I’ve just reached my two-month milestone at t&s, and while that doesn’t qualify me for a long-service award, it’s more than enough time to form an accurate picture of what life is like at t&s.
Lots of words spring to mind (they should do, I’m a copywriter) all positive – and no, I’m not being sycophantic to the boss – the one that keeps repeating in my head is ‘nice’.
Not a startlingly original choice of word, but very appropriate, because against my background of having worked for quite a few agencies, full-time and freelance, nice is very apt. Explanation coming up.
As a teenager, I was drawn to the advertising business like a moth to a proverbial flame. What a fascinating, stimulating, and fun job to do, I surmised as I researched how to get into it.
Fascinating and stimulating it certainly is, but the fun bit? Not always. Before now, that is.
I spent ten years working for two very good agencies in London. It was an era of legendary fire-breathing creative directors at a time of excess. It was also an era of volatility, riven with office politics and watching your back. Such a tiresome and counter-productive way to spend part of one’s day.
I don’t doubt that such negative energy is evident in other industries, but it seems particularly prevalent in advertising. Why, I don’t know.
But hand on heart, life at t&s isn’t like that one little bit.
The people here are genuinely ‘nice’.
The day begins with the office Zoom call, and your screen proliferates with smiling faces. Before the serious business of who’s doing what and by when on the Trello board, there’s banter. Good-natured and very funny.
Now I don’t want you to think this is some Disneyesque vision of an ad agency, because it’s not. Aside from having a sharp sense of humour, everyone here is a razor-sharp thinker, incredibly bright with so much to bring to the table. This is a serious business; we’re asking clients to believe in what we produce and commit their money behind our thinking.
There are differences of opinion and lively debate, of course, there are. But all done without fear of putting noses out of joint, we’re just very passionate about what we do, and the result is always better work.
But if you’re one of those who thinks nice people finish last, I offer this final thought:
Incredibly successful careers and agencies have been built on the cornerstone of being nice, such as by Peter Mead, the M of Abbott Mead Vickers.
His book ‘When in Doubt, be Nice’ is about the secret of his success, which disproves the theory that to succeed you have to be nasty, it can happen by being nice.
Two months in, my experience of t&s is nothing but positive. It’s a happy place to work, the atmosphere is very lively and very collaborative.
And the work that comes out the other end is very good.
I look forward to continuing to play my part in helping them do more of it.
I think that’s a nice point to end on.