I am delighted to hear that one of my favourite people in Advertising has returned to New Zealand, he lived in Australia for (I think) eight years.
Brian Harrison was creative director for an agency called Rialto in the 80s. They vied with MacKay King in the awards league tables. I worked for MacKay King when I got a call from a character called Andy McCleod, a notorious headhunter. Would I like to show Brian my portfolio? As it happened I had stopped enjoying working for MKA; the creative director had become mean spirited and unpredictable, and the culture was kind of creepy. It didn't take much to load up my motorbike with my oversized and overstuffed bag under one leg to a clandestine meeting on the pillared steps of the Auckland War Memorial Museum with Mr Harrison. It was a windy day but Brian insisted I show him the work there and then. It was mainly paper because,at that time I hadn't done any TV commercials. He must have liked something because he hired me.
The time at Rialto was great fun. I learned more about advertising practice from Brian than anyone before or since. He has an enigmatic, philosophical bent and loves to laugh. It's a good sign when people laugh. Because I was young and dumb and full of myself then I made plenty of mistakes, but Brian led me through them and took a paternalistic interest in my progress. He even insisted I buy a proper engagement ring when I proposed to the agency's receptionist and, because I was an impoverished wastrel, he saw to it that the company advanced me the money for a rock. Brian told me that I wouldn't understand anything until I had changed my own children's diapers (and he was right about that too). So I am chuffed to have renewed contact.
If you are looking for a seasoned, witty and insightful hand to nurture your advertising and promotions I have no hesitation in recommending Brian's consultancy, North Head.
I am looking forward to having lunch with him tomorrow.
The ad pictured is one made by Brian for a large accounting firm (from Memory).
"It's a dog eat dog world. So get a big dog"