In Conversation with Scott Bundy

Scott Bundy is the Founder/Creative Director of the Bundy Agency (ba). He made the leap from Creative Director at Ogilvy to business owner almost 9 years ago. Prior to his time at Ogilvy, Scott was a senior creative at Grey, JWT and Mojo.

He has won many of the countries top awards, including $100,000 for a radio ad he wrote for his father’s business – Cowra Motors. Scott also has a great passion for giving back to the industry. He has been an AWARD School teacher, RMIT guest lecturer, MADC mentor and was the former Chairman of the RMIT Industry Board.

His want to give back is driven by the amazing mentoring he was given in his early years by: Ted Horton, Bob Isherwood, Jack Vaughan, Ian Watson and his Master and great friend – Tony Stewart. All helped set the foundations for the skills he uses 30 years on.

How did you get your first break?

There have been two great turning points in my career. During my last year of High School I was given a tour of Clemenger Sydney where I was shown each area of the agency. One of these areas included the position of Art Director. ‘That’s it’ I thought. That’s what I want to do. During the same meeting Clemenger told me about AWARD School. It was going to be the first ever school, so I applied and was fortunate to get in. At AWARD School I met so many great people. The greatest for me was one of my teachers – Tony Stewart. Tony not only taught me at AWARD, he later mentored me for a year then gave me first job in an agency. He’s been a big brother to me and is still my great mentor on many aspects of my career and life.

My second big break was my move to Melbourne in late 1988. Up until that time I had concentrated on my craft as a typographer and as a result had few opportunities to stretch my wings and work in a great creative team.

All that changed when Rob Dow, Creative Director of the Ball Partnership at the time introduced me to Andrew North. We were the junior team and tended to get the smaller briefs, but we took those briefs and within 6 months forged 6 pieces of work that made finalist at MADC. We pushed harder in the following year and won Silver at AWARD. This period opened so many doors and really set my career in motion.

What inspired you to become a CD of your own agency?

In every agency I worked I picked up something great. A sense of fun in my early years. Family culture at Grey. Clear management communication at Ogilvy. On top of that I wanted to foster a purely creative, non-political environment, which I feel is at the essence of what we do. Being 100% independent and the ability to have my Staffie ‘Beans’ at the office each day, were not on the radar when I started ba, but they sure are motivations now.

What paths have you taken to get to where you are today?

The path has been reasonably straight and narrow. I left school and got into Advertising and have been here ever since. No doubt there has been a lot of changes along the way to the industry itself. But my love and excitement for creating concepts for any medium feels as fresh as it was 30 years ago.

What advice about the do's and don'ts would you give to someone looking to start their own agency?

The best advice I can give is to remember that first and foremost you’re running a business. For any business to be viable you need to be able to seek out new business and charge the appropriate rates to keep moving. If you don’t want to do that and you just want to create great work, don’t start a business. Go and work for someone who will pay you to do great work while they run the business.

Tell us about the projects you're currently working on and what sets The Bundy Agency apart from the rest of the industry?

There are two important aspects to the Bundy Agency that I feel sets us apart.

The first is our internal ‘family’ way of doing things. Nobody has an office. Nobody sits with their back to another. The leaders sit in the middle and they are there to support everyone and keep them moving with confidence. On top of that every week we have a family get together. Sure jobs are discussed and everyone has their say. But the most important thing about these get-togethers is the social aspect, which keeps us unified and helps to iron out any issues.

The second is our external ‘Go beyond’ philosophy. Every new concept brief is tackled with an on brief and beyond brief approach. This forces us to look at extensions, proactive activity and truly test how far an idea can extend. It also results in various options that engage clients and create a sense of ownership for everyone.

Right now we’re working on a huge raft of activity: Online applications including ecommerce and more traditional sites. An app for the UK. New campaigns for clients that include traditional media and links into Social. We also have a project due to launch mid April that is all about new business generation for a client. It doesn’t include online, traditional or social. Look forward to sharing aspects of it in the future.

Visit the Bundy Agency website.

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