180 Amsterdam’s Eva Rausch was recently promoted alongside Barbara Bijlard from joint head of account management into the role of joint managing director. The promotions came as the agency’s seen 30% growth across its Dutch and international business in the last two years and opened a series of units to cater for broader remits beyond advertising, including 180 Social, 180 LUXE and 180 Design.
Eva has been with the agency for three years and has overseen the agency's largest global clients, including Qatar Airways and HBO Max. She also recently led the agency's pitch win for the global MSC Cruises account.
In this exciting moment for 180, LBB’s Alex Reeves caught up with Eva to discuss the importance of giving employees space to develop within their roles, and rise into others. I’d love to see her being celebrated for this.
LBB> Congratulations on the new role! What are you most excited to get to grips with as joint managing director?
Eva> Thank you! It’s a really exciting time for the whole agency. So I’m looking forward to helping everyone within the agency grow further, as well as grow the business of course. The agency’s focus is on ‘The World As It Could Be’ – and we need the talent to achieve that – so a big part of my new role is continuing to build and develop the 180 Academy, our global training programme. The Academy offers multi-faceted, diverse training opportunities to everyone in the business, giving them the space to grow, to enhance their skill sets and work on their own personal development.
LBB> How did you first get into advertising?
Eva> After my master’s degree in communications I wasn’t sure which area to choose – PR, event management, advertising? I was always interested in great ads, so I started out as a production assistant in a movie and film production company in Munich. But then I realised, rather than being part of making the films, I wanted to work with the clients themselves, to be part of the whole process, from primary meeting to idea to production, that allows us to create great ads.
LBB What do you wish you'd learnt earlier in your career?
Eva> That sometimes, you can’t – and shouldn’t – try to control everything. Sometimes, you just have to go with the flow.
LBB> What are you most proud of in your career?
Eva> I was, and still am, privileged to work with an exceptional bunch of people. This is what I’m proud of. That we continue to build teams that are full of fresh perspectives, people who have the ambition to see the world as it could be, and want to work together to create it.
LBB> 180 Amsterdam has grown impressively recently. What do you attribute that to?
Eva> Thank you. Yes, the last few years have been a time of really positive growth within the agency. Our end-to-end creative offering across the 180 ecosystem is what has helped us get there, from our consultancy 180 Thinking to 180 Social’s capabilities and our internal production studio 180 Made. We are fiercely committed to building a better future, for our clients and our people. And we bring that attitude, that belief in radical collaboration, into everything that we do. I think that’s why clients are coming to us and staying with us.
LBB> You've been involved in some successful pitches recently as part of that growth too. How do you feel about pitching? What are your priorities there?
Eva> It’s always exciting to learn about a new category, and to try to help solve a problem outlined in the briefing. Of course, I would rather not pitch but instead take the time to get to know the clients and work with them. But if we are pitching, our priorities are threefold: do we think there is a chemistry between us and the client that will allow for a spirit of radical collaboration and space for a fresh perspective? Is there a creative opportunity with this possible partner? And of course, will there be fair compensation for the work presented? But, to be honest, pitching is always hard. You need a bit of luck as well as hard work. Our challenge will be to pick the right ones as commercial targets are constant but you want to try to ensure you can make the work you’re proud of.
LBB> What are the values you'd like to most promote within 180 moving forward?
Eva> Our mantra since the very beginning has been, be nice or leave. No exceptions. And we stand by that in everything that we do. The openness and honesty that comes from a guiding force such as that continues to be really important as the impact of the pandemic is still being felt by everyone. There has been a heightened respect for each individual’s situation and we work to keep it that way. To create a working environment that people want to be part of.
LBB> What's your thinking at the moment with regard to hiring and retaining talent?
Eva> We believe in employee empowerment, something our 180 Academy works hard to support, to offer growth opportunities for every member of staff. People come to 180 to do great work and work with nice people. We want to keep it that way.
LBB> Anything else you're particularly excited about right now?
Eva> I love how my job, and our industry, is constantly evolving. It never looks the same. It’s a consistently satisfying challenge because you have to keep developing and growing to keep up with these changes. You can’t be stagnant. You have to keep growing and keep pushing forwards.