Sunday, 21 March 2010


I remember in my early days in advertising our Group Account Director (now a revered senior statesman of the advertising world) missing a plane to our international conference. As juniors, we were all amazed and a little amused. He'd made the mistake of believing his own advertising - we'd just done a campaign promoting the North Terminal at Gatwick and how you could get to it in 45 minutes from central London (or something.)

But I've seen this sort of naivety time and time again in a number of intelligent and inspirational ad men that I've worked with (strangely enough, less so with women.) And as I read a report on Maurice Saatchi's speech at a recent NABs fundraiser, the same spirit came over again. Saatchi has a conviction that advertising people really do believe that they can change the world for the better: "they share a romantic belief in man's ability to change the world by an act of will." And he put to the audience "when you get home and you are standing in front of the mirror, ask yourself if you can say yes to three statements. One: I'm doing something I believe in. Two: It's going well. Three: I think, even if nobody else does, it's important."

Maybe my youthful zeal for my chosen career has dimmed a little over the years but in all honesty, I can't always say yes, yes and yes.

But perhaps that's why Maurice Saatchi is a Lord and a multi-millionare and I'm just a little-known freelance planner.

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