David Jones: My Life In Media

'I fly between 30,000 and 50,000 miles a month. When my three-year-old sees a plane he points to it and says "Daddy"'
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The Independent Online

David Jones, 39, is the global chief executive officer of the advertising agency Euro RSCG Worldwide, making him the youngest global CEO in the history of the advertising industry. He leads the network's 11,000 staff across 233 offices in 75 countries. He grew up in Britain but has lived in Germany, France and Australia. He now splits his time between Paris and New York with his French wife Karine and his children Alphonse, three, and Agathe, one.

So what inspired you to embark on a career in the media?

A total failure to build a career in tennis. I've also always believed that people who do well in media and advertising share three character traits: short attention spans, highly curious minds and doing all the work for their exams the night before. Given that I was born with that make-up, it seemed an obvious choice.

When you were 15 years, which newspaper did your family get and did you read it?

Our house was full of newspapers everything from The Times to The Guardian to The Daily Telegraph to the Financial Times.

And what were your favourite TV and radio programmes?

Probably The Tube or Grange Hill and Radio 1's chart show.

What media do you turn to first thing in the morning?

I have several Google searches set up to monitor key subjects and clients - so it's invariably an article that comes in on my BlackBerry from one of the automatic e-mail alerts. It could be from a number of different media sources.

Do you consult any media sources during the working day?

All the time. Google frequently. I have CNBC on permanently when I'm in my office in New York. BBC sport website. And various blogs and opinion-former sites to keep abreast of trends and changes.

What is the best thing about your job?

You get to work with and meet some of the most amazing people - from clients to colleagues. The variety is fantastic: you learn something new on a daily basis and being around creative ideas is extremely stimulating and fun. Advertising is like doing an MBA in life.

And the worst?

The travel. I fly between 30,000 and 50,000 miles a month. When my three-year-old son sees a plane he points to it and says "Daddy".

How do you feel you influence the media?

I don't. But a lot of the work we do does influence the media both for our clients and on broader trends. For example we were responsible for the word "metrosexual" becoming a worldwide phenomenon.

What's the proudest achievement in your working life?

I have two. Receiving an award from the Australian government for the work we had done raising money for the new children's cancer hospital in Australia and being named global CEO of Euro RSCG last year at the age of 38.

And what's your most embarrassing moment?

Being on the cover of GQ in Australia as one of Australia's "Top 10 most successful businessmen under 40". It was already embarrassing enough but they then blew the magazine cover up and spread it all over the windows of Sydney's Armani store without asking permission. Everyone in the agency found it highly amusing.

At home, what do you tune in to?

There's usually an iPod playing somewhere. On TV it's TV5's international channel (my wife is French), Dora the Explorer and Franklin the Turtle.

What is your Sunday paper and favourite magazine?

The New York Times, The Economist, Fortune, Maison Côté Ouest.

Name the one career ambition you want to realise before you retire

Make Euro RSCG the hottest agency in the world.

If you didn't work in the media what would you do?

New head of the England rugby team. (Note to the RFU: my number is +1 212 886 4100.)

Who in the media do you most admire and why?

Mercedes Erra. She's an amazing woman - a mother of five who's chairman of Euro RSCG Worldwide, chairman of Euro RSCG France, head of the French advertising association and was awarded the Légion d'Honneur.

The CV

1989: After studying at Middlesex Business School takes a placement with the BDH agency and is posted to Germany

1996: Returns to London to become the youngest board member of Abbott Mead Vickers/BBDO, running the Pizza Hut and Famous Grouse campaigns

1998: Hired by French-owned agency Euro RSCG to run its Australian operation. The agency later brings him back to oversee its London office, which he does while commuting from Paris on Eurostar

2004: Moves to United States to run Euro RSCG New York

2005: At 38, he becomes the youngest global CEO of an advertising agency in industry history