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Agency of the year

Executive Creative Director John Treacy shares his first impressions

Q: John, you arrived at a busy time for the agency.

A: Certainly did. 2 pitches in 3 weeks. My very first weekend I was in on the Saturday, trying to find the light switches. There’s nothing like being thrown in at the deep end.

Q: A good experience?

A: Do you know, I was staggered. We’re such a well-oiled pitch machine. They’re a great team, fantastic people. And being immersed from the first day meant I got to know the agency very quickly.

A: And what do you think?

This is an agency full of professionals who are also very nice, very talented people. There’s a great rapport between departments. I like that. I felt very at home almost from day one.

Q: Was it different from what you were expecting?

A: Not really, no. Steve [Stretton] had given me a really good heads up. I’ve always admired the work. I think Proximity has been a bit quiet recently. That’s all changing and I’ve arrived to help with that. I want to make the work more visible.

Q: How will you do that?

A: Well we have the perfect base. Creative Intelligence works, the new business record proves it. So does the work coming out of the agency.

Q: You don’t think we place too much emphasis on data?

A: No. We have the perfect marriage of data and creativity. Totally seamless.  Metrics make my job easier, not harder.

Q: Where do you see the best creative opportunities?

A: Everywhere. If you look down the client list it’s amazing. VW must be the most awarded brand in the world. We’ve charity accounts that invite powerful storytelling. There’s Lloyds. The rebrand work is stunning. And P&G. Endless opportunities.

Q: What’s your goal? How do you define success?

A: I want to help everyone here – the creative department and everyone else – do the best work they’ve ever done. That way the recognition follows.

Q: Where’s the best creative work coming from at the moment?

A: South America. I was judging at Cannes in the summer and 60% of the entries were from Brazil, Chile, Argentina. It’s  fresh and has a rawness to it.

Q: Finally, any downsides to life at Proxi?

A: I’m still getting used to the Edgware Road. It’s a bit of a culture shock after Soho. I’ve taken refuge in…what’s that pub called… The Temperance.