Former Y&R Brands CEO Nigel Marsh is pursuing a possible US television career with the former head writer of Friends working on a script based on his book, and a separate opportunity which would see him fronting a reality show.
Marsh found his career heading in a new direction after he wrote Fat, Forty and Fired about his experiences of finding himself out of work. And his business speaking career took off after giving a talk ad TEDx Sydney about work-life balance shortly before he left Y&R following a turbulent two year period at the helm.
In a video interview with Mumbrella editor Tim Burrowes to coincide with the launch of a new book, Marsh said that the TV projects – both at a very early stage – were among the options open to him:
Marsh, who also spent time at the helm of Leo Burnett, also did not rule out another return to the advertising industry if it was on his terms. However, comments in his new book Fit, Fifty and Fired Up about previous experiences suggest that it may not be his first choice. Some of his comments may trigger speculation about which of his previous employers – he also worked at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO in London – he is talking about at various points in the book. Quotes:
“It wasn’t so much that there was anything wrong with the advertising industry, it was more that there wasn’t enough right with it.”
“By the time you’re forty it can get to the stage where every day you come to the office, a little bit of your soul dies.”
“I’d been privileged to work in and with many wonderful firms, but I’d also encountered more than my fair share of toxic workplaces that brought out the worst in people, with leaders who managed by fear or set their employees up to fail and made them feel bad when they did. I’d come across companies where suggesting telling the truth for a change was met with slack-jawed amazement. I’ve regularly seen racism, sexism, bullying, staggering selfishness, barely believable stupidity and rampant dishonesty throughout my business career.”
“Some of the most financially successful companies I’ve worked with have been the ones with the very worst cultures.”
“Like a prisoner in a cell, every evening before I left my office I ticked off another day on the 400-Day Plan chart I had drawn up.”