08 Nov., 2017

Meet Gareth Price, Senior Planner at JWT London

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Gareth Price is a Senior Planner at J. Walter Thompson London. 

In October, Gareth took home the President’s Prize in the IPA 2016/17 Excellence Diploma for his "Thinklong" essay. This is the highest qualification granted by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).

We caught up with Gareth to learn more about his essay and what peaked his interest in writing.  

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

In June, I joined JWT London as a Global Planner for Shell Helix and Rimula. Since then, I started working on Bayer’s healthcare business in the UK (Berocca and Canesten) as well. In my spare time, I enjoy running and received an athletic scholarship as a track and cross-country runner at Kent State University in Ohio. This is also where I earned a Masters in Journalism and Mass Communications. I have two daughters – Eliza (6 months) and Amelia (3 years old) – so my free time is now entirely in their control!

Who in the literary world was one of your role models that peaked your interest in writing?

In the context of advertising, the late Stephen King is a role model. I’ve always found writing to be the best way to discover what I think about a topic or question and King’s ability to simplify the complex is something I aspire to do through my writing efforts. Two other literary figures that have been influential in my writing are F. Scott Fitzgerald and Leo Tolstoy. They are both incredibly insightful in their understanding of the human condition and would have made excellent planners.

What was your essay, "Thinklong" about? Can you provide a summary?

For my essay "Thinklong", I explored the growing problem and underlying causes of short-termism. Short-term pressures impact every aspect of business, but marketing invariably suffers the most. Awareness of this problem has never been greater than it is now. Yet, the trend towards short-termism continues to accelerate. In my opinion, I don’t believe changing attitudes is enough. We must first change the behavior of investors and executives. My essay included a seven-point plan to create an environment in which brands can grow and marketing communications spend with them.

If you could collaborate with any great writer (past/present) who would it be and why?

I would want to collaborate with former JWT employee, Gabriel Garcia Márquez. His book, One Hundred Years of Solitude, is one of my favorites.

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