Getting ahead: Tom Thirwall

There I met a creative director (Mick Leighton) who was sporting a fresh-from-Cannes-Lions tan he gave me the wrong impression that it was going to be all sun and awards shows.

Name: Tom Thirwall

Company:MWORKS

Job title: Managing Director

What made you want to get into brands/advertising/media/marketing?
When I was 17 I was on work experience at a film production company. There I met a creative director (Mick Leighton) who was sporting a fresh-from-Cannes-Lions tan he gave me the wrong impression that it was going to be all sun and awards shows.

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

What was good and bad about your first job.

GOOD:
The people and comaraderie of working in media.

Eating in the Ivy at 21.

BAD:
Mentally unhinged boss

Media owners eating me for breakfast

List your jobs to date

PRE-MEDIA DAYS

Parcel Force: Warehouse boy

Landscape gardener: Self employed

MEDIA

CIA Media-Edge

HCA

Fishtank

GHMC

ARC Worldwide

MWorks

What were the best and worst, and why

BEST

Current job. My team and working with them to do something we want and can shape

WORST

Selling advertising space in the “Lewisham Annual Disco Dancing Championship” program

Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Paul Nash: my uncle

Who in the industry do you most admire?
Levi Roots

I find it easier to admire people from outside the industry.

What is your biggest achievement to date?
Launching an agency at 23 and winning HP Bulmer and Disney within a month

On what do you base your success so far?
Treating people well and leading from the front

What are your ambitions?
Make a film that moves people or makes them laugh

Create a company that lasts longer than me

Finish reading one of the six books I’ve started this year

Change one thing about your job:
Getting to it every day: using modes of transport that I don’t fit into (the underground)

Change one thing about your industry:

Marketing speak: the wanky language that seeks to belittle those don’t speak it

Change one thing about the world:
Anyone who thinks that they are born better than anyone else

What is your favourite brand?
Tabasco

What is the next big brand in your view?
Botox

List your “media diet:

DAILY BREAKFAST:

XFM, Metro

…Or Radio 4 (if driving)

LUNCH:

igoogle delivering me: BBC Sport/Guardian Unlimited/Arsenal.COM/Technorati/Scamp

WEEKDAY DINNER:

Dave (The Sweeney, QI, Top Gear) BBC2 (Bruce Parry) Channel 5 (The Gadget Show) Channel 4 (Peep Show, F Word)

SATURDAY GRAZING:

Soccer AM/X-FACTOR/Strictly Come Dancing

Mark Kermode Film, Adam & Joe (6 Music), Russell Brand Podcasts

SUNDAY BRUNCH:

Observer and NOTW, T4

MIDNIGHT SNACKS:

Later With Jools Holland/Anything saved on Sky

RARE TREAT:

VIZ

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