Bruce Bairnsfather advertisements for Kensitas Cigarettes

For six months from January to June 1935, Kensitas Cigarettes ran a major advertising campaign in newspapers throughout the UK. Fourteen cartoonists produced 24 drawings for the campaign, each cartoon carrying the tag-line "No thanks, I'd rather have a Kensitas."  

Bruce Bairnsfather was one of the cartoonists whose work was used by Kensitas. He produced two cartoons, one used in advertisements published in January-February, and the other in May 1935. Both are reproduced here.

Almost all of the advertisements were accompanied by a brief 'explanation' written by the author K R G Browne (who collaborated on a number of books with cartoonist W Heath Robinson in the 1930's). In the Bairnsfather advertisements, Browne gave Old Bill's full name as Mr William Hognutt. It is well-known that Bairnsfather had given him the name William Busby, so it is interesting that Bairnsfather allowed the 'new' name to be used for the purpose of the advertisements.

The other cartoonists whose drawings were used in the campaign were - Bert Thomas (2 cartoons), Charles Gray (1), Crombi (2), Frank Reynolds (4), GLS (1), Hailstone (1), W Heath Robinson (1), H M Bateman (3), Jeffryes (1), John Reynolds (1), Siggs (1), Wallis Mills (1) and one other unidentified artist. All the advertisements featuring their cartoons are reproduced below. Click on any advertisement to see a larger image of it.