My Mentor: Ben Jones On Paul Arden

'I had no idea what the rules were, and he told me just to rip them all up'

I fell into advertising and knew nothing about Paul at all and nothing really about advertising. I worked in the art buying department at Saatchis and I knew his reputation, which was that he was a madman.

His whole thing is about thinking differently, not going down the conventional route and fighting hard for it.

Like they say about everyone who is a creative genius, he's completely and utterly unpredictable. He approached me and said: "Do you want to join the creative department? I'm going to take a chance on you and hire you as a writer." It was a bit of an experiment for him. My mind hadn't been attuned to the idea that radio, press, TV or posters were the way you think about advertising to people. I never thought about it like that, and Paul instilled in me that it's all about great creative ideas, however they manifest themselves.

My art director and I went off to America for six months and when we came back he'd completely forgotten about us, as is often the case with Paul. He said: "It's not that I don't think you can do this. It's just that this isn't the right place for you."

The short amount of time I worked with him at Saatchis was great. He was a brilliant inspiration. I had absolutely no idea what the rules and regulations of advertising were, and he told me just to rip them all up.

I'm probably one of the ones who contributed to the massive sales of his book. When I went to universities and talked about what I did at Cake, I used to take five or six copies with me and give them out to students. I'd say: "Just read this, it will take you about two hours but it's absolutely brilliant."

Ben Jones is senior creative at Beattie McGuinness Bungay (BMB) and was a co-founder of Cake

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