Monday, May 23, 2011

newman street W1

As a football obsessed youngster I devoured Shoot Magazine every week.

It was a step up from comics, a serious football mag full of stats and stories, interviews with players and weekly columns from the likes of Kevin Keegan, George Best and Bobby Moore.

The first section I scanned for was a regular feature, Focus On...
Each week a player answered ten or so questions which gave the reader a bit of an insight into what made them tick.

One of the questions was always 'who has been the biggest influence on your career?'
Of course I imagined myself as the star player and myself answering those questions.
I imagined answering 'Bill Shankly' or 'Brian Clough'.

As it goes I never made it beyond the odd appearance for the school X1 but the question still remains.

'Who has been the biggest influence on your career?'

He'll probably laugh at this but that question takes me back to early 2005, a basement bar across the road from FCB's offices in Newman Street W1 and a conversation I had with Mark Brown, Strategy Director with the then fledgling interactive advertising agency Weapon7.

After several years in web and interactive product development and marketing and with a head full of Cluetrain and Seth I fancied my chances at having a pop at the advertising business.

Weapon7 worked out of a corridor in FCB's building in Newman Street. There were the three partners plus 2 employees, I was hopeful of being person number 6.

FCB were in the doldrums a bit at the time (I think they are out of them now, happily) and so had let certain areas of their building to boutique agencies to try and raise the energy levels in the building.

As I wandered around those corridors the line from Dexy's 'Come on Eileen' would play in my head...

'These people round here wear beaten down eyes, sunk in smoke dried faces they're so resigned to what their fate is..

Mark said to me 'See those guys in there? They have had it. We are going to completely revolutionise the world of advertising. Are you in?'.

I never bothered to ask 'how?' or 'what?'
I was sold immediately.

The years have passed and jobs have changed but the mission continues to this day...

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