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By Katie Deighton | Senior Reporter

April 7, 2017 | 2 min read

When Karmarama co-founder Dave Buonaguidi quit the agency he founded, he did so publically, lambasting the “professional creatives who are only creative between the hours of 9am and 6pm” who work in agencies all based on Mad Men”. Yet now he’s back in ad land, working as creative director at CP+B.

In the fifth episode of Why I Left Advertising, Buonaguidi takes The Drum inside his disillusionment with his agency, his colleagues and the industry he once dreamed of working in since he was a teenager in his dad’s Italian restaurant.

“I made some very strange decisions about bringing certain people in that I thought would help the brand and they were there to help themselves,” he says. “It just became a selfish brand.

“I lost everything. I didn’t make any money out of it or anything of any value. It was more [for] my own sanity. When I left it bore nothing to any company that I would ever have set up, which made it easier.”

Buonaguidi was put on a “very restrictive” period of gardening leave – an enforced gap year where he discovered the joys of screen printing. Now, as a regular down at Print Club London, he’d love to be an artist, but he’s back in the world of advertising simply because he loves it.

"I need to do this because I really enjoy it,” he explains.

And as for Karmarama’s sale to Accenture?

“I don’t care at all,” he says. “It’s a bit like driving past the house where you once lived in, where you had amazing memories, but somebody else lives there now - people that I don’t really like.”

Advertising Dave Buonaguidi Karmarama

Other episodes in the series

Episode 1

Kate Robertson on leaving advertising : ‘You never realise how bad materialism in the industry is until you get outside'

Today (7 December) sees The Drum launch a new video series examining the myriad reasons behind personal exits from the marketing world. Why I Left Advertising’s first subject, One Young World co-founder Kate Robertson, details her industry insights only garnered after resigning from her position as president of Havas Worldwide in 2015.

Episode 2

Jonathan Durden on exiting the industry: 'I felt bored being treated like gold'

In the second in The Drum's Why I Left Advertising series, we speak to PHD co-founder Jonathan Durden about his escape from - and re-entry into - the media and marketing industries.

Episode 3

'We thought we were Mad Men but we were drinking in Tiger Tiger': Chris Maples on life after advertising

After a lifetime in high-profile ad sales, Chris Maples departed his post of VP, Europe at Spotify to try something completely different – running a school. In the third part of The Drum’s Why I Left Advertising series, he chats through his reasons for departing the industry, and discusses how his life is different now.

Episode 4

Emer Stamp's journey from ECD to children’s author: ‘Advertising gives you a very hard skin’

In the fourth episode of Why I Left Advertising, Emer Stamp, the former Adam&EveDDB executive creative director, explains her reasoning for giving up life as a creative to write and illustrate full-time.

Episode 6

‘It felt like either I’d gone mad, or everyone else had gone mad’: why Paul Pateman had to give up his life in advertising

Paul ‘Pâté’ Pateman left advertising to become a graphic illustrator after a bout of pneumonia forced him to rethink his career path. But years before, as a creative director at TBWA, he had felt the first pull away from the industry.

Episode 7

‘It’s just fucking advertising’: Natalie Marsan on giving up the NYC grind for travel, work and family

Natalie Marsan has managed to do what was once the impossible: raise a baby, hold down a London-based job while living in Croatia, and travel – constantly. But less than three years ago she was buried deep in New York’s marketing scene. In the latest episode of Why I Left Advertising, Marsan explains why and how she became a nomadic working mother.

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