I’ve been a copywriter for over thirty years, holding senior positions at agencies both large and small. During that time, I’ve worked on a huge range of accounts, writing everything from big-budget TV, print and outdoor campaigns to blog posts and promotional emails. There have even been a few awards along the way.
Not that ads are all I write. I’m the author of five published books (on football and baldness). I wrote a regular online football column for nine years. And I had a spell working on the BBC’s The Weakest Link, writing questions and mean things for Anne Robinson to say.
Oct 2008 to date: Freelance
Agencies I’ve worked with include DDB, Saatchi&Saatchi, SapientNitro, Fallon, Kindred, Brooklyn Brothers, Velocity and Big Al’s Creative Emporium.
I’ve also worked with brand/design consultancies including Unreal and Appetite, as well as directly for clients.
A few of the brands I’ve written for: Lipton Tea, Wrigley’s Airwaves, Wall’s Ice Cream, NBC Sports, Ladbrokes, Scottish Power, Skoda, AXA, Scottish Power, Wren Kitchens, Bacofoil, Daily Mail, Vanarama.
Aug 2004 – Oct 2008: JWT London – Creative Director
Here, I worked on many of the agency’s major accounts: Vodafone, HSBC, Persil, Knorr, Kellogg’s and Nestlé.
I also oversaw copy written by junior creative teams.
Apr 2003 – Aug 2004: Book Writing
Most of this period was spent working on the manuscript for my book Bald! but I also squeezed in some freelance copywriting at agencies including Inferno and Mustoe Merriman Levy.
Sept 2002 – Apr 2003: BBC TV – The Weakest Link
I wrote and researched questions, compiled shows and scripted acerbic put-downs for Anne Robinson to deliver.
July 1997 – June 2002: Mustoe Merriman Levy – Head of Copy
I was made Head of Copy in 1999, not least because of the string of new business wins to which I contributed: Thomson Skytours, Pork Farms, The Street, Norwich Union, WAGN Railways, Lloydspharmacy, LG Electronics and Brewsters Restaurants.
I also worked on Penguin Books, Imperial Tobacco, Michael Page and Kia Cars.
Feb 1993 – July 1997: Book Writing / Freelance
I wrote three books during this period (see below) as well as freelancing at agencies including Delaney Fletcher Bozell and DMB&B, where I was acting Group Head).
I worked on accounts including Fiat, the Daily Telegraph, the Financial Times, Chrysler (including the UK launch of the Neon) and Samsung Electronics.
Jan 1991 – Feb 1993: Horner Collis & Kirvan / Euro RSCG
As a Senior Copywriter, I wrote ads for Peugeot, Moss Security, Post-It, Majestic Wine, CompuServe and D&AD.
Jan 1989 – Dec 1990: Abbott Mead Vickers
Reporting directly to David Abbott, I worked on accounts including Volvo, Business Pages, Sainsbury’s, Sun Alliance and the Observer.
Nov 1984 – Dec 1988: Cogent Elliott, Solihull
The principal accounts I worked on here were: Epson, Jewson, Milton Keynes, Pork Farms and Rolls-Royce.
D&AD – Silver, Silver nomination, various ads in the book
Campaign Press – Silver, commendations
Campaign Posters – Silvers
Creative Circle – Golds, Bronzes
The One Show – Merit awards
New York Festival – Bronze
Roses – 5 Golds, 3 Silvers, 8 Bronzes
Winner of Idea Bounty/Peperami Crowdsourcing Competition 2009
Winner of Idea Bounty/FT.com Crowdsourcing Competition 2010
Winner of Idea Bounty/PlayHugeLottos Crowdsourcing Competition 2011
Winner of Idea Bounty/Bertolli Crowdsourcing Competition 2011
Winner of Idea Bounty/Disaronno Crowdsourcing Competition 2011
Norfolk ’n’ Good – A Supporter’s View of Norwich City’s Best-Ever Season (1993)
This Supporting Life – How to be a Real Football Fan (Headline Books, 1994)
The Second Coming – A Supporter’s View of the New Era at Norwich City (1997)
This Supporting Life (revised and expanded version – Headline, 1997)
Bald! – From Hairless Heroes to Comic Combovers (Bloomsbury, 2005)
Yellow Lines: The Norwich City Columns (2012)
Jesus College, Cambridge (Scholarship; MA in Modern and Medieval Languages)
Norwich School (12 O-Levels, all Grade A; 3 A-levels, all As; 2 S-levels, both Grade 1)