Meet Andy Fairclough
Last month, we welcomed our new EMEA Social Strategy Director, Andy Fairclough, to the third floor at St. Johns Square. He’ll be working across Mediabrands Society and Reprise and reports into Craig Lister. Andy brings over 10 years of content and social media insights to his role, with a strong background in journalism, culture, technology, media and people. We’ve asked him a few questions to get to know him better…
Tell us a bit about your previous roles in media
My previous role was leading the social insight team at Carat for the past four years, working across various Denstu accounts. I learned everything I know about media agencies there. Before that I was on the media consultancy side, running social and traditional media analysis programmes within a specialist agency. Going back further my experience was on the other side of media, having trained in journalism and worked at various newspapers and radio stations.
What attracted you to IPG Mediabrands and what are your first impressions?
The size of the agency – it’s small enough to act like a start-up, but produces amazing work and has extremely talented people. It’s much smaller than Carat so I can make a difference, and get to work on some exciting brands. The EMEA role is great as I enjoy meeting people from different backgrounds and hearing alternative viewpoints – that’s what inspires creativity in my opinion.
What will you be doing here at IPG Mediabrands?
I’ll be helping to shape the Mediabrands EMEA digital proposition alongside other senior folk, with particular focus on our insight to strategy offering. I’ll be starting with the UK and EMEA Hub in London. We want social and wider digital insight to add value for all our clients, and in a strategic way. That means being smart with how we use data – smartly used information can aid creativity and performance. Keeping things simple usually helps.
Most innovative client you’ve worked with in the past?
I worked with Paddy Power when they first started in social. They embraced what Twitter in particular should be about for brands – personifying it and boiling it down to 140 characters or an image and absolutely nailing what their target audience were about.
Who’s someone in the industry you admire the most?
The people I’ve worked with are the only ones I can really vouch for – Tim McLoughlin has a knack of simplifying social when it is often over complicated, which is a trait everyone should aspire to have. He’s now head of social at Hotels.com and has worked at Saatchi and Carat in the past. Jerry Daykin is a really smart thinker and thought leader in the digital space. A lovely chap too.
What are your favourite things outside of work?
Music, food, sport and travel are some of my favourite pastimes, but then who doesn’t like those things? I used to write about music and take photos at festivals and met some interesting artists; now I’m more of a passive consumer. I aspired to play football like Paul Scholes when I was a kid – the ginger genius.