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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : September October 2007
GLOBALI SATI ON because they didn’t make it through the process,” he says. Two things about Australian (and New Z ealand) advertisin g h elped prepare Premutico for his cur rent role, the first be ing that th e buck stops with you which means getting your hands dirty and solving prob- lems bey ond t he imme diate job requirements. “A lot of the jobs overseas are spe- cialised to the point of being un- motivating, you end up being such a small part of the process that you can’t guide the destiny of your own work,” he says. “The second thing is the willingness of people to teach those coming up through the ranks. It’s some thing you in tu rn fee l the need to rec ipro cat e, whi ch is of course good training for the role of creative director.” Premuti co bel ieves ther e ar e so many Australians in high p laces in adve rtisi ng around the world because of th eir mindset: “If you look at most Aussies who are doing well at the moment it’s not simply a case of them having left A ustralia for another place that th ey’ve set - tled in. We’re generally good trav- ellers an d ea sy to get on with, so that allows us to go where the work is and co llect a wh ole b unch of exp erie nces from ve ry diffe rent environments, both in terms of cul- ture an d l eadership styles. We’r e also no t sed uced by the cr ap, th e hypothesising, the ta lking and the meetings. At t he end of th e day we know all that matters is the work. And we’ll do whatever i t take s to get it done.” For Premutico the bigger the risk he took the bigger the need he felt to make it work, so that one day he could come ba ck at the to p. But will he ever come home? “Your moti vati ons constan tl y change. I think they need to i f you want to ke ep excited abou t what you do for a livin g. S o it rea lly depends if t hey mesh with those at that point in time. I always said one of my ambitions was to win Agency of t he Year fo r an agen cy bac k home. Now that we’ve done it here I’m not sure that’s still a major goal of mine, not because I don’t think it can’t be done, it’s more just a case of it n ot being a s important t o me as it once was.” Premutico’s philosophy on taking a new job is to make sure it’ s one that s car es the hel l out of h im. Right now he identifies one of the biggest challenges facing the indus- try is demonstrating the effect great thinking can ha ve on the cl ient ’s bottom line. “We can’t deny that the opportu- nity i s t here right now. For years we’ve had an indeterminable inf lu- ence, and to some extent it st ill is , but the media lan dsca pe a t th e moment is making the corr elation between what we do and its impact much more visible. We’re seeing it on Wendy’s, who would have to be one of t he biggest admakers in the US. In fact mo st of our accounts are the size of most big Aust ralian agencies. So yes, it would be di ffi- cult to find something comparable, 42 CAM PA I GN B RIE F DiLallo (left) and Benjamin: “You don’t get the same number of tries in New York as you get here. You get a couple of briefs and they are really big but until you get one of those it’s going to take a while,” says Benjamin. “In Sydney we were given sole possession of big briefs and lots of them, we were given a Toyota brief for the new Avalon, here’s six other briefs and all of them were our briefs. It doesn’t work like that in New York.” Collins considers the Australian advertising industry to be very supportive of young talent, something that benefited him greatly, in particular AWARD School and the Sydney based International Young Guns Awards - programmes you won’t find anywhere else on earth Premutico’s philosophy on taking a new job is to make sure it’s one that scares the hell out of him. Right now he identifies one of the biggest challenges facing the industry is demonstrating the effect your thinking can have on the client’s bottom line. but that’s not to say that a challeng- ing position would be hard to f ind back home.” Another Australian expat working in the US is Reed Collins, a creative director at Leo Burnett, Ch icago who left Austral ia wit h a m aste r plan to work with really talent ed people at the best a gencies in th e world. He, together with then part- ner Richard Bullock was lured from Moj o S ydney i n 1995 t o Hu nt Las car is T BWA Johan nesbu rg (after impressing J ohn Hunt with their book while Hunt was visit ing Austr alia for AWARD), be fore goin g on to London to wo rk a t Lowe Howard -Spink, then New York to an award-winning s tint a t Cli ff Freeman for t hree y ears. I n 2002 he joined Burnett in Chicago. “Africa, Europe, t he Americas , wherever. It was as simple as that. Hoping along the way, s omething would rub off. Have I ha d b etter opport unities than I would have had at home? I’m not so sure about ‘better’. I have always been a strong believer that you make you r own opportunities. I never thought, ‘gee, I should get the he ll out o f he re, there aren’t any opportunities…’ I left because I wanted to se e th e world.” Collins considers the Australian advertising industry to be very sup- portive of young talent, something that benefited him g reatly, in par- ticular AWARD Schoo l and the Sydney based International Yo ung Guns Awards - programmes y ou won’t find anywhere else on earth. Did he feel he had to go ov erseas to ‘make it’ and t hen get a better job back home? “Absolutely! At the time I left, the agencies were all ful l of blood y expats. There seemed no real way to advance my career in the s hort term. As far a s I was concerned they should all piss off back to that rock they call England. The ironic thing is, some young American kid is probably thinking the exact same thing about my f at arse,” Collins says. While he wants to come home, he doesn’t know what the future holds, and says his return won’t necessari- ly be f or advertising: “There are plenty of better jobs back home – after all, how else do you explain so many pasty white Poms?” he asks. It’s a lways been a two-way street between Australia and the UK with London the f irst port of call for many Australians on their overseas sojourn. Warren Brown, founding partner of BMF, which has just sold to The Photon Group for $25m, making the agency’s goal of international expansion one step closer to reality, worked in London for 12 years and benefited g reatly from the experi- ence, something that makes h im take international experience into account when hiring. “You usually f ind the ones who have worked overseas tend to be a little bit more rounded, they tend to understand the real world of adver- SE PT E MBE R/OCTOB E R 2 007
November December 2007
July August 2007