The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Is This What Being A Dad Feels Like?
May 8, 2009, 6:03 am
Filed under: Comment

I’ve been doing this advertising thing for a long time.

Given I started back in 1989, that means I’ve spent 20 years trying to work out what the hell I am supposed to be doing.

In all that time, I’ve been hugely fortunate to work with some brilliant, brilliant people.

Some were my bosses … some my colleagues and some – for want of a better word – were my staff … but regardless who they were, in every case I always ended up a better person for the experience.

Don’t worry, I’m not getting all Gwyneth Paltrow … I’ve also worked with a whole bunch of fucking idiots, but I give them about as much thought as I do having a big shit [nice image eh!] so getting back to the point … as I get older, one of the things I get great pleasure from of is seeing people who worked for/with me move on to bigger, better and more challenging things.

I’ve said it many times, but I believe the role of a boss is to help his/her team achieve more than they would otherwise of thought possible so that when they leave – as they will – they end up in a role/job that they previously thought was out of their league.

In essence, I want our people to leave because another company wants them and only them … not because there’s a role that needs to be filled … but because they rate who they are, what they think, what they do and how they do it.

In all honesty, if someone leaves me/us to go to another agency and do basically the same thing, I view that as a major disappointment … mainly because I see we’ve failed in developing their skills and ambitions.

Sure we’ve had the odd ‘exception’, but in the main … with the companies I’ve had a hand in starting … we’ve been hugely fortunate with the people we’ve ended up working with.

The reason I say this is because I’ve just looked at Media magazine [Asia’s Campaign] and saw this picture …

The guys are basically the new big wigs at IRIS Australia and the guy on the far right – Cass – once worked for me … so seeing him as Planning Director of the fastest growing agency network in the World, makes me very happy indeed.

Not because he’s a ginger Scouser who has a job [though that is quite impressive in itself] … it’s because he has always been one of the brightest talents I’ve ever worked with [despite the odd moment of madness like his “Mental Oriental” campaign for an Asian flavoured Pot Noodle clone] and seeing him develop to the position of Planning Director makes me very proud.

There’s a lot of people out there who have ‘planning director’ on their card … infact it seems in some agencies, you can go from dispatch boy to head of the department in the blink of an eye … but I was not brought up that way and I don’t subscribe to giving out titles willy-nilly so I know Cass really earnt the right to be called this and I know he will be brilliant and will move IRIS into areas that will get the snobby ATL agencies looking nervously over their shoulders.

However, like Baz – who went from junior planner to one of Steve Jobs personal advisors – I still feel a sense of responsibility towards my old guys, and whilst they could all eat me for lunch interms of brains, ideas and knowledge, I know there’s one thing I can do, and that’s keep their feet on the ground … so whilst I am sure Cass will hate me for this, I hope in time he will realise I’m not doing this to take the piss, I’m doing it for his own professional good.

Well done Cass, I’m very happy and proud of you … especially for the fact you managed to ensure your press shot was taken in black and white – ensuring your Satsuma head is only known by the relatively small population of Sydney. Now that’s planning!

24 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Yep. Lovely visual and I’ve had my first laugh of the day with it but just for the record I give my little shits less thought than the big ones. Sometimes I’ve walked away shaking my head after a big one 🙂

Great post. The B&W shot looks good. That’s just envy that is.

Comment by Charles


Comment by andy@cynic

glad you took my advice and ignored everything campbell said. theres no fucking way youd of got to pd if you followed his words to the letter.

well done ginger spice balls youve done good. pity your scouse scum hate you for breaking with tradition and having a j-o-b

Comment by andy@cynic

gay? like joyous and lovely? yes. and the three look really happy in the picture. nice video too 😉

Comment by peggy

So that’s why you keep telling me you want me to leave Robert. And I was beginning to think you didn’t like me anymore.

Well done Ian, this is excellent news but there was never any doubt of what you would achieve and I know there’s still plenty more to come from you yet.

