A bet­ter than free lunch

Finweek English Edition - - Letters - RICHARD MILL­SON

YOUR RE­PORT ON Robyn Put­ter (Tony Koenderman, 4 June) re­minded me of my first meet­ing with this ad man many years ago. Just out of var­sity and into my first week on the job at SmithK­line Beecham Con­sumer Health­care (now GSK), our mar­ket­ing team at­tended a func­tion with our ad­ver­tis­ing agency, at the time O&M.

I spot­ted a ta­ble where there was only one per­son seated, so I sat down and in­tro­duced my­self. He in­tro­duced him­self by his first name and we struck up a con­ver­sa­tion about brands we had in com­mon, such as Aquafresh and Lu­cozade. He pro­ceeded to ask me what I did at SB and I ex­plained I had re­cently joined the mar­ket­ing team to work on the con­sumer brands port­fo­lio.

I then asked him what he did at O&M. Our ac­count man­ager, who had by then joined us at the ta­ble, blush­fully said: “He’s our chair­man!” I thanked her for that vi­tal, al­though rather late, piece of in­for­ma­tion and turn­ing back to Robyn, I said: “That’s in­ter­est­ing – so what ex­actly does that en­tail?”

I then had the most in­sight­ful half an hour dis­cus­sion with the chair­man about what he did at O&M – his role in the cus­to­di­an­ship of brands and en­sur­ing con­sis­tency of brand po­si­tion­ing in new and con­tin­u­ally dif­fer­ent ways.

That in­ter­ac­tion served to guide my ap­proach to brand man­age­ment early in my ca­reer and en­trench my pas­sion for con­sumer mar­ket­ing to this day, 15 years later. Sim­i­larly, I’m sure Put­ter’s im­pact on the Ogilvy team will be ev­i­dent for many years to come.

Via email

Robyn Put­ter

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