My Mentor: Paul Simons on Dominic Cadbury
'He listened to my idea, agreed and simply asked me to make it happen'
Monday 18 December 2006
Lady luck, played a considerable role in my fledgling marketing career, but I owe even more to Dominic Cadbury, the scion of the chocolate dynasty. I started in brand management at Cadbury-Schweppes some 18 months after completing an MBA course at Lancaster University. I was in my early 20s and it was the '70s - a brave new world of tremendous creativity and boldness at Cadbury as a great deal of talented people set out on their careers. We were breaking from the traditional old-school mode of marketing - like Google, PlayStation and eBay are doing today.
As a young manager I was lucky enough to get 'face time' with Dominic, who had joined as Marketing Director shortly after I started. His approach, intellect, good humour and professionalism has left an indelible mark on me.
Dominic's biggest influence was the personal support he gave for a big idea I'd cooked up. I'd worked out if I could bundle together certain products we could achieve substantial incremental distribution leading to a massive increase in sales.
Aged only 23, I was asked to go to his office on my own to explain my idea, quietly terrified I was going to make an idiot out of myself. To my great relief he patiently listened, agreed and simply asked me to make it happen ...
Some months later, a national TV campaign broke, the sales force achieved almost perfect distribution and the company added millions of incremental sales.
Dominic went on to become CEO of the company and was later awarded a knighthood. I became client services director at the advertising agency Gold Greenlees Trott (GGT), which we turned into one of the largest independent agencies in the UK. I am happy to say we became Cadbury's lead agency for a great stretch of time, for which I have to thank a mixture of luck, open-mindedness and sound judgement.
Paul Simons is head of the Cagney media agency
David Cameron stung by jellyfish: PM hurt after ignoring advice of locals while on holiday
South Korea ferry: Vice principal rescued from sinking ship found hanged
Oscar Pistorius trial: The case against Oscar Pistorius – and why the prosecution claims his story doesn't add up
Peaches Geldof funeral: Private ceremony to be held at same place as her mother Paula Yates on Easter Monday
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
- 1 Are you turning into your dad? The top ten signs you've embraced dad-ism revealed as survey says 38 is age men turn into their father
- 2 Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
£26K-30k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...
£25K-28k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: There are many small development projects in ...
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: As part of an ongoing effort to support local...