Comment by George

are all planners fucking gay?

must be. no other industry would give a ginger scouser a bag load of loot to actually stay with them.

gay, gay, fucking gay.

Comment by andy@cynic

Why Andy’s never won “boss of the year” sure beats me.

Comment by Rob

It’s probably those beatings that counted him out…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I hope you realize this isn’t what being a Dad really feels like or you’re going to have a mental break down when you have to change filthy nappies and get up at 4 in the morning to quieten an upset and screaming child.

I know you like the idea of children being born at an age where they can go straight to work but sadly it doesn’t happen.

Nice post and its great to see bosses who really care about their people but I would say that wouldn’t I. 🙂

Comment by Pete

“change filthy nappies and get up at 4 in the morning to quieten an upset and screaming child”

if thats what being a dad is like then campbell and i are going to be the best fucking dads in the world with all the practice you moaning, crying, toys out the pram, shitting bastards give us all times of the fucking day.

but like a dad i still love you despite you all being pains in the fucking arse.

what a surprise this post goes back to gay

Comment by andy@cynic

For once Andy, I couldn’t agree with you more, ha!

And Charles you’re absolutely right … that’s real insight … so please ignore my “big shit” comment and replace it with “average duration piss”.

Comment by Rob

It’s a stain on my memory but an average duration piss for Rob was about 4 fucking hours so that fucks his argument up. Stick to shit, you’re better at it.

Comment by Billy Whizz

billy, don’t tell me you’re one of rob’s ‘exceptions’…

Comment by lauren

No. But he’s one of mine.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Stop flirting with me Billy …

I know this is getting off topic … and I may of told this story before … but the best agency team breakup I’ve ever heard was when Andy decided he’d had enough of his art director after about 4 years of working together. [This was post HHCL, pre-cynic]

He stormed into the CD’s office and said he wanted to break up with his partner on religious grounds.

“Religious?” asked the CD.

“Yes” replied Andy … “he thinks he’s god and I’m an atheist”

Of course that was back when he only swore once a year … so obviously a very, very long time ago, ha! Bet he didn’t know that years later he’d be the most experienced person on break ups since Henry VIII and Elizabeth Taylor. 🙂

Comment by Rob

Perhaps of topic but who is that blonde lady

Comment by Niko

Thanks Pete, that really makes me look forward to October.

Comment by northern

Ignoring the final paragraph and accepting you’ve destroyed any chance of hiring a strawberry blond or a Liverpudlian ever again, this may be one of the best recruitment advertisements I’ve ever read.

It is very obvious you care about the well being of your staff and that makes a wonderful change from companies claiming their staff are their greatest asset and then cut internal training or mandate powerpoint lessons.

Very nice post Robert.

Congratulations also must go to Northern. Ignore Peter’s mischievous comment, children are a gift. It’s just a shame you sometimes cannot take them back for a refund.

Comment by Lee Hill

Niko makes a good point here, but unfortunately is overheard. So will someone please answer his question. Furthermore, Rob I think you’ll be a great dad. Great until the moment when your boy or girl walks into the hoese with his first love and you show naked baby pictures.

Comment by Seb

youll go far niko. possibly all the way to the maximum security wing, no fucking wonder i like you

Comment by andy@cynic

that joke might just be truer than you realize andy.

plata o plomo advertising world.

Comment by niko

Question of the Week: What do these three have in common?

Comment by Doug Chapman


How the hell are you Doug? Great – and shocking – to hear from you.

Might be in Sydney soon, will you be there? I’d love to catch up.

Comment by Rob

Thanks for your kind words Rob. It’s humbling to finally be considered amongst some of the Ginger greats to have emerged from Liverpool. I look forward to sharing a celebratory drink with Cilla Black, Sonia (remember her?), Les Dennis and Sammy Lee. Thanks to you too Andy for your equally kind and heartfelt words. I wish I had some witty comeback but I do look gay in that vid so I’m bang to rights. Anyway, must dash. It’s giro day and the pubs are open.

Comment by Cass

Leave a Reply