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10 questions with... Nicky Unsworth, chief executive of BJL

Nicky Unsworth, chief executive of BJL

The media and marketing industry is ultimately about people. In this weekly series, The Drum speaks to professionals across the sector who are bringing something a little different to the industry and talks to them about what little insights they can offer the rest of us. This week's 10 Questions with... features the chief executive of BJL and chair of Tribe Global, Nicky Unsworth.

What was your first ever job?

A Saturday job in a local corner shop in St Helens, not the most glamorous, but the ageing local population did their ‘big shop’ there. It's where I honed my mental arithmetic totting up their bills and also began people watching and understanding buying habits. Who knew it would be a good precursor for my job today?

Why did you get into marketing?

I grew up in St Helens. It’s famous for 2 things: an amazing rugby league team (my dad coached them) and glass making . Pilkington Glass were the main employer in the area and offered a marketing sponsorship. I applied whilst doing my A levels, and was suitably surprised to get it – they then sponsored me for my degree.

Who is your favourite person in media or marketing and why?

I’m going to opt for media in its broader sense and go for Caitlin Moran. She’s a mum, journalist, author and her work makes me smile and think. I guess it flags the sort of people I gravitate towards: strong, entertaining, self deprecating, opinionated women - and I know a few of them.

What is your ideal work night out?

A small group, relaxed enough to be able to chat, good food and good wine. Although that said, my last great work night out involved 50 or so advertising people from across the globe, playing table tennis in Shoreditch, eating pizza and drinking beer. So maybe the ideal work night out is all about the company and being relaxed.

What is your favourite piece of creative work ever from the industry?

So many to choose from, but I’m going to go for The Guardian “3 Little Pigs” – it captured the changes that were happening in terms of how we gather our news and positioned The Guardian firmly in poll position

If you could ban one buzzword or piece of jargon what would it be?

‘Crowd-sourced’ when used in relation to creative work: what’s all that about?

What is the most exciting thing about your job?

No two days are ever the same.

Best book you have ever read?

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell – it gave me permission to rely on my instinct and validated my sometimes spontaneous decision making.

Android or iPhone?


What's the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Always have a plan. But never be afraid to deviate if a better route presents itself.

10 Questions With will return next week

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