A view from the bottom
A view from Caroline Grayson

A view from the bottom

Every week, the O2 account team starts with a vow to steer clear of the VCCP biscuit cupboard in favour of the fruit bowl.

With even more determination than usual following a gluttonous bank holiday weekend, we start Tuesday with a new rule: a £5 penalty for each biscuit eaten. It may be the only way to stop us using that classic excuse of devouring them for "research purposes" (Burton’s Biscuit Company is a client).

Tuesday is all-round manic as we prepare for the O2 print and TV shoots taking place this week. By late afternoon, the devices featuring in our TVC still haven’t arrived. So I take my account director’s credit card and run to Victoria Street, Apprentice-style, to buy them myself before the shops shut. I head to the counter to pay.

"Is this your card?"


While committing identity fraud seems preferable to queuing again, I reluctantly opt for honesty and drag my boss down to the store to pay. Then it’s on to ordering cabs, last-minute wardrobe debates, annotating storyboards and enduring death stares as my many backup copies of our rather lengthy PPM pack churn their way out of the printer and the entire office forms a queue behind me. It’s been a long day and, £25 down from a stress-induced biscuit binge, I head home.

Wednesday is shoot day and the call time is 7.30, but that’s OK because it’s always exciting seeing months of work coming together. Despite the early start and drizzle, the clients and crew are all on great form. In our downtime, we discover the instant photo-messaging app Snapchap, which keeps our maverick copywriter engaged enough to not run off for a nap.

Thursday is another shoot day. It’s beautiful sunshine, but we’re underground. We have no signal on location so, in a break, I nip up to street level to check my e-mails. There’s one from HR offering £1,000 for recruitment referrals (if you’re interested, e-mail me; we can split it 70:30). No signal also means no Snapchat – we keep ourselves amused in breaks by playing some outrageous rounds of the classic game Would You Rather.

"That’s a wrap." There’s massive applause for a decidedly enjoyable shoot and we all head down to the pub.

Friday sees a return to the office for back-to-back meetings. The day whizzes by and, before I know it, it’s pub time. We trundle down to the local, which we’ve come to love despite its comically bad service and concerning aroma. It’s an establishment with such a low opinion of its clientele that it deems it appropriate to display a six-step instructional diagram on how to order food from the bar. We settle in for a few well-deserved rounds.

When I was first asked to give my "view from the bottom", I discussed what to write with one of our founding partners, Charles Vallance.

"What do plankton eat?" he asked, jokingly (I hope). At VCCP, I think it’s safe to say I know the answer: biscuits.

Caroline Grayson is an account manager at VCCP