My Media Week: Richard Morris

By Hayley Pinkerfield, mediaweek.co.uk, Wednesday, 17 October 2012 12:15PM

My Media Week catches up with the new managing director of Vizeum, Richard Morris, as he meets Facebook at the Groucho Club, gets a friendly Paxman-type grilling from the agency staffers and attends the media wedding of the year.

Richard Morris: managing director of Vizeum

Richard Morris: managing director of Vizeum

Monday

Today I literally start from a different place (the Vizeum philosophy), remembering to press the sixth floor rather than fourth floor lift button at Aegis Media’s 10 Triton Street offices. A warm Vizeum welcome, a sunny morning and one of the best views in London over Regent’s Park make it a great start to the week.

Meetings with the Vizeum management team highlight the diverse talent we have in the agency. A look at the response to a brief for a major client and our 2012 Media Week Awards showreel confirms how good we can be.

We have been shortlisted for four awards, including best total communications programme, rising star and media campaign of the year. Whilst I prefer our clients to be the judges of our success, industry recognition is a good validation of our output. Fingers crossed. 

Tuesday

My first budget meeting with Rob Horler, chief executive of Aegis Media UK - now that was a quick start and client introductions begin in earnest. 

Meeting with our head of HR, Rachael Roby. We want to make Vizeum the most exciting agency to work for (and with) in the industry. This ambition will become pivotal to our philosophy going forward.

An invitation arrives from Stephen Haines, Facebook UK commercial director, to meet with his VP of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson and industry colleagues at The Groucho Club. A clear articulation of the Facebook vision and the reasons behind Initiative chief executive Alex Altman's late appearance make for a great and insightful evening.

I share a ride home with iProspect group managing director Ben Wood. I forget how much time it adds to the journey, but the company is sparkling.

Wednesday

I check in with the ever-helpful Vizeum alumni, Grant Millar, to make sure our transition plan is on track. Grant is now Carat’s global brand director so I’m grateful for the time he can spare.

Client introductions are coming thick and fast. New people to meet, new places to visit and new brand challenges to address - a real privilege of my new role.

Thursday

I manage my first lunch of the week, with Trista Grant. Her advice and wisdom are, as ever, extremely helpful and have perhaps never been so valuable. Trista presided over the birth of Vizeum as managing director and knows as well as anyone the legacy I’m inheriting.

A Vizeum Q&A with the whole agency is the highlight of the afternoon and I reveal way too many personal details thanks to the Paxman-esque interview style of account executive Claire Brennan. The questions about why I was so silent on 'The Apprentice' endure. They don’t believe me when I say the microphone wasn’t working.

Drinks with old friends Ross and James, one’s a designer, the other a comedian, making for a cultured and amusing chat. As the evening goes on we leave the cultured bit behind.

Friday

Gym at 6.15am. It’s a necessary penance for a late night.

My second budget meeting and further client introductions dominate proceedings today.

My working week draws to a close with a speculative meeting with a real digital talent who I'd love to join us. Certain skills are a rare find, so I try my best to articulate the ambitions I have for the agency. I will find out soon enough if I’ve done enough to convince them.

I’m delighted to see my daughters Daphne and Delilah for the first time this week. I suspect the reciprocated delight is as much down to the Barbie and Peppa Pig magazines they come to expect on a Friday evening.

Saturday

I’m fortunate enough to attend the media wedding of the year, as glamour couple Steve Hobbs (director of media operations, Aegis Media UK) and Roxanne Lomas (managing partner, Vizeum UK) tie the knot and celebrate in Victoria Park. Steve really ought to wear a suit more often.

This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk

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