Close-Up: My Life in Advertising - Stephen Woodford, DDB UK

Name: Stephen Woodford

Job: Chairman and CEO, DDB UK

The reason I got into advertising was ... I was obsessed about getting a Golf GTI as a company car in the early 80s. The best on offer in my marketing job was a Cortina 1.3L. So I became an account director and ascended to yuppie heaven when the Golf arrived shortly after.

The campaign I'm most proud of working on is ... Carling Black Label, when it was Britain's favourite campaign.

And the campaign I pretend I wasn't responsible for is ... some shockers for Daz featuring Danny Baker.

My favourite campaign created by someone else is ... the 60s VW work from DDB New York.

The best moment of my career so far is/was ... the intense relief that I did not make a complete arse of myself in front of 300 people at the Cafe Royal (see below).

While the most embarrassing moment was ... losing my speech, moments before having to set out my stall as the incoming IPA president at the Cafe Royal. Luckily, Bruce Haines, who swiped it, gave it back in the nick of time.

The best celebrity I've worked with on a campaign is ... Harry Enfield, on a Worthington campaign. He wrote the scripts, acted them out to our clients in a meeting, starred in them and made an account man's job very easy.

The person I'd most like to work with in the industry is ... Rory Sutherland.

The person who's had the biggest influence on my career is ... Robin Wight. Not a dull moment in 12 years working together.

The best piece of advice I've received during my career is ... "Never assume. It makes an ass out of you and me," which Robin said at least three times a week.

If I wasn't working in advertising, I'd be ... doing something that called for "light administrative duties", a key strength of mine identified in an early career-profiling exercise.

In ten years' time, I'll be ... over 60. Writing that makes me shudder.


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