Rory Sutherland stands at the centre of an advertising revolution in brand identities, designing cutting-edge, interactive campaigns that blur the line between ad and entertainment.
From unlikely beginnings as a classics teacher to his current job as Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group, Rory Sutherland has created his own brand of the Cinderella story. He joined Ogilvy & Mather’s planning department in 1988, and became a junior copywriter, working on Microsoft’s account in its pre-Windows days. An early fan of the Internet, he was among the first in the traditional ad world to see the potential in these relatively unknown technologies.
An immediate understanding of the possibilities of digital technology and the Internet-powered Sutherland’s meteoric rise.
Born in Usk, Monmouthshire in 1965, Rory read Classics at Christ’s College, Cambridge, before joining the then Ogilvy & Mather Direct as a Graduate Trainee in 1988.
After 18 months spent as the world’s worst account handler (as a desperate remedial measure he was once booked onto a time management course, but got the date wrong) Rory became a copywriter in June 1990.
Later on, Rory worked on Amex, BT, Compaq, Microsoft, IBM, BUPA, easyJet, Unilever, winning a few awards along the way. He was appointed Creative Director of OgilvyOne in 1997 and ECD in 1998. In 2005 he was appointed Vice Chairman of the Ogilvy Group in the UK in recognition of his improved timekeeping.
In his spare time, Rory collects self-aggrandising job titles. He was President of the Direct Jury at Cannes in 2007 and was elected President of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising in 2009. He is also the Tech Columnist of the Spectator, the world’s oldest English language magazine.
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