As the marketing manager for Diageo’s futures team, Niall Mckee admitted his “slightly nebulous” title can throw people off at parties. Mckee and his eight colleagues are tasked with future-proofing the drinks giant’s business model, which is a lot of ground to cover for small talk. Combined, his team meets with around 100 technology companies each year. These meetings can turn into anything from a three-month pilot program to a million-pound investment.
At 2-year-old social media agency Social Chain, Kiera Lawlor is head of happiness. “People assume it is about annoying people and getting them to smile,” she explained. “But I stay away from the cheese as much as possible.” According to Lawlor, it’s not about enforced fun but ensuring Social Chain’s 70-strong team (with an average age of 23) has the environment they need to do a good job. Oh, and she has an unlimited budget to do so.
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Robyn Lange has the job of every curator’s dream, or nightmare. At Shutterstock and sister site Offset, she’s the person charged with keeping the homepage fresh, filling 30 new image collections each month. “Some days I wish I worked on something smaller, but at a museum you keep seeing the same thing over and over,” she said.
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Slack, the $3.8 billion productivity tool du jour, has won over newsrooms and corporate offices with its easy interface and chatty style. Anna Pickard is the woman behind this voice. Or, as she puts it: “words and talking and fancy typing”. She walks us through a day in her life, complete with cold brew coffee, workshops and emojis.
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There’s one feature of Ogilvy & Mather’s new London office that’s pretty hard to ignore: the view. O&M’s U.K. group moved three of its 10 agencies — Ogilvy & Mather London, Ogilvy Labs, and #OgilvyChange — into the riverside building in January. “We’ve all turned into river bores,” explains Charlie Rudd, CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Advertising.
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Luke Matthews doesn’t like the word “sneakerhead,” but he has grown to accept it. The 24-year-old tastemaker, who owns 120 pairs of trainers, runs social media at U.K. shoe retailer Size? — part of the buoyant JD Sports empire. During his two-year tenure, he has used his affinity with trainer lovers to double the retailer’s Twitter following and add 450,000 fans to its Instagram.
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Leo Rayman’s copy of “Creativity Inc,” the book by Pixar president Ed Catmull, is covered in biro scribblings. As the new CEO of Grey London, he’s eager to foster a creative environment that can push the agency into more progressive work that’s beyond “making middle England cry”. Grey’s office, with its gadget-filled playpens and banter-filled email chains, is the nucleus of this mission in a crowded landscape.
Protein is best-known for delivering intel on consumers aged 18 to 35, and helping brands create campaigns to target them. But its warehouse space is many things to many people. There’s a retail unit, a cafe named C.R.E.A.M, an events space and desks for hire. CEO Will Rowe explained the office helps Protein market itself through “onion love”. “With every layer you peel back you find out a little bit more,” he said.
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It’s summer in the U.K. While that doesn’t always guarantee sunshine, it does guarantee a booze-up. In an industry known for its workplace perks, the summer party is surely the mother of them all. We spoke with agencies to find out how they’re celebrating this year. Now we know about Grey London’s ’90s-themed dance party, DigitasLBi’s pirate ship and Jellyfish’s full-blown festival, Jellyfest.*Cough* invite?
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