Four marketing trade press editors discuss how they make decisions about the stories they run, the commercial pressures they come under and the best ways a PR can pitch a story for publication in this special edition of Dog ‘n’ Bone. It is an edited version of Propeller’s panel held at Ad Week Europe in London and the panel features Russell Parsons, Editor of Marketing Week, Rachel Barnes, Editor of Campaign, Stephen Lepitak, Editor of The Drum and Seb Joseph, Brands Editor, UK at Digiday. The session is chaired by Propeller’s Director of Content Branwell Johnson.
Jon Wilkins, Chairman of Karmarama + Nils Leonard, co-founder of Uncommon London
In this episode, we hear Jon Wilkins, chairman of creative agency Karmarama, now part of Accenture Interactive, and Nils Leonard, co-founder of creative studio Uncommon London, talk about the challenges of launching a start-up agency, the possible future for agency networks and why now is the time for agencies “to create stuff”. We also hear why keeping a punk-rock sensibility is vital, when and how to fire a client and why it’s important to invest in sturdy furniture when trying to woo potential big-spending accounts.
About the guests:
Jon Wilkins is chairman of Karmarama. He joined the agency in 2014 and has been developing the Karmarama integrated offer, increasing capabilities in data and mobile and working with key clients to help them grow their business through strategy and creativity. In December 2016 he oversaw the sale of Karmarama to Accenture Interactive.
He started his career at Granada TV in the marketing and market research department and then joined the brand-new MTV Europe before being headhunted to work for Disney in its international marketing department. His first ad agency role was at BMP where he became Head of Strategy at the tender age of 27. Next stop was the media agency, PHD, where he became Joint Managing Director of the company.
He founded Naked in 2,000, along with John Harlow and Will Collin. The agency pioneered the concept of media neutrality and Jon worked on a range of local and global clients including Coca-Cola and Unilever. Jon stayed at Naked for 13 years as it grew into an international group with offices in cities including New York, Melbourne, Sao Paolo, Paris, Singapore, Dubai and Tokyo.
Nils Leonard is co-founder of Uncommon London with Lucy Jameson and Natalie Graeme. The agency has now debuted its first work, created for client Ovo Energy.
Previously, as Chief Creative Officer of Grey LDN, Nils oversaw the most profitable and awarded years in the agency’s history and became one of the youngest agency chairmen in the world, leading its brands globally and locally.
In 2015 Grey LDN became the only agency in the world to win two Grand Prix at Cannes Lions and under Nils’ creative guidance Grey was named most awarded agency of the year twice in just three years at D&AD. His recent work on the Tate Britain won the Grand Prix at the Design Week awards and picked up 15 lions at the Cannes Festival of Creativity. Over the last year Nils has also led the inception and launch of the ethical capsule coffee brand Halo.
Phil Thomas, CEO of Ascential Events and Chairman of Cannes Lions + Mike Cooper, CEO of PHD Worldwide
In this episode, we hear Phil and Mike talk about the challenges they face to evolve their services. Phil explains how this year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity is changing to meet the call from brands and agencies for a simplified awards structure and value for money. Mike talks about the need for media agencies to stay on top of constant technological change, why the threat from consultancies is overblown and why agencies current use of data resembles teenage sex. Phil and Mike ponder the lessons learnt from signing off staff ‘car parking’ expenses and over-promising a client on the availability of 70s TV icon Denis Norden to front a campaign. Finally, we all learn if Tim Berners-Lee like to party or prefers a mug of hot cocoa.
Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud:
About the guests:
Phil Thomas is CEO of Ascential Events and chairman of Cannes Lions, the International Festival of Creativity. He oversees Cannes Lions, Money2020, and a diverse portfolio of award-winning international B2B events and trade exhibitions.
He began his career as a journalist, working on national and international magazines and newspapers, and editing Empire, the UK’s biggest-selling movie magazine, before moving into publishing and becoming Managing Director of FHM worldwide, launching the iconic men’s magazine in more than 30 countries. He was appointed Managing Director of Emap’s Australian and South East Asian division, based in Sydney for three years, before returning to the UK, and in November 2006 was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Lions Festivals. Philip began his current role when Ascential Events was established in August 2016. He remains CEO of Cannes Lions.
Mike Cooper is CEO of PHD Worldwide and responsible for growing the Omnicom-owned network, which today has over 80 offices in 69 countries. Mike started working in advertising at Saatchi & Saatchi in London in 1984 before moving to Hong Kong in 1989 to work as media director. By 1993 he oversaw North Asia for Saatchi’s.
He joined Omnicom in 1997 as OMD’s first employee to set up the network in Asia-Pacific. As CEO for OMD Asia Pacific he grew the network to 26 offices and in 2005 he launched PHD across the Asia Pacific region, leading to him being named Media Magazine’s ‘Regional Agency Head of the Year for Asia’. Mike’s appointment to Worldwide CEO in 2007 saw him return to London, where the PHD network’s HQ is based. PHD manages clients such as VW Group, Unilever, GSK, SAP, Ferrero, Bayer, SC Johnson and Google amongst others.