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5 Minutes with… Jemima Monies

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adam&eveDDB’s chief marketing and operations officer on her early career writing for Marketing magazine and Campaign, the excitement of being involved in John Lewis Christmas ads and how she feels about the talent entering the agency

5 Minutes with… Jemima Monies

For anyone familiar with the UK advertising agency scene now, it seems hard to imagine that less than ten years ago, adam&eveDDB didn’t even have a new business director. That’s the completely different shape of agency Jemima Monies joined in 2013 to take up that role. Not long after the indie shop was bought by the DDB network, it was yet to turn out some of the most iconic British ads of the 2010s, (including a John Lewis Christmas ad every year, of course)  – a track record that earned adam&eveDDB Campaign Agency of the Decade with five Agency of the Year awards, and AdAge International Agency of the Year three times.

Jemima became deputy MD in 2018 and gained her current role as chief marketing and operations officer in 2022, having played a key role in the agency’s growth. As well as sitting on the management team – where she’s focused on creating an inclusive and sustainable environment where everyone can thrive –  she continues to lead the agency’s new business and marketing department, seeking out the best clients and opportunities to make brilliant and impactful creative work. 

She’s also co-founder of #SheTakesOver, an industry-wide initiative aimed at elevating all women in creative production. She is a member of WACL, sits on the UKAEG Steering Committee and is a former co-chair of the IPA New Business & Marketing Group. When not in the office, Jemima can be found at her husband’s coffee shop in Putney, dabbling in latte art, or somewhere nearby wrangling two small children.

LBB’s Alex Reeves got to know Jemima a little better.


LBB> Am I right in saying you started your career as a journalist? How did you find it?


Jemima> Yes, my first job was as an editorial assistant at Marketing magazine, which was merged into Campaign. I went on to become a reporter there and loved getting to know the industry and the agencies on my patch. But after a few years I realised I wanted to be doing what I was writing about.


LBB> Why did you make the transition from writing about marketing to actually do it? And how did you make that move?


Jemima> One of the agencies I covered was MCBD. Their founder and CEO Helen Calcraft (who went on to found Lucky Generals) invited me in for a sneak peak of their latest ad for one of their key clients. She showed me two versions of the film with different soundtracks and asked me which I preferred. I found that glimpse into the creative process fascinating and loved the vibe of the office. A year or so later, on return from a stint at Haymarket in Australia, I made a list of agencies that I wanted to work for. MCBD was at the top and when they offered me a job supporting the marketing director there at the time, Nina Jasinski, I jumped at the chance. It’s where I began to learn the art of new business.


LBB> When you began at adam&eveDDB in 2013, what were your impressions of the agency at the time?


Jemima> I couldn’t believe my luck walking through the doors on day one. The office was completely open plan (a novelty at the time) and there was so much creative energy and buzz, and there still is. Our CEO Tammy [Einav], then MD, hired me to lead new business and I sat with her and the John Lewis team. The Christmas campaign was well under way, and it was so exciting to see how it evolved. I bought nearly every single piece of merch – everyone in my family got something that year!


LBB> As your role has expanded and progressed to your current position of chief marketing and operations officer, what have you found most interesting? Is there anything you particularly love about the impact you're able to make?


Jemima> Working in new business and marketing, you get a rounded view of what’s going on inside and outside the agency. Management are essentially your clients and I learnt so much about how an agency works from being part of the conversation. 

In my current role I love focusing on many different sides of the business in the space of a day – from launching new specialist areas and office locations, to evolving people and sustainability initiatives, to introducing new coffee and pastry suppliers in our café. All equally important stuff!


LBB> What are you most proud of professionally?


Jemima> Being part of adam&eveDDB’s amazing success story over the past nine years.


LBB> What's most exciting to you about adam&eveDDB at the moment?


Jemima> The talent coming through our doors… I was in a new starter breakfast last week and was really excited by the different backgrounds and experiences of the brilliant people who have joined us recently, from an account manager who used to manage a violinist to legal counsel who used to work in video games. 


LBB> And outside of work?


Jemima> My husband opened a speciality coffee shop last year which has been exciting and exhausting in equal measure. He often bakes the pastries at home, so I have the added joy of waking up to the smell of cinnamon buns fresh out of the oven. 


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adam&eveDDB, Mon, 31 Oct 2022 16:03:12 GMT