ITIAPTWC Episode 29 – Matt Beaumont

If you were in advertising in the late 90s you would have been swept up in the delight and excitement that was E. Yes, I do mean the drug ecstasy, but I also mean Matt Beaumont’s brilliant novel, set in an ad agency and written entirely in emails.

It was enormously successful, finally making its way into space and spawning a sequel and a temporary career as a novelist.

Matt then returned to advertising and has since carved out his own space at a kind of agency within an agency at M&C Saatchi.

Check out his work at his site.

We discussed…

Getting into the business via a happy accident and a part time job in a restaurant.

And (like so many others) through the D&AD workshops (thanks, Mr. Trott).

Then getting a job ‘really easily’.

Popping off to become a CD in Hong Kong (with just six years’ experience).

Then getting fired after 18 months (learning many things along the way).

Go to work at a so-so agency, which then inspired Matt’s first novel.

…that didn’t ‘seem difficult’.

Although the follow-up was a ‘real motherfucker’.

But it all led to writing a column in Campaign about what a ridiculous business advertising can be.

And a reception at the US embassy with Roger Daltrey.

Why advertising didn’t really go properly ‘digital’ until 2010.

The pressure of the difficult second novel.

The pros and cons to writing novels vs working in an ad agency.

How to get your own novel published.

Overcoming the doubts of a potential agent.

500 good words or 5000 shit ones?

Creating a small agency within a big one.

Winning big pitches against massive competition.

The basic need for ideas.

Here’s the chat, the iTunes link and the Soundcloud link (apologies for Matt’s sound quality. The line from the UK makes him a touch croaky):