Humans: Tony Malcolm

1) What’s your job, in a nutshell?

I am a Creative Director in a nutshell. A Crunchy Nut shell, looking after that and a few other brands in the Kellogg’s stable, not to mention half the creative output on McDonald’s. I also double up as a copywriter getting involved on accounts under fellow CDs and getting stuck into new business pitches.

Tony Malcolm

2) What made you want to get into advertising?

I was shit at graphic design at Art College and happened upon the advertising course run through D&AD. I got a portfolio together and got a job at Saatchi and Saatchi during the halcyon days of iconic Conservative campaigns. It happened by accident really. My ambition as a kid was to be a farmer.

3) What’s your all-time favourite ad?

Boringly, it is The Guardian’s Points of View. Boring only in the fact that it’s many creatives favourite ad. I also loved a Nike film shot in the States of Andre Agassi (when he had hair) playing tennis on a stage with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It’s called ‘Rock and Roll Tennis’ and it’s as mad as Flea in a white Fedora hat.

Anything that combines sport and rock and roll is fine in by me.

4) Who’s your favourite colleague, and why?

Well I have to say Guy Moore don’t I, seeing as we are one of the longest standing teams in advertising having worked together for over 26 years now. The man is a legend, a walking accident zone, a Yorkshireman with a fuse as short as his pipe cleaner legs and a great Art Director. He also happens to be passionate in his craft and enthusiastic in his love of advertising, Guy once turned down sex with a gorgeous woman because, using his words, which you have to imagine in a broad Yorkshire drawl ‘sorry luv, I’m too in love with ads’.

5) Tell us a joke.

I can’t do that. I can tell funny stories and I’ve got a shed-load of them about Guy Moore. The all time classic is where he spent three hours under his desk waiting to jump out and scare me (something that was a long running battle between us) but people came into the office with me as I returned holding two cups of tea and kept coming in and out of the office so his opportunity didn’t arise. I was getting sick and tired of telling everyone that I had no idea where he’d disappeared to and his tea went cold. He eventually emerged looking shattered and misshapen whilst I was reviewing with a team who happened to see a protruding leg through a gap between our two desks. His excuse was he’d dropped his pen. Needless to say, I was shocked and stunned and the team backed out of the office gingerly as I yelled at him that he’d totally lost the plot.

6) If you weren’t working here, what would you be doing?

I’d be working the land in some way shape or form. By the Chinese horoscope, I am an Ox and I like nothing better than being neck high in earth and shite. Unfortunately for me I was born a Hounslow boy, where farming isn’t very high on the career opportunities list.

7) Which four people would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?

Spike Milligan (my hero), George Best (I hugged him once when he played for Fulham), Ghandi (he lived a few doors up from me on Baron’s Court Rd once…check out the blue plaque up the road from here) and Oliver Reed (he likes a brew). Imagine what that concoction of characters would lead to.

8) Tell us an interesting story about you and a celebrity.

I was once pulled up (not pulled off) on stage by Christopher Biggins during the pantomime at Richmond Theatre. It was Aladdin and he was Widow Twanky and he kept me up there for fifteen minutes doing a skit where he washed my coat at the Chinese Laundry. Needless to say, the washing machine blew up and swallowed up my coat. I then sat coatless through the performance with Biggins calling me 'coo-eee Tony' and waving at me throughout the rest of the show. I was called back on stage for the finale where I was handed a replica of my coat in rags and smouldering. We then went into the end tune where I linked arms with Biggins and Patsy Kensit singing ‘Is this the way to Amarillo’ kicking my legs high in the air. My street cred in Richmond has stood for nothing ever since, although I had danced with Liam Gallagher and Jim Kerr’s ex-missus, so that counts for something.

9) You’re going into space. You’re allowed to take one record, one book and one film. What do you choose?

One album I never tire of listening to is Crowded House ‘Together Alone’, so many good tunes. Not necessarily my favourite album of all time, but there is something to suit whatever mood I might be in, in space. One book would be one I haven’t read yet, probably a Grisham bought at the launch pad in WHSmith. One film would be ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’.

10) Sum up Leo Burnett London in five words.

Like a f***ed up family.

7th June 2012