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10 questions with... James Kirkham, chief business officer, Copa90

10 questions with... James Kirkham, chief business officer, Copa90

In an attempt to showcase the personalities of the people behind the media and marketing sector, The Drum speaks to individuals who are bringing something a little different to the industry and talks to them about what insights and life experience they can offer the rest of us. This week's 10 Questions are put to the chief business officer of Copa90, James Kirkham.

What was your first ever job?

Working in a music shop, pretending I knew about guitars. First real job in this industry was junior designer at Zinc, a new media agency in 1999 on Charlotte St.

Which industry buzzword annoys you most?

Anything which talks up automated, programatic and removes the soul from what we do.

Who do you find most interesting to follow on social media?

Outspoken people from outside of the industry; Michael Bisping and Bloody Elbow for UFC stuff. John Niven is a comically inappropriate author who commentates on Twitter whilst watching Wimbledon for example. A load of United fans. Elon Musk, naturally.

Our digital marketing world can be too insular and I think benefits from continually looking to other industries.

Highlight of your career (so far)?

So difficult! Launching Skins on E4 for holler and being told it change the marketing paradigm – that probably got us on the map. We were the first agency in the world to market a TV show using social media.

What piece of tech can you not live without?

A radio.

Who or what did you have posters of on your bedroom wall as a teenager?

Wendy James from Transvision Vamp as an older teenager, and a load of Man United players when I was younger.

In advertising, what needs to change soon?

The inside of many advertising agencies are predicated on processes not fit for now. Scripts will get written before a true strategy even is, so you only ever end up with the same focus.

What is (in your opinion) the greatest film/album/book of your life?

Pulp Fiction. It might be cliche or sneered at, but for that movie to drop when I was 17 years old. It introduced Dusty Springfield to American culture. Non-linear storytelling. Samuel L Jackson. All in one, go. It exploded onto the screen and still even now is a film you can pick up at any single point, at any time, and be utterly gripped by the chapter or scene you are watching.

Which industry event can you not afford to miss each year and why?

Cannes, because of the exciting periphery / outer rim that it has now. Hanging out with people in music, sports, even acting and beyond. To go to a dinner and sit with Oliver Stone asking questions to him on a beach as the sun goes down behind you makes for a fairly compelling few days.

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

“Art is all about mistakes”

More 10 Questions with entries can be found here.

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