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.