Mr & Mrs Smith’s Julian Diment on why it’s a ‘golden age’ for customer-focused marketers

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Julian Diment

Julian Diment didn’t originally plan to be a marketer. He did a law degree and hoped to be a barrister, but three days into a two-week internship at a barrister’s chambers realised it wasn’t the job for him.

Diment admits there was no “serious moment of reflection” when he decided to go into advertising. He was working in a bar and got talking to some people who worked at Boase Massimi Pollitt (BMP, the precursor to DDB London) and who invited him to do an internship at the agency. “It was the week before Christmas in an ad agency in the early 1990s so I thought, ‘this is the job for me’.”

He applied to a number of ad agencies while still at university and was offered a graduate trainee spot at Saatchi & Saatchi. He quickly rose through the ranks working on clients including Sony, Carlsberg and Anchor Foods and by 25 was on the company’s board.

Yet Diment has always been keen to follow his passions so he left Saatchi in 2002 to set up his own restaurant. He worked 18 hours a day for two years on Paell’Ya, which won awards for its concept and food but which he “couldn’t

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