David Taylor, the Shanghai-based boss of Lintas’s China operation
Monday 6.15am Awake late to the sound of the dawn chorus from the
streets below - I never thought people could clear their throats like
that. No time for exercise this morning.
7.15am The car and driver, Fan Jian, arrive on time. His nickname,
Fangio, is for his driving skills. We set forth into the stock-car
tracks of Shanghai.
8.00am The first in the long line of staff seeking help and advice start
queuing at my door.
9.00am Finally a chance to take my coat off and a cup of Lu Cha (green
tea) and time to start looking at the 40-plus faxes that have appeared
since Friday evening. If one ever needed to be reminded about the
importance of China this is it. Writing a response will be tonight’s
9.30am The first creative review of the day; all creative is developed
in Mandarin, never in English. The ideas were fantastic, strategically
sound with genuine creative flair - what a fantastic language Mandarin
10.45am Time for a comfort stop. First grab the toilet roll and the soap
- strategically placed next to reception. Bump into a client who has
arrived early (which is unusual because of traffic congestion) and hold
a philosophical discussion still with the toilet roll and soap in my
11.30am Client meeting to discuss sales performance in the last quarter.
Apart from some distribution problems, sales are on track. This is a
popular time to hold meetings, we could lunch at any number of
inexpensive local restaurants.
1.00pm Head out to client meeting to present the new creative. Although
not far in distance, this trip will take up to a hour. Ten minutes from
the office we hit traffic problems. The solution is to do a three-point
turn and block the road. This manoeuvre is not lost on the traffic
policeman who pulls the car over.
2.30pm Arrive at a client’s office for presentation which is conducted
in both English and Mandarin. The thing that is great about working in
this market is the true partnership that exists between client and
agency. The campaign is approved.
4.30pm Back to the car and wake up Fangio and head back to the office.
Traffic is terrible.
6.30pm Finally get back to the office, which is still full of staff and
8.30pm Home at last. Kiss my wife, grab the gin bottle, dilute with a
drop of tonic and settle down to Phil Collins...Just Another day in