What I did: Here I had the opportunity to work with the consultancy that worked with us on Kingsmill. I jumped to the other side of the agency fence. Here I got to work on projects with clients that included Kraft, Thorntons, Del Monte, Hain Celestial, M&S and Nestle Purina. I was part of teams that designed research, conducted research, translated it and briefed it into hugely talented creative people who could bring it to amazing life. It was joyful.


What can seem magical from client side really just is. Before I worked in one, it seemed like some kind of sorcery happened in a creative agency. Cool kids sat behind macs with huge screens and words you’d put in a brief to them got translated into something else. It may not always be what I was expecting but it would almost always be something I knew I could not have done. Working in such an agency did nothing to dispel this theory. Talented “creatives” are capable of magic.

Creative vision is clearer when it’s all your mission and not just part of it. I always enjoyed the creative side of brand marketing the most, but in a client side role that bit is a small part of your job description and in highly commercial environments, whilst required, it’s not seen as an asset when you’ve got shareholders waiting for a number. That’s why clients use agencies in the first place.

If you are going to have a client, it helps to have been one. This was the reason I was employed in the first place. It helps to know how hard it is to get budget released. To understand how that budget was set in the first place, why it is vulnerable, when it is vulnerable and all the reasons why a risk may not be taken and how to make it less of one. Knowing all this doesn’t guarantee you get that budget, but it helps you respect it.

My one little moment of pride:

It was a project for a client who had a client, who asked me to share my work for them with their client. Their client became my agency’s client. That too is magic.