My Life in Media: Gerry Moira

Gerry Moira, 57, is chairman and director of creativity of the leading advertising agency Euro RSCG London. He started his career as a copywriter at Ogilvy & Mather, before rising to become creative director of the French-owned Publicis. Arsenal-supporting Moira dreamt up the Renault Va-Va-Voom campaign, featuring Thierry Henry. He is a member of a 14-piece soul orchestra, and has three sons and a daughter. He lives with the youngest two in Camden, north London.

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

Innumeracy and the inability to retain facts combined to render me unfit for proper employment. A love of words, a craving for constant approval, and a brutally short attention-span smoothed my way into advertising. Then fear and greed took over as the twin drivers of my career. Fear of failure and the kind of atavistic, bone-memory greed that comes from having four children in private education.

When you were 10 years old, which newspaper did your family get, and did you read it?

My entire sexual education and, possibly, orientation were gleaned from the London Evening Standard's coverage of the Profumo affair. It had everything – toffs'*'tarts and sex'*'spies – and has left us some extraordinary iconography. The Lewis Morley picture of Christine Keeler astride an Arne Jacobson chair was taken on the first floor of Peter Cook's Establishment Club, with the Dudley Moore Trio playing in the basement. The Sixties baby, yeah!

And what were your favourite TV and radio programmes?

Ready Steady Go!, Morecambe & Wise, Hancock's Half Hour, That Was The Week That Was. Any European cinema on BBC2 in the often forlorn hope that it would eventually get mucky.

Describe your job

The implacable and, if necessary, punitive promulgation of creativity in all its manifestations. Plus a little bit of ambience management and stress counselling. My job title is not only very long but comparatively new. It enables Euro RSCG to hire talent like Mark Hunter to run the creative department, and frees me to apply creative thinking to our own business as well as that of our clients.

What's the first media you turn to in the mornings?

The BBC Radio 4 Today programme, although James Naughtie's habit of answering his own questions is beginning to get on my tits, and I have to switch off Thought for the Day, or I cut myself shaving.

Do you consult any media sources during the working day?

BBC Online, Guardian Unlimited, YouTube.

What is the best thing about your job?

At the time of going to press, Euro RSCG is lying second in the ad-agency new-business league. I wrote much of the work for the recent creative pitches for Yakult and 3 mobile. Both campaigns will constitute major repositioning for these brands within their competitive sets. At Euro RSCG, we aim to create contagious ideas that create their own space within the consumer's pressured attention span, and get passed on from host to host. The future is about self-propelled ideas that go on working when the booster rocket of paid-for media has been jettisoned.

And the worst?

Clients often confuse conceptual creative thinking with the executional. This leads them to treat their agencies as some kind of craft guild, and, distressingly, pay them accordingly.

How do you feel you influence the media?

Advertising sits beside the media catwalk like a Topshop buyer at a couture show. We copy, we adapt, we get it out there fast.

What's the proudest achievement in your working life?

Kissing Kate Moss in the restaurant J Sheekey.

And what's your most embarrassing moment?

See above.

At home, what do you tune in to?

Radio 4, E4, the 4x4 channel. All the 4s, basically. Plus Radio Nova and

What is your Sunday paper? And do you have a favourite magazine?

The Observer and (guilty pleasure) The Spectator. I am also partial to the house-porn section of Country Life magazine, and I find The New Yorker essential reading for long train or plane journeys. Oh, God, whatever happened to that radical firebrand of my youth?

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

To keep my enthusiasm and keep my friends. I don't subscribe to the notion that one's creativity dries up at 50, but too many good people leave the advertising business around that time because they lose their curiosity and engagement.

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


Whom in the media do you most admire, and why?

Stephen Fry. He's funny, clever and compassionate. And Clive James. He's funny, clever and prolific.

The CV

1977 Starts career as copywriter at Ogilvy & Mather

1982 After moving to Publicis, creates the 'Gripping Stuff' campaign for Pirelli, and 'What's Yours Called?' for Renault

1987 Leaves to co-found own agency, WGMO, which is sold eight years later to the publicly quoted Incepta Group

1995 Rejoins Publicis as executive creative director. Agency grows from 13th to 3rd in the UK

2002 Dreams up the Va-Va-Voom campaign for Renault

2005 Becomes director of creativity at Euro RSCG UK agency

2007 Is made chairman of the agency

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
politicsIs David Cameron trying to prove he's down with the kids?
Businessman at desk circa 1950s
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Sauce Recruitment: Partnership Sales Executive - TV

competitive + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: An award-winning global multi-media...

Sauce Recruitment: Account Director

£26017.21 - £32521.19 per annum + OTE $90,000: Sauce Recruitment: My client is...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Events Business) - Manchester - Urgent!

£30000 - £35000 per annum + 25 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Marketi...

Sphere Digital Recruitment: Senior Sales Engineer - SaaS-based CX & Personalisation Solutions

£60-80k fixed + 20-30% bonus + benefits + Pre-IPO shares: Sphere Digital Recru...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea