My Mentor: Stevie Spring On Mike Gold

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The Independent Online

Which is where Mike Gold, who's mentored me through two decades, came in. Mike was a media guru when, by rights, he should still have been a graduate trainee. He set up his own agency in his twenties, sold it to the Americans and started again in 1980 with Gold Greenlees Trott.

Goldie and I worked together for four years through successful pitches (Does you does or does you don't take Access?) to nightmares (Mr Wonderful for Courts Furnishings) and hundreds of credentials presentations with me singing the jingle-laden show reel (Hello Tosh, Gotta Toshiba?... Aristonandonandon...) in between. We only fought once - when he threw me off my chair in the middle of a presentation.

He understood the opportunities of media better than the media owners selling them. He thought laterally and creatively about how best to bring an idea to life, how to launch a campaign with a bang and make it last.

He always got more bang for a client's buck by intuitively understanding the relationship between message, medium and consumer better than anyone. (Being a fine poker player also made him a scary negotiator.)

Goldie taught me that cheap isn't necessarily a bargain, and that the advertising universe is media-centric - lessons that still serve me well.

Stevie Spring is chief executive of Clear Channel UK