Freelance Copywriter, Creative Director, Strategist.

Never say die. But always say thanks.


A while back, and it was quite a while back, I was working at Ogilvy & Mather in Auckland.

Our client Pernod Ricard only ran international work for Chivas and really wasn’t interested in letting us produce local creative.

It was an election year and we had this idea to run an ad next day in the papers saying “Two fingers to the new Government” and showing a simple Chivas pack shot and glass.

We bullied the Account Manager relentlessly to sell it. But the client wasn’t having a part of it.

He stone-walled us with every excuse. “I don’t have any money”. So we got Time Magazine to give it us a full page for free.

“I don’t have money for the shoot.” We found a perfectly good pack shot in his library.

Eventually, after lots of gentle persuasion by the Account Manager, he gave in and agreed.

Then to our horror the Alcohol Advisory whoever…said “No”. Because we might “upset” someone. Without their approval and key number the ad couldn’t run.

So went back once more and reminded them of their mandate. We weren’t encouraging children to drink, or showing a change of mood or even suggesting alcohol made you more attractive.

We were just taking the piss.

And reluctantly they gave in.

The ad ran. It won a Clio and we probably drank a bottle of Chivas to celebrate.

But the point is this, the hard part wasn’t coming up with the idea. The hard part is not giving up when people say “No”.

And being a hot headed creative, it took me a while to realise that the Account man – Mr Scott Wallace really deserved the Clio.

Never say die. But always say thanks.


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