How Malcolm Caldwell Got Ahead

Name: Malcolm Caldwell
Company: Inferno
Job title: Joint Creative Director

Name: Malcolm Caldwell

Company: Inferno

Job title: Joint Creative Director

What made you want to get into marketing?

The humorous TV ads of the 70s and early 80s.

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

I went to design school and specialised in advertising. We had the best tutor, Tony Daffern, who has now retired. He introduced me to the great and the good of the advertising world and then I did the placement thing. I got a 2:1 degree but as we know they’re not worth the paper they’re written on for creatives.

What was good and bad about your first job?

Good: I had a very picky, slightly overbearing Head of Copy with an acute eye for detail.

Bad: See above.

List your jobs to date:

SMI (which became Publicis Technology), Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett (Leonardo), Hicklin Slade & Partners and now Inferno.

What were the best and worst, and why?

Best: Saatchi & Saatchi – a great group of people, at a great time for the agency, at a great time for the industry.

Worst: I’ve not had one yet.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My mum and dad who worked longer hours than anyone I know, and who went without to send me to college.

Who in the industry do you most admire?

Neil French, a brilliant copywriter from the old school.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

Helping Honda win direct brand of the decade as Creative Director on the account for the last three years.

On what do you base your success so far?

Good partnership with Adam Haywood my Art Director (and joint Creative Director) and hard work – lots of it.

What are your ambitions?

To eventually own my own agency.

Change one thing about your job:

The hours.

Change one thing about your industry:

The egos.

Change one thing about the world:

These questions are tough – George Bush.

What is your favourite brand?

Obvious, but Honda.

What is the next big brand in your view?

Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire Puds.

List your “media diet”:

Now I’m just confused.



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