The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


It’s Been An Honour …

After 7 years, today is my last day at Wieden+Kennedy.

Just as traumatic is that in 6 days, it will be my last day in China.

Or said another way, it will be my last day living in Asia-Pacific after 22 amazing years.

There’s honestly too much to say.

Too many memories to write about.

Too many people to thank and talk about.

So instead I’ll just say it has been the time of my life.

An amazing, spectacular, wonderful adventure both personally and professionally.

From marriage and babies to being part of work that defined World Cups and Olympics.

Wow.

It’s absolutely fair to say I will miss every bit of it but I’ll take the memories because it means I had the experience and for that I am truly grateful.

Now, because we’re in the middle of mad moving mode, this blog will be on a little hiatus for a few weeks.

Probably about a month. [Though we all know there’ll be the odd post here and there]

On the bright side, when it’s back – probably sometime in June, in time for my birthday [ha] – you’ll get to read posts that won’t just be about planning, but how I don’t understand how to make anything in America work.

I honestly think I’m going to find it harder to acclimatise to America than I ever did to China.

Hell, I can’t even order a cup of coffee without getting confused about their cup sizes.

So with that I want to sign off with a few little thank-you’s.

The reality is a huge amount of people made my time here amazing, however there’s some who had an even bigger influence and I want to call them out because the adventure I had – and am about to embark on – literally wouldn’t have been possible without them.

My wonderful planning team. Past and present. Every day was a genuine fucking honour. The awesome Kennedys. It was seriously the professional highlight of my last 12 months. Thank you. And that definitely includes you Juni. Kel Hook. For hiring me. You changed my life and I’ll never be able to thank you enough. Jason White. Thank you for supporting me even when I caused destruction. John Rowe. For being brilliant in every possible way and making my time at W+K Tokyo so good, I never wanted to leave. NIKE. I know that might sound corporate toady, but as I have nothing to gain from saying it, it means it is true. 99.7% of every person I met or worked with at Wieden+Kennedy worldwide … whether they are still here or long gone. Martin Weigel. You’re a cantankerous, warm hearted, brilliant man. Just propose to Mercedes and get on with it. Whiteside. Because you’re awesome and funny and humble and deserve so much and yet are happy with what you have. Clare Pickens. I love you. I literally fucking love you. [But stop cutting your hair because it makes you look shit] Sandi Hildreth. For being awesome and gorgeous and loving the same sort of rubbish music as me. Claudia Valderrama. For looking out for me even though you told me I was a “pain in the ass”. W&W, Azsa, Arlene and Max … for making sure I stay excited – and in awe – about the birth of amazing ideas. Gerber, for somehow – and I’m not sure how – influencing me to get tattoos. I came here with none, I leave with not enough. Simon Pestridge. Thank you for everything. In many ways, you changed my career and opportunities. You’re more than a great client, but a friend. Kim Papworth. For that talk that was totally worth the wait. Luhr. For being Luhr. Stech. For making your 6 months here, the most exciting 6 months for me full stop. David Terry and Paul Colman for trying really hard to be ‘alpha-males’ but actually being fucking sweethearts. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone. Joe Staples. He won’t understand why, which is why. MJ. No, not Micheal Jackson or Michal Jordan, but Matthew Jung … for being a phenomenal Nike and Converse client who backed us to do the best work we can do every-single-time. Karrelle. For pretending to still be British when he’s basically American. Steve Tsoi for still welcoming me to the table even though I never made life easy for you or your team. Scott Silverman. You had nothing to do with China, but if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have had the chance to be here. Chris Jaques. You also had nothing to do with China, but if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have had the platform to show others what I could do. What I could be. Dan Wieden. For not actually firing me even though you said, “You’re fired” every time you saw me. And starting a place that is so special amongst special companies. Xiaoli. For everything you have done for us, but most specifically for the love and care you have shown my son. China … for being so important to global business that you gave me access and exposure to the sort of senior leadership few in the World will ever get to experience. The amazing, warm, slightly crazy people of China. I will absolutely miss everything about your unique ways. Except the spitting and the plane delays. And finally – and most importantly – my beloved Jill, Otis and Rosie. Without you guys, none of this other stuff would have mattered.

OK, the Gwyneth Paltrow bollocks is over … and to prove it, have a look at this.

Do you know what it is?

That’s right, it’s one of the 600 stickers I have had made that I have spent the last 5 weeks hiding throughout the refurbished Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai office. And I mean ‘throughout’ … including various W+K hangouts, like Baker & Spice, Jamaica Blue and Little Catch.

That should make their life a pain in the ass for a few years.

