Getting to know... Emma Thompson

Published by

Emma Thompson has worked at Golley Slater for nearly 10 years and has headed up the Consumer Brands agency for almost three.

As head of the agency, Emma is now less hands-on and more of a cheerleader for those who do the great work, focussing on the mid-to-far strategy of the agency, and the modernity and preservation of the ever-evolving agency offering. In the first year of her role she successfully transitioned the agency back into profit with a strong proposition for the modern times.

Below, she explains more about her career, how she stays inspired and her dreams for the future of the industry.

Tell us a bit about your role

I'm the housekeeper! The Commercial and operation controller of the business and steward of commercially sound investor opportunities, talent acquisition and driver of future modernity of our proposition. I’m also the fall guy and at times the funny guy. 

Tell us about your background and how it has equipped you for today

An agency thoroughbred, from the get-go my working life has been in an agency environment, on the commercial side via my client handling experience and the planning side of insight led creative output. I’ve been trained by some of the best business leaders in the industry, including managing partners who were themselves the creative directors, alongside senior people in grocery retail and ex McKinsey consultants.

If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?

I trained to be in law. If I'd have progressed in this direction, I would hope that by now I'd be a criminal or employment barrister.

What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?

Jaw dropping creative that answers the customer challenge in a way you could never imagine when given the brief… and of course the people behind the magic.

Tell us something about your professional life we don’t already know

I can set up and run a lithographic printing machine!

What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?

Convincing Coca-Cola to make us their agency of choice and re-winning a roster position twice in a creative pitch environment.

How do you recharge away from the office?

I'm never too far away from work and am lucky in that I rarely need to recharge. But I LIVE for holidays with my family - we never visit the same place twice. I don’t have a bucket list, but I do have a list of oceans, seas and lakes that I want to dive in.

What’s your one big hope for the future of the creative industries?

Over the past 10 years, agencies have been quashed into answering briefs rather than answering challenges. The rise of in-house creative team compounds the devolution of a creative agency’s skills and ability to help. I want our agency community to once again be seen by blue chip clients as an intelligent extension of their team, who co-collaborate to answer sales and brand objectives.


More Features



What to do when the plagiarist strikes?

Of all the projects I’ve been involved with since my career in design and branding kicked off some twenty years ago, there are few I feel as fondly towards as the Studiocanal cinema ident. I remember the day we received the brief; the rush of...

Posted by: Richard Holman


How neuroscience can save Christmas for brands

Yes, it's September, and you're not the only one wondering where the year went right now. Excuse the 'C' word, but Christmas is around the corner, at least for consumers. Brands will already have most of their planning ready for this year, and they...

Posted by: Creativepool Editorial


The industry’s mental health is in bad shape, but there's hope

With the COVID-19 outbreak showing no signs of giving up, more and more professionals in the creative industry have been struggling with mental health, with 67% of people feeling now more anxious than ever, according to Anxiety UK. The mental health...

Posted by: Antonino Lupo
ad: Meerodrop