Tom Denford

Tom Denford

Chief executive, New York

ID Comms

Contact me
  • +1 646 787 6832
  • denfordtom
  • London, United Kingdom
My Character:
  • Tough
Work email

Bye-bye the decade with no name. What are you relieved to draw a line under?

Ten years of increasing, unnecessary complexity. Acronyms and technical jargon have been weaponised by the media industry to intimidate marketers. They need to call out the bullshit when they hear it.

What’s your biggest hope for the decade ahead?

Media planning to be regarded as an important marketing discipline again, not a financial optimisation exercise.

And what’s top of your professional to-do list for the 2020s?

Simplifying media and convincing chief marketing officers not to find it so boring.

You have to job swap with someone in our industry for one month. Who would it be with and why?

My pal Mark Ritson, he’s surfing a big wave. And swearing for money.

Who is your best friend in the industry and why?

David Indo. We launched ID Comms together in 2009, 10 years later we are still having fun. Aside from family, I have spent more time with David in the past decade than any other human and he’s still the person I trust the most and whose time I enjoy the most.

What do you think the Friday feeling is?

Now I live in upstate New York, 15 minutes from the ski lifts, my Friday feeling is working until Europe closes then sneaking off for the snow.

Who or what would you put into room 101 and why?

I banned all internal email at ID Comms three years ago and we try to minimise email to our clients where possible. It’s messy, unsecure and impossible to find stuff. I could live without it.

If you could uninvent one piece of technology, what would you choose and why?

Email! I once told an agency chief executive that I had stopped using email before 11am each day and how liberating that was. He said to me: “But how do you know what to do?” There’s your problem. It becomes a proxy to-do list and creates short-term, reactive thinking.

In the spirit of embracing failure… What has been your biggest screw-up?

It’s a close one but probably having a collegue kidnapped by gangsters in Moscow the night before a pitch. Also taking any client to karaoke always ends badly.

What do you do to stay match fit?

Hiring great young people who ask great young questions.

What would be your darts walk-on music and why?

The theme tune from Bonanza. Ask Stefan Bardega.

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