Feature

My Desk: Mark Roalfe

When I heard Campaign was coming to photograph my desk, it struck me that I should probably tidy up.

Unfortunately, as ever, I never got round to it, so here it is in all its natural glory. It may be hard to believe but there is a filing system. I can usually find whatever I want by how many layers deep it is.

I sit open plan with the rest of the agency. I share a desk with Richard (Exon), Damon (Collins) and Tony (Harris) and the indispensible and lovely Nicky (Rance) and Amy (Buik), our PAs. Damon always seems to be losing his iPhone charger (1). This might be a clue to where it always ends up.

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my iPhone. They're great in so many ways, just crap at being telephones. Pip (Bishop) and Chris (Hodgkiss) (top creative team) gave me this good old-fashioned receiver (2) that you plug into your iPhone. Sadly, it didn't make things any better. Good conceptual joke, though.

Talking of good old-fashioned things, I still use an Economist Diary (3). I like being able to flick through and see what lies ahead. Also, I do so many reviews a day, I find a trusty pencil and rubber the easiest way to manage.

Nowadays, most of my news consumption seems to come via my iPhone and the BBC News app, which I love. However, I still like to skim read The Sun (4) every day for a dose of what is really going on in the world. There is usually a copy of Vogue (5) buried somewhere on my desk. This one has a great story by Nick Knight. I'm also partial to a copy of Vogue Italia. Its art direction is usually outstanding.

The book Important Artefacts And Personal Property From The Collection Of Lenore Doolan And Harold Morris: Including Books, Street Fashion And Jewellery (6) is my favourite book ever. We spend our lives in advertising looking for ideas that redefines categories; this is a book that redefines the category. The breakdown of a relationship is told through an auction catalogue.

I have to own up, I have become a secret gardener. The book Dream Gardens (7) is full of all these beautiful gardens that I lust after. I seem to spend my weekends trying to recreate the pages of this book in my garden, only to watch things shrivel and die. The garden is really just a money pit. I think I keep a couple of the local garden centres in business.

I bought the soundtrack to The Social Network (8) by Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails because I think it's brilliant. Not particularly easy listening but I think it could come in very useful for a mood tape sooner or later.

I'm a Nurofen addict.

Nurofen Plus (9) is my drug of choice, taken in fours in case of emergencies.

The latest Marks & Spencer campaign (10) always forms one of the layers scattered across my desk. We have just launched the spring campaign so these are hot out of the studio.

This iconic shot of Twiggy (11) by Barry Lategan was a leftover prop from one of our autumn campaigns a few years back, where she looks at a shot of herself in a window. There also used to be a dinosaur from a Virgin shoot and a pile of rocks from a Bacardi shoot. I like these old props; they bring quirkiness and charm to the place.

There's usually a bunch of photographers' portfolios hanging around my desk.

The big yellow portfolio (12) is Tim Bett Day's. I think he's a really great versatile photographer. He has shot quite a lot for the agency over the years, including our last Virgin Atlantic Upper Class campaign.

Behind me is a space called The Garage (13). It is one of the quiet spaces we use and where the management meeting happens every Monday morning.

My glasses (14) are by a designer called Ermenegildo Zegna. They're fairly new. I was in denial about going long-sighted as well as short-sighted. The joys of old age.

Well, that's it from me. I promise to tidy my desk should I ever be asked to do this again.

Mark Roalfe is the chairman and executive creative director at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R.

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