It will be like I’ve never gone.

And with that, it’s time to go.

It’s been a lot of fun. Time for an adventure in LA. God help us all.

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34 Comments so far
Leave a comment

It’s only right my last post about Wieden has me as the first commentator. I should point out I did not wake up to do this, my son kindly did it.

It’s going to be a long, weird and emotional day for me today.

And one of happiness and relief for everyone else. Damnit.

Comment by Rob

You evil genius. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Comment by DH

Annoying. Manipulative. Mischievous. On brand.

Comment by DH

It’s much funnier when I’m someone else is being affected by your evil.

Comment by Bazza

Much funnier.

Comment by George

A big day for you Robert. And for Wieden.
When you look back on your time there you can say you made a big difference. Few get to say that. Even less in a region as tough as Asia. I still think you will go back to Wieden one day, or I did until I read about your mischief, but until then, you have great work to do in America. I can’t wait to see your impact.

Comment by George

You did good.

Comment by John

A wonderful goodbye with a trademark Robert twist. To paraphrase one of your most successful campaigns, you know when you’ve been Campbell’d. I am quite certain Wieden Kennedy Shanghai will never be the same again. Congratulations Robert, safe travels to your new life.

Comment by Lee Hill

“Except the spitting and the plane delays”. Me too.
Best of luck in the new venture, Rob.

Comment by Ian Gee

Nice work. I hope you’ve tagged all of the stickers so you can see how many are still up after your boss has told the cleaning staff to “find them and destroy them”.

Comment by Wayne Green

Thanks for all the nice words – even the nasty ones are complimentary.

Comment by Rob

Don’t get used to it.

Comment by DH

I wish Andy was back to see this.

Comment by DH

You’ve certainly done a lot in that country and I wish you the best on next endeavor. Not the closest of friends but on social ur like my Bff. Safe travels. Can’t wait to see your American rants cause they’ll certainly make me feel better while I too being a Canadian am dealing with this shit. Lastly, selfishly ( cocky statement) remember another great thing you did was change this (me) young mans life forever. I’ll never forget and I’m working every day to do you proud. Haven’t changed the cover letter since your wrote it and haven’t had to use it often either but when I have, I haven’t been turned down from a face to face either. Love your sir and I’m not wealthy enough to thank you the way I wish I could as yet. All the best. See you in Cali!

Ken

Comment by Kenwyn forgenie

Hello mate – I thought you had more sense than to come here. You’re very kind, but I did nothing, just pointed you in the right way. Excited to see where you take it.

Comment by Rob

stickers are a bit of ‘kisses at the bottom, i’d be glad i got ’em’. Safe travels. And so much love. Hope you return someday.

Comment by 韩曦

Hope your final day was a good one Robert. Hope they spoiled you.

Comment by George

So let me get this right. From today (your time) you are now one of the worlds richest unemployed people. Why didn’t anyone tell me about that job?

Comment by Bazza

You absolutely wonderful, utterly lovely, total wanker.

Comment by Martin Weigel

Hear that sound? That’s Weigel’s credibility disappearing after writing on this blog.

Comment by DH

Another promising career ruined. Just joking Rob.

Comment by Pete

Joking but not joking.

Comment by Rob

100%

Comment by DH

Could not be more honoured to make this esteemed list. You are a wonderful and awful person all at the same time and that’s why I love you. Xx

Comment by Shit Hair

We tend to focus more on the awful.

Comment by DH

no fucking thanks for me when the only reason you got hired by dan is because he loved all the fucking work i did that youve been living off? wanker. the only reason i wont sue is because the stickers are fucking beautiful bastardness. and i never thought id use the word beautiful to describe you in any fucking context. bet your new colleagues and those hairy metal monsters are wondering what the fuck theyve fucking hired. except if they read this shithole theyd never have hired you so you fucking get away with shit yet again. its like you win the fucking lottery every fucking day campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

You have been missed.

Comment by DH

[…] DH on It’s Been An Honour … […]

Pingback by Zài Jiàn My Beloved China … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Abusive and gratuitous stickers. Humiliating videos. The mark of a real bastard.

Comment by DH

has he been fucking arrested yet?

Comment by andy@cynic

Not yet, but the markets are in free-fall. Yet again he’s impacting your wealth.

Comment by John

not one fucking post. either youre having a good fucking time in lalaland or youve been arrested. my money is on arrested.

Comment by andy@cynic

Your prayers have been answered Andy.

Comment by Rob

[…] I left Wieden+Kennedy, my stupid lovely clients at Nike decided that instead of having a party to celebrate me going […]

Pingback by Why Nike Win … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]




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