How Francis Jago got ahead

My fathers passion for product development and our love of the best brands in the automotive industry

Name: Francis Jago

Company: Fingal

Job title: Chief executive

What made you want to get into brands/advertising/media/marketing? My father’s passion for product development and our love of the best brands in the automotive industry

How did you get into the industry (including relevant qualifications and professional training)?

It was more to do with luck than judgement. I started as a computer journalist with a love of brands, and too much time with Apple showed me what could be achieved combining technology with creativity. As a naïve 24 year-old I thought I could do better than the established players. I bullied three friends into joining me and we started Fingal.

What was good and bad about your first job?

My first ‘real’ job was as the editorial assistant on Commodore Computing International. It paid badly but taught me that computers were capable of making life much better.

List your jobs to date:

Motorcycle courier.

Editorial assistant – CCI.

Editor – Micronet 800.

Group editor – Focus Magazines.

Various freelance jobs.

Chief executive – Fingal.

What were the best and worst, and why?

Fingal is the best, a great place to work surrounded by a brilliant team and working for some fantastic clients. Worst was being a motorcycle courier, but it was better than being at Kingston Polytechnic.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My father; a genuine innovator who never really appreciated his own value.

Who in the industry do you most admire?

Sir Martin Sorrell – living proof that relentless expansion isn’t synonymous with the death of creativity. Jeremy Clarkson because he’s much cleverer than most people think, and he has revolutionised the way the car industry communicates.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

Changing the way car companies communicate to the press and their customers.

On what do you base your success so far?

Hard work and a great team. It sounds trite, but you are only as good as your team. It takes time to believe that when you start a company!

What are your ambitions?

To see Fingal expand and continue to deliver genuine creative solutions. To see my kids grow up and enjoy life.

Change one thing about your job:

I love my job, what’s to change?

Change one thing about your industry:

I would reduce the role of e-mails as it’s much tougher to be brave face-to-face.

Change one thing about the world:

Surely we can’t be charged for driving on roads as well as car tax and fuel tax?

What is your favourite brand?:

Apple. Despite – or perhaps because of – the naysayers, Apple has for the last 20 years been the best technology company in the world.

What is the next big brand in your view?

Lenovo. It will be fascinating to see whether it can truly dominate the PC market.

List your “media diet”:

Marketing Week (obviously), bbc.co.uk, macrumors.com, mediaguardian.co.uk, tapehead.co.uk (sadly missed), Design Week, Golf Digest, The Guardian, betfair.com.

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