When Matthew Freud and Nick Wiszowaty met at a book launch in 1987,
Wiszowaty was freelancing for a book promotion company, and Freud was in
public relations. The book they were both promoting was called How to
Stop Smoking and, although Freud never succeeded, he did at least find a
formidable business partner in Wiszowaty.
Of the pair, Freud is the more gregarious, chatting animatedly.
Wiszowaty is quieter and more studious. Both opted out of private
education in their teens. Both toured the US after their schooling,
Freud travelling for a year and Wiszowaty for four months.
Freud, who went into business straight from his travels, set up a
singing telegram company. He then moved to RCA Records to become a press
officer until 1985, when, at the age of 21, he created Matthew Freud
Associates, which later became Freud Communications.
Wiszowaty, who is now 33, joined in 1987. His first launch was for the
Hard Rock Cafe and it was a connection with the Hard Rock’s founder,
Isaac Tigrett, that helped the agency create Traffic Interactive, its
Freud Communications was the agency behind the elaborate Pepsi ‘blue’
campaign. Among the stunts they pulled were convincing the Mirror Group
to turn the Daily Mirror and Daily Record blue for the day and
persuading Air France to paint a Concorde from its fleet blue.
PepsiCo also called the agency in when it launched Mountain Dew in the
UK. It handed out the drink free to students and gave couriers across
the country Mountain Dew bags, waistcoats and badges for a month-long
Thirty-two-year-old Freud is confident that more money will be
channelled into public relations in the future. He says: ‘Clients are
going to realise that a pounds 2 million budget goes so much further
through the line. It allows us to be creative mavericks.’