Interviews

There’s no greater destruction of value than pitching

As a client, you’d rather use sandpaper for loo roll whilst suffering a ferocious bout of stomach flu than sit through an afternoon of agency pitches.

True change requires a long hard look in the mirror

People pay lip service to diversity, equity, and inclusion without thinking about intersectionality, anti-racism, anti-casteism, or decolonisation.

Opinions are like arseholes, everybody’s got one

If you work in marketing or advertising, you're surrounded by opinions. Some people don't like green in their logo. Some people don't like sentences beginning with "And" or "But."

Millionaire influencers were selling spades in the gold rush

I should have tried to educate more people about agenda, marketing and seeing through it all to what lies beneath. To make up your own mind.

Be a happy warrior

I’ve worked with creatives who’ll spend hours complaining about the brief, the deadline, the account handler, the client, the industry, other creatives and just about everything. 

Unbuckle your seatbelt

A little fuck-up on an empty plane that made me question myself led to a startup that’s still going strong nearly 20 years later.

The force you need to push for inclusion

I sometimes hear from people, “but we’re only hiring the best person for the job,” or “I couldn’t find any diverse talent”, as a reason to have a monoculture in the agency; it's painful.

Scammers, invisible ad agencies, and being successful before 21

This distorted view made me believe I needed to be successful by 21. Which lead to me taking bigger risks and making a lot of mistakes.

Taking on business partners and ego getting in the way of inclusion

Twice in my journey, I took on businesses partners. I took an easy option to put more money into my business, and it bit me in the butt.

Red flags and the toxic topless boss

I'm scared because of what the people in these stories might say and what you might think of me. But putting it out there feels cathartic and unburdening.

Burning through cash for zero output

On a personal front, I felt cheated, hurt, and maybe also lost a bit of faith in humanity because I really thought they’d offer to stay till there were results.

Samuel L. Jackson didn’t make it big until his forties

They convinced me I could do drama school after my university education, and I reluctantly allowed my combusting desire to be dampened.

All the names above the door were creatives

Before long, we were having secret chats about what a creative agency for the new millennium might look like.

Please don’t reach out

I understand the need to talk the same language as your audience but does it really have to come at the cost of our beautiful language?

The bitterness and cynicism of the untalented

The ones with zero self-awareness and who offer only disparaging critique of the latest creative work.

Give it a year and you’ll be advising the United Nations

Juiced up on my own self-importance, I had an air of invincibility. I was untouchable. 

Good ideas are worthless until you make them real

It’s also a reminder to keep the “what if…?” spirit alive that tends to come more naturally in our youth.

Fighting the ‘prove branding works’ brigade

The thing that angers me as a planner is having to spend so much of my time justifying why people should invest money in their brand.

Spending too much time in burnout city

I've always worked in startups, and the "we're a family with a higher mission" attitude often leads to a lack of personal life and a complete lack of balance.

Marketing managers who can’t use Excel

My advice for anyone who is employed would be to remember it’s not your business. You shouldn’t be expected to care as much as the person who owns it.

Popular

It took me 10 years to recover my confidence

That job, getting fired, and eighteen months of failing to overcome mediocre work set me and my career back.

Please don’t reach out

I understand the need to talk the same language as your audience but does it really have to come at the cost of our beautiful language?

Fuck milk

This was our first project for a huge household brand. I saw our hard work closing the deal, and my financial projections disappear in front of my eyes.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it

We need to learn how to respond, rather than react to other people online.

The Yes Man

In retrospect, I should have just watched “Yes Man”...