Zaid Al-Qassab

Zaid Al-Qassab

Chief marketing officer

Channel 4

Contact me
  • n/s
  • fast_philosophy
  • 124 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 2TX, United Kingdom
Work email

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

The word "millennials".

What’s your biggest hope for the decade ahead?

A return to building brands for the future rather than for short-term clicks.

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

I think I'd make a better prime minister than the last few.

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

Mark Read at WPP. I'm aiming high. If anyone knows what the future agency model is, it must be Mark. I'd be fascinated to find out.

Who is your best friend in the industry and why?

I am privileged to have a fellow chief marketing officer with whom I can be absolutely honest in every way, who acts as an amazing sounding board: my brother, Usama.

What do you think the Friday feeling is?

I have no idea but it's evidently not in our office, there's nobody around.

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

Agencies that spam me with unsolicited emails or phone calls. Does any client ever buy from a company they've never heard of with no personal recommendation? What a waste of time and energy.

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

Email. Never as effective as a personal interaction and not even as efficient when you consider the piles of emails we all wade through.

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

My first ever project as a 21-year-old intern at Procter & Gamble. I ordered thousands of promotional stickers that couldn't be peeled off. I thought my career was over, but my kindly brand manager said that mistakes were there to be learned from, just don't repeat them. I haven't ordered stickers since.

What do you do to stay match fit?

Seriously for a moment… I think mental wellness is incredibly important and, for many people, it is a fragile thing to be nurtured. We should all be trained on how to stay mentally fit. For me that involves healthy eating, drinking less, more time with family, no email at weekends and lots of tennis.

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

Superstition by Stevie Wonder, my go-to song on any grey day. It'll get my feet moving and the blood flowing in my trigger hand.

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