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5 Minutes with Managing Partner, Carl Ratcliff

Stop. Look. And listen. Resist impulse.

WHAT’S YOUR BACKSTORY?

I’m a geek at heart. Music. Film. Books. All that stuff, I love. I shimmied from law to advertising, last century, because I felt that it would get me closer to culture and the stuff that makes my world more colourful and exciting. Moving to Australia was a wonderful afterthought. And the best afterthought we as a family have actioned yet.

WHAT MAKES GOOD LEADERSHIP?

Great question! Compassionate sincerity. Blind faith. Trusting people from the outset. Good taste. Creative zeal. Positive energy. 

Be the boss you wish you’d always had. 

Above all else, love.

WHO'S YOUR IDOL?

Easy. David Bowie.

WHAT CAREER ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

Stop. Look. And listen. Resist impulse. Don’t try to make people happy who ultimately won’t give a shit about you in 12 months’ time.

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING ABOUT THE INDUSTRY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Its risk profile and taste gene. Its perception that measurement is hard or, worse, impossible. Its lack of trust in others’ experience and expertise.

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE GREATEST THREATS AND OPPORTUNITIES FACING THE INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW?

The short-term quest for margin. The numbers as plotted by 12 months. A lack of action bias for brand communication, coupled with an advertising shaped definition for brand propagation.

Greatest opportunities? To keep the faith in creativity. To sustain belief in the power of humanity. And to relish that the only thing between bad work and the world, is you and your team. In other words, you, me, us. We are the opportunity.

WHAT CAUSES DO YOU CARE ABOUT?

Civil rights. Political freedom. Education. Loving thy neighbour, not merely tolerating them.

FAVOURITE ALBUM OF ALL TIME?

Oooooh. I love these sorts of questions. I'm gonna cheat and give one by decade from:

1960s - Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys 

1970s - Young Americans, David Bowie

1980s - Murmur, REM

1990s - Screamadelica, Primal Scream 

2000s - Sound of Silver, LCD Soundsystem

2010s - About The Light, Steve Mason 

2020.. - The Night Chancers, Baxter Jury, 

If I had a gun to my head, it would be Soul Mining, The The.

(Yes I know it’s not in the decade list, but allows me a cheeky mention of one more essential album.)



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Stop. Look. And listen. Resist impulse.