Saturday am: PIA303 – Lahore to Karachi, a chance to review the last three days with Taher Khan. Pakistan is one of our fastest-growing markets. Afternoon is "free".
Why do I love Karachi so much? Untamed energy, ultimate melting pot, little conventional beauty, socially hyperactive. Visited Abdul Gull’s studio and found a sculpture I bought four years ago and crated… ridden with termites. With great kindness, he offers to replace.
Evening: 20 students from the Indus Valley School of Art, who visited me in Sri Lanka, arrange a dinner. Their surprise for me is that it’s at the home of my friend Habib Ali: dhansak and Sindhi fish; Black Label and banter.
Monday, 7.30am, New York: over the street for a breakfast at the Lowell. Today it’s with Nandu Buty, who runs Sub-Saharan Africa for us. Every client is looking there now, so this is not a social breakfast. To the Chocolate Factory: Khai [Tham Khai Meng, the worldwide executive creative director] and I catch up. It’s nice to be back – or is it? One of my best people resigns. Please note that our life is not the Camelot of congresses and cocktails "the top" portrays it as!
To the Waldorf Astoria for the Advertising Hall of Fame dinner: Shelly Lazarus is being admitted. It’s a lovely Ogilvy occasion. Sit next to George, Shelly’s husband. Shelly’s film features only young women who’ve been touched by her: moving and fresh. Dan Wieden makes a wonderful speech introducing Philip Knight, the Nike founder who said "I don’t believe in advertising".
Tuesday is a WPP day – into the headmaster’s study! I cannot think of the quarterly reviews in any other way, as they encourage a sense of tremulous anticipation. Then the reality is good. Sir Martin Sorrell invariably puts his finger on an opportunity. It’s the power of perspective and I wouldn’t miss it for anything. To cocktails at 44½, the bar I like behind our office, with Thomas Gensemer of Blue State Digital. The T-shirts encourage reflection (heaven/hell, toasted/baked etc). We fall in with the Ogilvy team that has completed our new intranet.
Wednesday: review with Adam Tucker, our new president of Ogilvy & Mather New York. I love seeing how people from other agencies can absorb and then give to the Ogilvy culture. For all his friends in London, by the way, he’s doing great! And the work in New York is on a big upswing. Today, "a boy and his atom" for IBM is going viral exponentially. I walk round and thank the creative team. Thursday: one internal meeting after another. Catch-up and preparation time, then a client dinner.
Friday: the big meeting of the week, a "top to top" with Mondelez International. In fact, the first with the new Mondelez. It’s in a small room in the Carlton Hotel. It’s good to say that "top to tops" are utterly invaluable: they create focus; they motivate. The conversation here is good; some new work receives applause; and we leave feeling energised. My resigner decides to stay: toothache disappears!
So now it’s Saturday again: 6.00am, crisp and fresh. We walk Colouche in Central Park. After, homemade pancakes, Nueske’s bacon (thanks, Jack Rooney!), maple syrup, The New York Times… then this article. There’s nothing more tedious than reading about other people’s breakfasts but, for me, this one betokens a weekend of blessed normalcy.
Miles Young is the worldwide chairman and chief executive at Ogilvy & Mather
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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