|Eggs were harmed in the making of this film
In reading through the pack, you can get an idea of the angles that producer Harry Saltzman and his marketing team were looking to push in the advance publicity around the film. In the background information - the first page - there are choice phrases used to describe the film, which give an idea of how they were marketing it at a time when the Bond films were already becoming successful:
- "THE IPCRESS FILE - a tense thriller of espionage and counter-espionage"
- "a happy-go-luck British ex-army officer who is pitchforked into espionage"
- "a tangled web of treachery as fantastic and exciting as can only be found in the complicated and highly professional game of world espionage"
'Conjure up the fascination of a tie-in with a lovely perfume bearing the intriguing name of 'Contraband', plus copy that reads MADAME LIVE DANGEROUSLY - CHOOSE CONTRABAND ... AND GET YOUR MAN. Add a sizzling full colour picture of glamorous Sue Lloyd and you have the ingredients of a first rate promotion with the distributors of this exotic perfume.'
- A quiz in which readers are asked to link the film star with the film they first starred in
- An 'interrogation survey' to test how much readers actually know about real-life and fictional spies, such as Edith Cavell, Richard Hannay and Greville Wynne
- 'Operation "Enemy Agent"' - local newspapers are invited to challenge readers to find "The Man with The Ipcress File", requiring a man from the newspaper to walk around the vicinity of the cinema carrying a file clearly marked with the film's name. Members of the public were asked to challenge him and say"YOU ARE THE MAN WITH THE IPCRESS FILE AND I CLAIM MY REWARD". Really!
- Cinemas were encouraged to have a display front of house written in Morse Code, to get people wondering about the film
'My interest in various methods of persuasion started with my interest in advertising, when I was a teenager. I was by no means alone. By 1949 (when I came out of the RAF and started my art school studies at St Martins in London), New York advertising people were very interested in sub-conscious influence, and together with two like-minded ex-RAF friends I put together everything I could find on the subject. But there was not much interest in it in London advertising circles.
I read William Sargant's book 'Battle for the Mind' and it had a powerful effect on me. Here was the same subject but no longer confined to advertising. The war in Korea - and the two dozen American POWs who refused repatriation - also made the subject headline news. What had been Madison Avenue meets Pavlov's dog was now being defined as some dark Oriental spell.
(I was, and remain, fundamentally opposed to brain-washing in any shape or form. I oppose it for advertising and for intrusive government and for any military purpose).
I didn't consult any experts but there were psychiatrists among my social circle and later I became close friends with Stafford-Clark.
From what I read, it seemed that it was easier to brain wash people of strong or extreme opinions than those who were uncommitted. My own feeling was that a sense of humor was the most potent weapon and safe guard. Ridicule can sometimes prove better than debate.
I started writing The Ipcress File when on holiday in France and went back to my half completed typescript the following year. So I calculate that many of these ideas were in written form by 1958.
From what I understand, Harry Saltzman, the producer of The Ipcress File - was very taken with my brain washing sequence and insisted that it was made into a vital part of the film, as it was in the book.'Interesting perspectives from Len for readers. We appreciate his input.
You can see below some photos I've taken of The Ipcress File "top secret" document, which has clearly been designed to appear like a dossier of secrets: