Phil Hicks of Golley Slater Cardiff has written a lovely post on Scamp’s blog about what its like to work outside London. Although its written from a Creative’s perspective, I wholeheartedly agree with him.
On the downside, client budgets do tend to be five or six rather than seven figures and we do have some truly boring B2B clients that tend to have words like ‘solutions’ in their name.
And from a Planner’s point of view, there just aren’t that many jobs (and therefore Planners) around, making it potentially a bit lonely as well as blumin difficult to recruit and equally challenging when the time comes to move jobs.
But on the upside, in Summer if I leave work at 5.30 (not everyday, obviously) I can be cantering across the moors on my horse by 6.30 while I imagine the London guys are still at their desk or sweltering on the Tube.
better for the soul than going to the gym after work
The whole Quality of Life thing is a biggie. A lot of the creatives and account handlers I work with are ex-London. Most of them realised: job in London agency + buying a house/having a baby = incompatible. Houses are cheaper, childcare (i.e. grandparents) are nearer and we are twenty minutes away from proper rolling countryside for all that fresh air malarky.
Land generally is cheaper so the office boasts a lovely garden, complete with wi-fi for al fresco client meetings in Summer and I can park/abandon my car for free in the adjacent (slightly crowded) car park.
We do tend to attract challenger brands who can’t quite stretch their budgets to the big boys in London but are up for trying all kinds of integrated coolness – even if you don’t often manage to get any TV signed off.
Then there’s the FMCG boys who have their HQs in the North and might balk at taking the TV outside London but will quite happily let you loose on almost everything else. I’ve got a CV full of brands most Planners would kill for, its just that I’ve been working with them on foodservice, promotional marketing, press or digital.
So if Having A Life matters more to you than doing the whole London thing, venture outside the M25 and discover a whole new world.