Resolutions 2008 - the year ahead

By The Drum, Administrator

January 10, 2008 | 13 min read

Shaping up nicely

Alan Price, creative director, mda:creative

My New Year’s resolution for 2008 is to start believing in Sven and Man City again! I know... That resolution may not last past January, so I have a back-up plan. A more realistic one is to help to dramatically increase mda:creative’s visibility in the market. We employ over 50 staff and have been conducting our business for over 30 years, so it’s about time we shared the love as far and wide as possible.

Pete Armstrong, creative director, Iris Manchester

What’s cutting edge in January will be antiquated by December. Surely making any professional resolution is more myopic than Mr Magoo attempting a tightrope walk in a total eclipse. We’ll look back at some of the work done in 2008 and think of it as completely new. So having Iris’s name on at least a few bits would be one of our resolutions. 2008 is also my 40th year. So, on a personal level, another is to avoid all tattoo parlours and signs that say, “Ear piercing here.” Actually, I guess that’s just one all encompassing resolution…don’t live in the past.

Oliver Chesher, account director, Gyro International

Free food is the great leveller of man. Whenever the email goes round the agency, “There’s some cake in the kitchen, come and get it,” the immediate stampede from account execs to directors is a beautiful thing to behold. Phones are dropped mid-dial and paperwork scattered. I intend to try and brighten up one of the darkest times of the year by resolving to make more of a contribution. I’m setting up a kitty, so whenever we need to we’ll have a “grot-buffet” - an unhealthy feeding frenzy that never fails to motivate us.

Mike Phillipson, managing director, Propaganda

1. Be nice about The Drum. 2. Be nice about (BDH) TBWA. 3. Be nice about the latest DFS ads. 4. Be nice about the Welsh creative scene. 5. Be nice about digital agency balance sheets. 6. Be nice about Johnny Hornby and Mark Wnek. 7. Be nice about the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. 8. Be nice about agency billings. 9. Be nice about the Labour Culture Secretary, James Purnell. 10. Be nice about London and the Ivy in particular.

Howard Wright, creative director, Touchpoint

In 2008 we will continue to work with our clients and help these brands look at the bigger picture and see how their actions can be changed to have less impact on the environment. We will concentrate more on the Four Rs: Recycle - We always promote recycling and using recycled materials but this is not always possible straight away. So we look for alternatives: Re-use for other objects around the home or garden or even better: Re-fill. And Reduce: get rid of unneeded elements - why is there a box for a tube of tooth paste?

Jim Smith,managing director, Clear Marketing Communications

In 2008 I will work with the IPA to campaign against TUPE regulation – a crazy law that’s restricting the movement of accounts. As an agency we will also invest even more in staff training and development, our people are our greatest asset. We’ll also continue to attract big brands to the region and educate brand owners that you don’t have to be in London to deliver industry leading marketing campaigns. And last but not least I will try to get my work life balance right and take six weeks holiday!

Richard Scholey, creative director, Elmwood

Less admin. More design. Less pies. More football. Less Helvetica. More Playbill. Less traffic. More trains. Less Kylie. More Keane. Less PC. More WC. Less pastel. More flouro. Less fear. More fun. Less trend. More soul. Less surfing. More scribbling. Less email. More chat. Less resolutions. More revelations.

Craig Roderick, joint creative director, Nexus/H

Firstly, I swear too much. I blame it on both Eddie Murphy and my Yorkshire upbringing. I’m not saying I’ve got tourettes or anything but when a simple ‘great’ or ‘no!’ would suffice expletives just seem easier on the tongue. I MUST STOP. Secondly, I’m confident in saying that we do some really interesting stuff for our clients. Stuff that you’ll probably never see. I intend to change that. Maybe through increasing client spending, driving the department harder or even through industry awards. (Then again, its always the Fallons, BBHs and Wiedens that win those f***** things.)

Henry Dixon, commercial director, Barrett Dixon Bell

My 2008 New Year’s resolutions are focused on enjoying life at home and at work. Travel more – time to take up that invitation to visit Nader in Isfahan? Get fit – if I’m going to be on 50 or 60 airplanes during the year, then the occasional visit to the gym might be in order. Do more of the work I love – meeting clients, resolving problems and coming up with creative campaigns that delight them and their customers around the world. Grow the business – attract new and interesting clients that give everyone at BDB a challenging and rewarding 2008.

Ian Morris, creative director, Threerooms

Surely something along the lines of “more sales, more clients, better work, better relationships,” although maybe that’s all too obvious and you’d hope that with a bit of hard work and dedication that will come. So forget all that, for 2008 I am pushing for something that will make a real difference to me. Give me more karaoke and more tea. Maybe less channel hopping between shows full of non-celebrities. Less mornings on Alka Seltzer, less copper coins (who uses them?) and less motorway miles. More sweeping country roads, more picnics and more fun.

Alison Meadow, managing director, Ware Anthony Rust

My New Year’s resolution is to reduce our reliance on email both within the agency and when contacting clients. Rather than clicking the send button I want us to have more conversations, whether they’re face to face or on the telephone. And with our move to new single floor, open plan offices, there should be no barrier to people getting up from their computer screens and get talking to their team. I want us all to get back to the basics of good old person to person contact.

Adam Clyne, managing director, The Lab

My New Year’s resolution for the year ahead is to spend more time in the north. Being a Mancunian based in London, with an office in Leeds, it is easy to get confused about where I should be but in the year ahead I will be spending a lot more time north of the border. The Lab now has a significant presence in the north and a fantastic, award winning team. We have a large client base across the northwest so I am committed to developing these relationships whilst securing new contracts across the region. My creative director Greg Lappage, himself a Brummie based in the big smoke, has also made this commitment in the year ahead to help develop the creative department we have in Leeds. And anyway – a pint is cheaper oop north!

