A Creative Tour de Force: David Alberts London, UK

David Alberts, 41, was born in Sydney, Australia and has been the chairman and executive creative director of Grey London since 2002. His career has spanned stints at Mojo in Australia, BBDO and Bates in Asia.

Alberts has worked for clients in more than 47 countries, creating award-winning advertising for Fedex, CNN, Pepsi, McDonald's, Visa, GlaxoSmithKline, P&G, Unilever, Dairy Crest, Remington, BT, Telstra,Nestle, Masterfoods and AOL. Alberts is on this year's Cannes Outdoor jury.

- Where do you live?

Off Abbey Road in St John's Wood, London.

- Describe a perfect day with guests in your city

Coffee and croissants in Ambra deli on Abbey Road, the park with the kids on a sunny London summer's day, a football match at Stamford Bridge, followed by dinner at Roka in Charlotte Street. There are a lot of wonderful formal dining experiences in London but I love the relaxed, modern Japanese at Roka.

- Tell us where you've chosen to be photographed and why

Regent's Park Mosque. At a time when the entire western world is becoming xenophobic, I thought it was worthwhile remembering what has made London one of the greatest cities in the world.

I have always loved the multicultural nature of London. I think the UK has benefited so much from being an open society that has embraced diversity, but now I'm concerned that we fear what is different.

- Tell us about the ad you've chosen to feature on this page - how did the idea come about and why did you take that creative route?

At a time when the industry was reducing internet ads to one-way blurbs about speed and price, AOL decided to raise some online issues and engage consumers in a conversation. Television, cinema, outdoor, press, direct-response TV, direct mail, point of sale, online content, aol.co.uk/discuss.

The result? A million hits, 85,000 voters and more than 2,000 contributors in the first month. Does advertising have any effect on society? Discuss.

- List the three most inspiring things about your city

Feeling as though you are part of history, part of Europe, part of the world (spoken like a man who has been brought up on New World wines).

- Give us a quote that encapsulates your city

When a Sydney journalist asked a British expat what he missed about London, his answer was simple: "Paris."

- Name a perfect place to brainstorm in your city

Sitting on top of Primrose Hill looking out over the city. London is laid out before you in all its glory. On the rare occasion when it's a bit cold here, sitting in the grandeur of The Wolseley on Piccadilly is not bad for inspiring an idea or three.

- and to celebrate an account win

A dodgy karaoke bar in Soho.

- to entertain a client

Catch the Eurostar to Paris, jump in a cab and head to L'Arpege opposite the Rodin Park. Ask the chef for his recommendation and sit back and enjoy, before heading home on the last train. Now that's entertainment.

- to kit yourself out

Chelsea Football Club, Stamford Bridge.

- to go for a run

Primrose Hill to Regent's Park (past the mosque); Hyde Park; Green Park, St James's Park; past the Millennium Bridge. Home before the kids wake.

- How do you unwind?


- What is your greatest extravagance?

Working with John Lowery.

- Name one thing about yourself that might surprise others

I have four children.

- If you were an ad, what would your strapline be?

He who collects the most stories wins.

- What's the best way to ask for a pay rise in your country?

Have great ideas. Get them made. Prove yourself invaluable to clients. Resign. Post your reel on eBay. Wait for the offers to roll in. PS - do not exclude your existing employer from the bidding.


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