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Category Archive for 'Hindsight and experience'

My grandfather used to breathe through a narrow, puckered mouth when he was concentrating. When he was driving in town, or when he was peeling and slicing an apple for his dog, he made a soft, high-pitched sound that wasn’t quite a whistle. This was a throwback to his days in the stable, a means […]

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  To understand the man you have to know what was happening in the world when he was twenty. Napoleon   I turned twenty on 17th March 1986. Two days later the Bank Of England dropped its base lending rate by one whole percentage point from 12.375% to 11.375%. From there it fell a further […]

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JWT25, the deliberately youthful and deludedly agile content production start-up from JWT Singapore, is stupidly ageist in my relatively senile opinion. Here is the agency’s pitch according to The Drum. JWT has launched a new service called JWT25 which uses young content creators to focus on short content made quickly. The average age of the […]

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My career in advertising was mainly spent erecting credible facades on behalf of my clients. That sounds like a disparaging comment from a jaded ad-hack. But there is no disparaging intent behind the statement. It is what the industry mostly does. We search for compelling truths about brands and bring them to life through commercial […]

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You learn a thing or two as the managing director of an advertising agency. Like what makes a good agency tick. Like what motivates good people. Like how it feels when the agency’s heart is in the right place. I was fortunate enough to be given temporary stewardship of such an agency for six years […]

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I was insanely privileged to be invited to speak at Google Firestarters 16, as one of the Magnificent Seven CSO’s and Planning Directors curated by Neil Perkin. We each had ten minutes to talk about “The most useful thing you have learned in your career to date”, and to do so in a provocative manner. […]

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Jumping out of a window in a plastic bag filled with water, or feigning death in order to be flushed down a toilet doesn’t seem like much of a choice. But desperate times call for desperate measures and, if you are a wild fish trapped in a tank in a dentist’s surgery, either option might […]

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To say that I’m fascinated by how things work is a huge understatement. If something piques my interest I CAN’T STAND not knowing how it works. Is that down to nature, nurture or both? In the early 70’s, as I approached the ripe old age of 10, I read exclusively non fiction. And, egged on […]

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I hate having to go straight back to work after a pitch presentation. You’ve worked late nights and weekends. You’ve had emotional highs and lows that have tested and ultimately strengthened relationships with colleagues. And, despite being physically drained, you collectively manage one last adrenaline-fuelled summit push for the presentation itself. Afterwards, all you want […]

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Gmail is aware. Gmail cares. Gmail puts itself in my position. Gmail doesn’t want me to look bad. Gmail wants me to look good. Gmail has got my back. Gmail is technically a *client*. But Gmail is acting like my agent. We can all learn from Gmail. Agencies work for clients on two levels. Our […]

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