Richard Oliver, director, Silver Films

Tricky, because let’s face it, resolutions are usually doomed to fail. Which is OK since normally for me nobody knows about them, but I guess I’m going to have to tread a little more carefully this time since they’re appearing in print! So, in 2008, in no particular order, I resolve to: Cycle more. Drive less. Go out more. Drink less. Buy less stuff. Help my clients sell more stuff.

Gary Marshall, creative director, BlankZero

Listen to our gut instincts a lot sooner. This year, we’ve waited and it’s proved our initial instincts were right for both clients and staff. As creatives we listen to our instincts all the time but need to apply this more to business. Professionally we want to continue to wow clients with multi-sensory work; Keep growing successfully; Say no to boring assignments; Get more clients to understand the benefits of great typography and stick to our resolutions. Family-wise, we want to go more organic and hope to raise our own pigs.

Ellen Carroll, director, Nellie PR

I actually like making New Year resolutions especially when they turn out to be the kick-start you need to make real changes and get what you really want. Last year, my resolution was to set up Nellie PR, my own public relations and copywriting business. And, after spending much of the year working towards achieving this goal, it’s finally happened. So, this New Year sees the official launch of Nellie PR and all my resolutions are focused on turning this newly achieved goal into a very successful reality. Outside the business, getting fit is my number one resolution. However, whether I stick to this or not is another matter.

Andy Pickup, creative director, Clearsilver

With changing jobs, it’s been a fairly hectic 2007, so there’s plenty of work / life balance New Year’s resolutions I’d like to make (and keep) in 2008. On the work front I want to help win a lot of new business for my new company, as well as learning XHTML and CSS and start an online trading venture. Socially it’s time I knocked at least five strokes off my golf handicap and I’m determined 2008 will be the year I finally learn Spanish and win promotion for my Sunday league football team. In 2008 I’d also like to spend more time behind the lens honing my photography skills as well as holding more parties at home. Finally, I’m also going get myself a rescue dog at some point in the New Year.

David Atkinson, managing partner, Space

In 2008, I turn 40, and so have decided that I need to look beyond nice meals and family time, both of which I love, for my social kicks. And so my plans for 2008 include introducing some exhilaration into my life, such as parachute jumping, skydiving, white water rafting, car racing, and paragliding. I want to get at least one night a week where I’m home in time to take my four-year old son, Jacob, out for tea or a trip to the cinema. So often I get home too late to see him, or possibly only in time to say goodnight. Last but not least, I want to spend less time at my desk and more time out meeting people in 2008. This will continue to provide me with the experiences, challenges and stimulus for business growth, and is much more profitable in every way than watching emails enter my inbox.

Charles Buddery, chief executive, Dig For Fire

Dig For Fire had an amazing 2007 and we intend to build on our performance and take the business forward in 2008. Our resolutions, in no particular order, for the year ahead are. 1. Relocate client meeting room. 2. Extend the building. 3. Make sure the chef doesn’t leave! 4. Find a live hamster juggling act for our ‘client ball.’5. Recruit new staff and reduce recruitment fees. 6. Only pitch for worthwhile briefs. 7. Win a client with a head office in the Seychelles. 8. Do lots more digital stuff. 9. Be bigger than we were last year. 10. Earn and pay company bonuses to all.

Chris Ashworth, head of strategy, Feather Brooksbank

1. To continue to win and serve businesses across the UK - proving that it’s the quality of your team, not the address of your office which is important. 2. To keep thinking about clients and their customers first. Just because you can run a campaign in a particular media channel, doesn’t mean you should. 3. To make sure that we never stop developing better ways of forecasting and measuring the results of campaigns engaging customers through multiple touchpoints. 4. To decide whether I want to be Batman or Peter Petrelli when I grow up.

Rick Guttridge, acting managing director, Brazen PR

1. Be even nicer to my wife! 2. Remember I work to live not live to work. 3. Cook more meals at home that don’t involve adding Stilton to Chicago Town pizzas or Rustlers burgers. 4. Get more organised at work. 5. Stop piling up my desk with ‘interesting’ media articles that I never do anything with or can’t find when I want them again. 6. Be more patient in life, I can’t change everything over night. 7. Stop eating shit food at work. 8. Wash my car more than once a year before the invisible witty wags who write in the dirt on lorries target me. 9. Learn how to download Heroes series 2 in a format that works on my DVD player as well as my laptop so I can watch it on a big screen. 10. Accept that my chances of being signed by Burnley as a professional were over before they began 15 years ago. 11. Stop making lists like this I’ll never stick to!

Karen Lee,co-founder, Vertigo PR

My resolution for 2008 is to go to the gym more. Since setting up Vertigo at the start of 2007, I really haven’t been as much as I should. But we’re nearly a year old now, everything is going brilliantly and we’ve got a great team in place, so now there’s no excuse not to get back on that treadmill. A healthy body makes for a healthy mind and all that!

Clive Goldstein, managing director, Union Leeds

1. To enjoy my 25th year in the ad business. 2. To continue to stand up for our rights as a professional industry. 3. To cycle to the office as often as possible. 4. Not to lose so heavily at the next agency bowling night. 5. To stick to my resolutions. 6. Not to disclose whether I stuck to my resolutions.

If you have any New Year Resolutions that you would like to share with the industry, visit The Drum’s online forum at and share them with your peers. That way you might keep them this year.


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