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10 questions with: Carley Faircloth, global VP and MD, Freeman EMEA Agency

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On The Drum Network we like to focus on sharing our members' expertise. But expertise without evidence means nothing, so we also like to show how our members arrived at their knowledge. In this edition of 10 questions with Carley Faircloth, global VP and MD at Freeman EMEA Agency, takes us through her own journey through the industry.

What was your first job?

Interning at the State Capitol in Arizona during my last semester of school, in Workforce Development for former Governor Fife Symington. That time cemented my push for results, but overall lack of interest in the politics of politics. Any politics.

What industry buzzword annoys you most?

Phygital. Period.

Who do you follow on social media?

Social media for me is largely an escape, so I follow anything I can have a giggle at. And Humans of NY. I love to read about the intricate paths of people’s lives.

What are your career highlights?

I have a personal roster running through my head of moments throughout my career that give me tremendous pride in achievement (and great learnings in failure). But the real highlight for me has been the lifelong friendships I’ve made in this business. People who started as clients and colleagues over the years are now some of my absolute best friends. I’ve been to their weddings, I’m an auntie to their children, we’ve been on holidays together, they were there with me at treatment when I had cancer a few years ago... I could go on. These are people you are deep in the mud with, and bonds like these are really inexplicable to people outside the industry.

What tech can’t you live without?

I have and work from three cell phones, so I would say my earphones. That sounds like I’m up myself; I promise I’m not… I just can’t let go of phone numbers I’ve had in the various locations and countries I’ve lived over the last 25 years.

What posters did you have on your wall as a kid?

Anything related to Xanadu (a musical featuring ELO) or the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart’s Club Band musical starring the Bee Gees singing the Beatles album (amazing - I know). My parents were hippies and some of that passed to me at an early age. I can still sing just about every song on both albums word-for-word. And I think it’s fair to say that nothing compares to a musical love story with leg-warmers worn over roller skates and long-haired hunks in rock operas.

What needs to change in marketing?

The vast divide between above the line and below the line agencies. The turf war is boring.

What’s your favourite book/album/film?

My aforementioned affection for classic rock operas must be why I’m obsessed with Muse. Similar in essence. They are my all-time favourite musical act. If you haven’t seen them live, I recommend you go the first chance you get. It is life-changing. No roller skates required - though I think that’s a miss, experientially speaking.

Which industry event can’t you afford to miss?

You know, I’d go to any event at this point! We’re all just eager to get back to human contact. But mainly I enjoy short, targeted hits at CES Vegas and MWC Barcelona. I’m usually there working with clients, so when we can we tour around to see the outside activations which are always hyper-creative and experiential. Plus we usually host pretty killer dinners and parties, so that makes them a must-attend for me.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

“Sometimes you gotta lead with your heart, and sometimes you gotta lead with your head”. My mentor reminds me of that when I get stuck, and it’s such a simple truth.

That and “Life rarely has you choose between shit and champagne”. Courtesy of my parents. Another simple truth.

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