Former WMGO chairman Chris Woollams has just launched TWO which he
describes as Britain’s first virtual communications agency. His biggest
mistake, however, was a little more than virtual - although Woollams is
a firm believer in the concept that making mistakes is no bad thing, as
long as you learn from them.
‘I learned. In 1988 when the agency, our promotions and direct marketing
arms were all growing rapidly, yet barely 12 months old, I saw a huge
benefit in joining forces with Yellowhammer. I rang Jon Summerill and
put a meeting for a drink in his diary. At our next board meeting, my
partners, correctly, said we needed first-class professional advice. So
in came merchant bankers, stockbrokers et al, who insisted we buy shares
in Yellowhammer prior to any meeting.
‘Suddenly, a casual approach to sound out mutual interest turned into a
formal, aggressive stance. Jon was rightly pissed off and refused to
talk. End. A golden opportunity to establish a totally private top-ten
British agency wasted.
I learned: use advisers to advise, but make your own decisions.’