INTEGRATED: PORTFOLIO; Simon Plent

It was on a camping holiday in the South of France that Grey Integrated’s creative director, Simon Plent, met the people who influenced his career. He was studying for an MA in Law at Cambridge and was unsure of his future. He explains: ‘I met some people on the campsite who worked in advertising, at Lintas, I think. I decided then and there I wanted to work in advertising.’

It was on a camping holiday in the South of France that Grey

Integrated’s creative director, Simon Plent, met the people who

influenced his career. He was studying for an MA in Law at Cambridge and

was unsure of his future. He explains: ‘I met some people on the

campsite who worked in advertising, at Lintas, I think. I decided then

and there I wanted to work in advertising.’



So, when he left Cambridge, he went on a graduate trainee scheme at

Michael Bungey DFS. After a couple of years he moved, briefly, to

Davidson Pearce as an account handler. ‘I thought it was the company;

that I wasn’t being stimulated enough. As soon as I got to Davidson

Pearce I realised it wasn’t the company, it was the job.’ So he went

freelance as a copywriter for a spell, after which he joined Morgan

Grampian, where he was creative group head for three years. In 1988 he

joined John Drewry Associates and three years later was appointed

creative director of Grey Integrated. Plent now heads a creative

department of seven teams with two ‘floaters’.



Since joining Grey, he has worked on a number of accounts including the

Royal Mail, Allied Dunbar, British American Tobacco, Avis and the

Department of Trade and Industry. For a British American Tobacco safety-

in-the-workplace campaign, he used shock tactics instead of the usual

cartoon imagery. ‘We looked at how people actually injured themselves.

Our posters were hard-hitting and emotive, they made people look at

real-life cases of accidents in the workplace,’ he recalls. The Allied

Dunbar work concentrated on giving factual advice.



Plent believes all creatives would benefit from a stint as account

handlers. So why did he change direction? ‘In creative, the best thing

is variety. You get different challenges all the time. I need that,’ he

maintains.



The most high-profile example of his work is probably the Royal Mail

redirection posters, which initiated calls from the public asking for a

copy of the poster. ‘It’s always gratifying when people like your work.

I was quite flattered by all the enquiries.’



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