Getting Ahead: Mark Whitmore

It would be nice if the credit crunch would disappear as quickly as it came (along with the greed and recklessness that caused it in the first place).

Mark%20WhitmoreName: Mark Whitmore

Company: Swordfish

Job title: Founder and Managing Director

What made you want to get into marketing?
I studied linguistics at university and became fascinated with the creative use of language. I thought I was going to be a copywriter.

How did you get into the industry (including relevant qualifications and professional training)?
I started on the CIM course but abandoned it as soon as I got into the industry (the result of a drunken chat in the back of a cab and a slightly exaggerated claim to be able to speak 5 languages fluently)

What was good and bad about your first job?
IMC was an incredibly exciting place to work – an amazingly talented group of individuals with a total commitment to their clients. Working for Express Newspapers, the dreaded Friday afternoon client call saying ‘we need a promotion for Monday’s paper’ tended to put a dampener on your weekend plans.

List your jobs to date:
English language teacher in Bilbao, Spain
IMC – from Account Manager to Group Account Director
Swordfish – founded in 1998 and just celebrating 10 years

What were the best and worst, and why?
Managing the Daily Star account for 3 years was a dream come true for a young man in his 20s – the icing on the cake was when a famous Page 3 model spotted me in a pub with my work mates and came over and gave me a kiss. Life doesn’t get much better.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Leys Geddes (ex of IMC) – a true gentleman in the industry, great people-person and an amazing spotter of talent (despite recruiting me)

Who in the industry do you most admire?
Professor David Crystal of AdPepper – a great intellect whose work has fuelled my fascination with the English language from my university days through to his innovative work in the digital industry today.

What is your biggest achievement to date?
Our award-winning digital work for the BBC was ground-breaking and helped the corporation to achieve its position as a leader in the field.

On what do you base your success so far?
Putting clients first

What are your ambitions?
To keep enjoying what I do and to keep working with people who inspire me.

Change one thing about your job:
If there weren’t the perception that agencies need to be in London I would spend a lot less time on the Suffolk Express every day – there’s talent in the shires too!

Change one thing about your industry:
Marketing should be more accountable  – we need to stand up and be counted and offer directly measurably ROI before the new pretenders like search and affiliates steal a march.

Change one thing about the world:
It would be nice if the credit crunch would disappear as quickly as it came (along with the greed and recklessness that caused it in the first place).

What is your favourite brand?
The BBC

What is the next big brand in your view?
China – the next ‘USA’

List your “media diet
Metro
Bbc.co.uk
Wired
Five Live

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