“‘Whopper Detour’ Was A Brilliant Idea”: 10 Of The Best With whiteGREY’s Lee Simpson

“‘Whopper Detour’ Was A Brilliant Idea”: 10 Of The Best With whiteGREY’s Lee Simpson

Welcome to B&T’s brand new interview series, ‘10 of the Best’, which has been created in celebration of our inaugural Best of the Best awards.

[Looking for the live stream of B&T’s Best of the Best awards? You’ve found it – click here!]

Presented by Finecast, Best of the Best will bring something unique to this year’s awards season. While most awards focus on the work of an agency or company as a whole, Best of the Best will celebrate the immense individual talent on show in every area of advertising, marketing and media.

Our Best of the Best awards will also be celebrating the people who continue to do the most, with categories for mentors and social change-makers.

You can find a breakdown of all the different categories here, along with a downloadable file outlining the full submission criteria.

Come on, you know you want to enter! Head on over HERE to complete your submission/s by Friday 25 June 2021.

To inspire you even more to enter Best of the Best, we’ll be publishing some fab interviews with a number of senior folk from Finecast and the broader WPP AUNZ network over the coming weeks.

First up is Lee Simpson, CEO of whiteGREY Australia. Enjoy…

Best piece of career advice…

‘Challenge and support’ in equal measures. Look for employers who provide it, a team that welcomes it and be a leader that delivers it.

Demanding a certain standard is important, but you can’t have high expectations of others (or yourself) without the accompanying support.

Best agency in Australia at the moment (that’s not yours) and why…

I’m going to give a shout out to Special Group. Their global expansion is to be respected and the recognition they are getting for their impact is impressive. I also had the pleasure of working with Tom [Martin] and Jules [Schreiber] in Melbourne and enjoy seeing them do their thing.

Best industry leader and why…

Katie Rigg-Smith [CEO of Mindshare] is in the mix. A sharp mind, a compassionate approach and a great collaborator.

Best mentor in your life/career and why…

Sometimes it is the less formal and more fleeting exchanges that stay with you. When I was at Grey London as a young GAD, Tamara Ingram (now chair at Wunderman Thompson) used to invite me into her office for a motivational chat.

She once said, “You are the kind of person who needs to feel the heat,” suggesting I should always look to be stretched. I’ve been looking for situations where I ‘feel the heat’ ever since.

Best brand you’ve never worked on and why…

Does brand Australia count? Tourism Australia is culturally and commercially significant, a world-class ‘product’ and a breadth of work across a range of disciplines.

Best song for inspiration and why…

Not really sure why, but “Ain’t Nobody” by Chaka Khan always seems to put me in a good mood. Should this be the answer to the guilty pleasure question?

Best mistake you’ve ever made…

Leaving my hometown of Birmingham. I miss old friends and family, but my time in London, Melbourne and Sydney have been eventful.

Best rumour you’ve heard about yourself…

That I’m a closet Chaka Khan fan.

Best ad of the past decade and why…

Blimey, a tough one. ‘Whopper Detour’ was a brilliant idea that combined creativity, technology and commerce and was celebrated for effectiveness. What’s not to like?

If you want an ad, the work Channel 4 in the UK did in support of the Paralympics for London 2012 was pretty special. ‘Superhumans’ got back to the meaning of ‘para’ being ‘side by side/alongside’ and therefore ‘equal to’. A strong strategy, a powerful ad and a sold-out Paralympics for the very first time.

Best guilty pleasure…

I like a chat as much as the next person, but at the end of a long day, sometimes you just need to decompress … alone. Nipping into a pub for a ‘private pint’ sitting at the bar alone is something of a guilty pleasure.




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