While working in London, Sean Moore not only counted some of the UK’s biggest brands as his clients but also some of the country’s top below-the-line agencies as his employers.
But he’s quick to point out that it’s not all “location, location, location” when it comes to producing first-class creative work for a string of top clients – that’s more down to attitude, attitude, attitude.
Experience counts for nothing, if you don’t get the basics right...
Moore was recently appointed as the new creative director of Leith Direct, The Leith Agency’s direct marketing division, joining from Dialogue DLKW.
Having worked on accounts for clients that include Shell, AA, Virgin and Nissan, the (also) former Tequila/London creative director, will work closely with The Leith Agency’s creative director Gerry Farrell and is hoping to add to Leith’s already blossoming creative reputation.
Joining the Edinburgh-based agency from Dialogue DLKW (where he was creative director), he cites The Leith Agency’s creative reputation for his decision to move to the agency. “There’s a creative integrity here that I think is rare,” he says. “Under Gerry’s guiding hand a culture’s grown that encourages original thinking and it shows in the work. It’s also an agency that specialises in big ideas, that’s where things become exciting to me. A big idea travels across the channels, not just TV, press and posters. The possibilities are endless. Unlike a lot of places, Leith isn’t simply a DM offering bolted onto an ad agency.
“In my experience in the DM sector many clients have grown weary of agencies banging on about process, science and methodology, they just want to see some decent work and I’m with them on that. Also I think, those same clients have become tired of the protective ring of account handlers who act as a barrier to any kind of interaction with the creatives and sometimes even the strategists. At Leith things couldn’t be more different. Relationships are open, yet tightly focused on the client’s needs. There’s a real personal touch to proceedings that’s hugely appealing.”
Moore believes that as well as his previous roles as a creative director, he’d been appointed “because I share the same ideals and values”. “As corny as it sounds, in your working life, nothing gives you a greater thrill than making a real difference to a client and their brand,” he says. “It’s what we’re paid for after all.”
Moore goes on to say that his role will be “very hands on”. “I won’t just be pushing my own teams to come up with great work, I’ll be pushing myself,” he says. “I’m also looking forward to sitting down and working across the table with clients.”
As to the new creative partnership formed between himself and Farrell, Moore said that he felt they share “a mutual love of great ideas and a respect for each others expertise”. “I’d say it’s a foregone conclusion that we’ll get on exceptionally well,” he says. “At the end of the day, we have exactly the same goal; work that gets talked about and work that makes our clients happy.”
Moore says that both he and Farrell have already discussed what aspects of the agency they would like to develop which include. “Big ideas that work across the board and successfully deploy the media they’ve been assigned to,” he says. “To a significant degree one of the traditional barriers to ‘integrated communications’ has already been removed by Gerry.
“In many agencies advertising creatives and DM creatives work on different floors and in many cases you’ll actually find them in separate buildings. At Leith, you’ll discover teams sitting and working together as a single creative force. You’ll also find them in client meetings - getting under the skin of the brand. It’s that no nonsense approach raising its head again.”
This “no nonsense approach” is also cited by Moore as he discusses the difference between working in Scotland and London, describing Scotland as having “a certain down-to-earthness”.
“I love London,” he says. “However, the enjoyment you get out of advertising depends not so much on the location, but on where you ply your trade. I’m lucky in that I’ve worked in agencies that have been populated with talented and friendly people. I see no reason why Leith will prove the exception.”
Moore readily admits that due to the bulk of his career being spent in London, his knowledge of the Scottish marketing scene is limited, but he claims to be a quick learner and singles out Story and its work for Glenmorangie as work he is particularly impressed by.
Ian White, head of Direct, believes Moore’s experience of working in London combined his experience of some of the UK’s leading brands will be of huge benefit to the business.
“Sean is passionate about direct marketing and about taking Leith’s direct and integrated offering to the next level,” he says. “Our aim has always been to make the Leith brand as famous for direct marketing as it is for advertising, and with Sean’s arrival we’re set up to achieve that. From a creative perspective, the agency and our clients can only benefit from the experience he brings with him and I’m confident we will continue to meet, and exceed, the standard of creative work clients expect from Leith, regardless of discipline.”
Moore’s first project will be to create a fleet presence for Seat UK, which he hopes will be the start of a highly successful relationship between himself and the agency.