The Drum is showcasing the personalities of the people behind the media and marketing sector, speaking to those individuals who are bringing something a little different to the industry, and asking about the insights and life experience they've gained over their time in the industry to date.
This week's 10 Questions are put to Simon Landi, managing director at Access.
What was your first job?
My first job was a Saturday job in a butcher’s shop in the East End of London. It certainly grounded me leaving home at 6.30am and cutting up meat, making sausages and serving tongue, pigs trotters and tripe to the locals for a fiver a day!
Which industry buzzword annoys you most?
At the moment “ethical”. Too many people are jumping on the bandwagon with it. If you operate with integrity and genuinely run a business morally you shouldn’t have to spout on about being ethical – it is a given.
Who do you find most interesting to follow on social media?
Don’t shoot me down but in terms of ‘interesting’ - Donald Trump. I find it fascinating that he runs his presidency on Twitter. I can’t help but look when probably the most powerful person on the planet is making policy in a social media channel. The fact I find his audacity interesting doesn’t mean I agree with his values, by the way.
What has been the highlight of your career (so far?)
Always a tricky one this one; things that I feel are really important at any given time can change almost daily as my role and experiences evolve. Currently I’m just super proud that my agency is 20 this year. We’re planning some exciting things for clients and staff. I’m also mega proud of our young apprentices just entering the industry, seeing talent flourish is certainly up there as a highlight for me.
What piece of tech can you not live without?
My wireless headphones. So much of my day is spent on the go and having the ability to listen to stuff is invaluable. I can enjoy Podcasts, listen to the news or music – and have valuable conversations. While email and texting is helpful, particularly for communicating with my kids (!), conversation is so important.
Who or what did you have posters of on your bedroom wall as a teenager?
Well this will probably give my age away somewhat, but OMD, Kylie (in her Neighbours days versus the Pop Princess) and David Bowie.
In advertising, what needs to change soon?
What is (in your opinion) the greatest film/album/book of your life?
Can I choose a musical? Because really, from all of the fantastic films, books and music I’ve enjoyed, Les Miserable is one the production that I could watch again and again. It has everything; the music, the storyline and an ability to completely captivate an audience. You only have to consider how long it’s been running in the West End to see how timeless it is.
Which industry event can you not afford to miss each year and why?
Perhaps not strictly a marketing industry event, but something that I have chosen to attend more than five years on the bounce, the Variety, the Children’s Charity, Legends Of Industry Awards. The annual event honours and celebrates those who have achieved outstanding success in their chosen fields of business, and it’s really inspirational to hear not only how famous faces have achieved success but to see so many unsung heroes receive recognition they deserve.
What's the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
That you can claim R&D Tax Relief if you’re a company that spends money developing new products, processes or services – such as website development when it’s used for implementing a new system or process.