial findings added to the debate on why few women in the Australian industry rise to creative leadership roles and the story became one of the most discussed within the industry recently.

Dr Priday’s creative work spanned a range of accounts including driving SPC Baked Beans and Spaghetti to second place behind Heinz with the memorable jingle “SPC baked beans and spaghetti for hungry little human beans” and driving the Bob Jane’s ‘T Marts’ business to national prominence.

Austin Begg, Dr Priday’s friend and partner at BDP, said his nature was almost “ambassadorial”. “He had a lot of qualities and he was a gentleman in a business with very few of them. His main strength was his ability to simplify and that resulted in Begg Dow Priday winning so many awards.”

Friends described his demeanour in an industry dominated by ego and flamboyance as that of ”a genuine advertising gentleman”.

Tom Dery, worldwide CEO of M&C Saatchi, knew Dr Priday from his formative days in the industry and described him as one of the pioneers of the early Australian independent agencies.

“He was a real advocate for the industry. From the mid-70’s he broke out into the independent agency world and led from the forefront with fresh new work.”

John Bevins, a member of the Advertising Hall of Fame, said Dr Priday had played a formative role in helping nurture talent in the industry. “We each have our band of inspirers, people we admire and try to emulate as we go through our careers and lives. Prominent among mine was Paul Priday—from the very early days. Begg Dow Priday, with its young creative director pumped out into the Australian ad scene a sense of vibrant independence that I must have sucked in deeply. As I came to learn that Paul wasn’t what ad men are supposed to be - loud and brash and shallow.  He was in his own very special way exactly the opposite and he emerged for me as a proper role model albeit one I was to meet with far too infrequently.”

Dr Priday is survived by his wife Margot and daughter Polly.

Copyright St Lawrence College 2018