With an utter disgust for coriander and surviving a hairy situation on a Russian train with no lock on the cabin door, DDB’s head of planning, Fran Clayton, becomes the latest under the B&T microscope for our industry profiles.
What’s your backstory? (The non-LinkedIn one)
I grew up in an entrepreneurial and creative family and I worked in the family business all through my teens and early twenties. Mum and Dad had a fashion label, the rag trade is tough so I learned some good lessons about commercial creativity.
If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a builder.
What’s your proudest career moment to date?
I feel proud when I think of the example I’m setting for my daughter.
Who’s your industry hero?
Sandy Thompson, for teaching me how to listen for the truth.
What makes good leadership?
Vulnerability. The courage to be honest and to be yourself.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
God knows, but hopefully not to far from Tawharanui, my Turangawaewae.
What’s been your most challenging career moment?
An overnight train trip from Moscow to Rostov On Don, with no lock on my cabin door.
What would you change about the industry?
More women and more diversity in CCO, CSO and CEO roles.
What’s piece of advice you’d give your younger self?
The best ideas will make you uncomfortable.
What’s one thing not many know about you?
I can’t stand coriander.
What’s your quirkiest attribute?
My colourful shower cap.
If you could be Prime Minister for a week, what would you do?
What’s your favourite kind of cheese?
Buffalo Mozzarella with tomatoes and basil.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee, then tea.
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