Close-Up: My Life in Advertising - Malcolm Poynton, SapientNitro

Name: Malcolm Poynton

Job: Chief creative officer, SapientNitro

The reason I got into advertising was ... I was looking to repay some sports grants when a mate suggested I meet his boss, who turned out to be a stoned creative director. There and then, he offered me a job that paid better than my university funds.

The campaign I'm most proud of working on is ... Dove's "campaign for real beauty". The social impact it's made on a global level is unrivalled in advertising.

And the campaign I pretend I wasn't responsible for is ... the Ivomec "JFK" campaign. By selling record amounts of cattle drench, it drew the attention of our client's American boss. Result: a great client got fired by his humourless, US Democrat boss.

My favourite campaign created by someone else is ... not so much a campaign as it is a utility: Nike+. Apple and Nike put ad agencies to shame in the creativity stakes when they conceived of Nike+ and, several years on, it's sold more Nike running product than any "campaign".

The best moment of my career so far is ... today, for the fact that I don't yet know what's going to happen.

While the most embarrassing moment was ... arriving a day late for a two-day client meeting having not factored in I'd arrive a day after the flight I was on took off.

The best celebrity I've worked with on a campaign is ... PJ O'Rourke. I'd tell you a story about him, only it involves booze, jeeps and guns and I'd get sued.

The person I'd most like to work with in the industry is ... probably not yet in the industry. It's the fresh talent that makes for the excitement we don't yet know.

The person who's had the biggest influence on my career is ... definitely my daughter. She does not know a world pre-internet, pre-Google or pre-gestural navigation. The influence is huge.

If I wasn't working in advertising, I'd be ... sailing yachts, most likely.

In ten years' time, I'll be ... ten years wiser than I am today but feeling not a day older.


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