Back in the Fifties it was unusual for comics to carry advertising (if you
ignore those tiny classified ads selling cheap stamps to collectors).
So Eagle’s proprietors were a tad embarrassed at the four pages
of display advertising they sold.
In an attempt to make it more acceptable they suggested advertisers use
strip cartoons. There were two incentives; they charged less for the space,
and offered the services of an Eagle artist to help draw the ad.
Most of the Bovril half-pages, which began in 1963 and ran into ‘64,
were drawn by Richard Jennings. Frank drew only these two (maybe
commissioned when Jennings was on holiday). They appeared in comics
besides Eagle; such as TV Comic 14/12/64 and Princess 02/03/63 (second ad appears on page 16).
The name Bovril, like many early 20th century brand names, is derived
partly from Latin. Bos means ox. A popular novel of the time featured
a 'an electric fluid' which 'cured diseases and established the equilibrium
of natural powers.' The drink was called Vril. Bovril today is owned by
and is no longer made from beef extract, but from yeast.