Bic’s Well Never Runs Dry

Guardian Unlimited: Bic, the company that has made a fortune out of things to be thrown away, has sold its 100 billionth disposable ballpoint – selling an average of 57 pens every second since it was launched in 1950.
According to the company, that is enough pens to stretch 40 times the distance from the earth to the moon if laid end to end or to fill the Arc de Triomphe 23 times over.
The transparent Bic Cristal pen first went into production after the second world war when the company’s founder, Baron Marcel Bich, bought a small factory outside Paris.
The baron and his partner Edouard Buffard had planned to manufacture fountain pens. But his son Bruno, who has since taken over the company, told Reuters that the close observation of a wheelbarrow prompted his father to change his mind.
“My father told me that one day he was pushing a wheelbarrow when it dawned on him that the ball was actually a multi-faceted wheel, and this was the best way to convey ink,” he said.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.