Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Ice-lollyman Cometh


One of the most interesting people I have met in my career so far is Mike Hutcheson.
When I was a young copywriter I worked for his advertising agency, Hutcheson Knowles Marinkovich.

They were strange birds.

It was the first open-plan office I had worked in. The building has a curious opulence, a converted early 20th Century space that is now the recording studio owned by the Finn Brother from Crowded House whose name escapes me presently.

In contrast to the baroque surroundings were the accommodations for staff. Everybody had a trestle desk with an unfinished door as its surface - even the principals who sat among us. Hutch was the managing director. Of the three partners he was the 'people person'. Everyone loved Mike (as I am sure they still do). The democracy was all embracing - there were 'Good News Bad News' meetings. Hutch would analogize about the mountains and the balloon - the balloon being the agency and the mountains the challenges we faced - sort of like a cheap video game, except on a whiteboard - so cheaper. Marco Marinkovich would let everyone know there were no stars at HKM. In may ways it was a hair-shirt Soviet style environment. Employees were terrorized into working stupid hours…I have to say that I've never had a Presbyterian work ethic. I just do my stuff. Sitting at a desk has never helped. Sitting at a desk looking worried is worse. I never really liked the pious, bloodless culture of HKM - though I did work two tours with them.

But through it all Hutch was an affable, human being. And, as I said, I liked him. Still do. So…I'm pleased to see him involved in the Print Centre reiteration Ice. Glad to see he's given up on the Robert Johnson eye glasses though (if you're going to have a signature, make it your own - that goes double for Deborah Hill-Cohen.

Check out Ice Interactive. Not sure about the staff photos, but what the heck - there's probably a theory/rationale behind it. I just wasn't there.

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