A view from the top
By Cilla Snowball, campaignlive.co.uk, Thursday, 07 February 2013 08:00AM
So my brief is to give a view of advertising through the week I've just had; its events, issues and challenges. It's interesting (and rare) to look back at things this way when my usual thrust is forward-looking. Normally, I would only look back to check the numbers, do timesheets and expenses. But bundling up the week proves to be surprisingly uplifting. It brings home the breadth, variety and privilege of my job. And it shows how the work, clients and people drive everything.
The work comes first and the week embraces a big creative presentation to BT where, as ever, we debate at pace and move forward with clarity. It’s exciting. At Guinness, we’re in launch mode as the latest "made of more" TV ad is rolled out in Great Britain and Ireland. We pitch to new-business prospects in Paris and Munich.
The boot is on the other foot at Comic Relief, though. As a trustee, I’m on "receive" rather than "transmit" for a change, when all the Red Nose Day ideas are presented in a board meeting. Twenty-five years old this week, its brand, its product and its people are utterly inspiring.
News comes through that BBDO has topped The Gunn Report for the seventh year running. The report combines the winners’ lists from the world’s most important award contests, establishing annual league tables for the ad industry. Being the most-awarded network really matters, because we know that awarded work works, it makes money for our clients and it differentiates us from our competitors. We pause to be chuffed that Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO contributed to the network win, but keep resolute focus on the task ahead.
Clients dominate the week. One has awarded us business but terms are tricky, so there’s robust exchange. One asks us to pitch for more of his business in another market and I have to persuade him that a pitch isn’t necessary. One is speaking to a sell-out gig at Wacl later this month and I join the briefing. One wants me to speak at their marketing conference. Two announce record-breaking quarterly results, which we’re tracking, analysing and quietly proud of.
The week ends with 300 client, agency and media leaders gathering at the Advertising Association LEAD 2013 summit. I’m chairing the AA and the summit and we’re unveiling a major new report measuring the economic impact of advertising on UK GDP. It’s a packed programme and audience, culminating in an upbeat keynote from the ex-adlander and now Department for Culture, Media and Sport Secretary of State, Maria Miller. There’s also a wonderful panel debate with four top business journalists telling us we need to push our product, our people and our industry more emphatically up the media, business and political agenda. We have to advertise advertising. Amen.
Just when I think I can head home and collapse, the dog eats into a bin bag full of kitchen and decorating rubbish, meaning I spend the next three hours at the emergency vet paying for sedation, X-ray and "stomach-emptying". Just as dog is given the all-clear, my youngest calls in sick from university, asking to be brought home. Mad dash mercy mission ensues and weekend nursing duties begin.
And so it goes. Great week derailed by crazy dog and sick daughter. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Cilla Snowball is the group chief executive and group chairman at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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