Picture the scene: you’re on your 15th car bodyfiller package redesign, then, in a moment of inspiration, you go and put a lion on one, a leaping lion. Brilliant. That will change the face of bodyfiller packaging forever, thinks you, and it does. The next day you’re moved off bodyfiller to work on a bed linen catalogue.
Yep, you’re bored. You’ll do anything to ease the boredom, even consider moving to the Government’s communication agency, the Central Office of Information. This is me in the mid-1980s, and off to the COI I went.
A strange choice, perhaps, and the enormity of what I’d done only sank in when, in my first week, I was asked if I’d like to rebrand the Navy.
‘What? Whose navy?’ I asked. ‘Ours,’ I was told. ‘Who’ll see it?’ I asked. ‘Everybody in the world,’ came the reply. ‘People will salute the bloody thing,’ someone muttered.
Sadly, my fmcg vision for a revitalised Royal Navy didn’t carry the day, but, from that moment on, I’ve been inspired to work in the public sector. It’s big, it’s sexy, it’s real and it’s relevant, and to date it hasn’t involved me using any more leaping lions.