Joe Braithwaite

Joe Braithwaite

Managing director

Proximity London

Contact me
  • 07803 853052
  • n/s
  • Bankside 3, 90 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0SW, United Kingdom
Work email

braithwaite.j@proximitylondon.com

Give us one reason why advertising is still brilliant in 2019.

Because Google hasn't yet written an algorithm for human creativity, so we've got at least 12 more months before we're all replaced by the blinking lights and gentle hum of a neatly arranged bank of servers.

In 2019, I'll be using blockchain to…

It won't be me, but hopefully someone somewhere uses the transparency and traceability to put an end to anonymous comments, tweets and blogs where people say and do things that they would never dare repeat in the real world.

You decide to launch a brand. What is it called and what does it do?

Tuba, it's an app-based service for people who want to both lend and borrow musical instruments, unless some like-minded pun genius has already beaten me to the punch.

When was the last time you felt professionally vulnerable and why?

My first week as managing director of Proximity London. Gabby, our chief executive, was on maternity leave, I'd just moved country, agency and discipline, and as my first act I had to stand up and introduce myself to a group of more than 200 new people in an all-agency townhall meeting.

Who is your favourite Instagrammer and why?

I could try and be cool but, if I'm being 100% honest, it's @therealreyniers, an ex-colleague from my BBDO days who now works at Netflix. It's a chance to glimpse behind the curtain and into the mind of a brilliant strategic planner, who makes Will Ferrell seem sensible, mature and reliable.

You win the lottery. What would you do first?

The first philanthropic thing I would do with a huge lottery win is fund a process by which the NHS's data and tech stack is centralised. I think it's the one thing that would revolutionise both the service and its performance.

Name one thing you think is criminally overrated by industry, society or culture and explain why.

Fame. I'm going to sound like my dad but I feel that fame is now the end goal more than it is the byproduct of achievement. From social media to politics, the idea of being personally "a big deal" seems to be overtaking doing great things or helping others.

Name one thing you think is criminally underrated by industry, society or culture and explain why.

Empathy. I'll probably sound less like my dad on this one, but I feel that the ability to put ourselves in other people's shoes or views is increasingly a lost art. Empathy makes for a better society, better workplaces and better humans.

What is your go-to boxset binge?

Having a 15-month-old daughter has put a significant dent in our boxset-binge time allocation, but when we do I'm all about the British comedy classics. I'm Alan Partridge, Blackadder, Fresh Meat, Peep Show, The Mighty Boosh, you get the idea.

Enough's enough: it's time the next Doctor Who was…

A qualified medical practitioner.

If you weren't you, who in the industry would you like to be?

Tony Harris, the current chief executive of BBDO Japan. Tony is a true gentleman, he's a great leader, a tough competitor, a brilliant public speaker, he's very funny and just an all-round lovely bloke.

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