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HOW TO MANAGE THE REPUTATION OF A CREATIVE COMPANY WHEN YOU'RE PART OF A GLOBAL ENTITY

LUCY BORNE
How to strategically manage the reputation of a creative company when you're part of a global corporate entity.

Well, my first advice would be, it’s tough. However, what if you have no choice? What if it happens to you? The rules change, you get bought? How do you communicate the output of your creatives work, all the while there is a corporate behemoth lurking over your shoulders?

In recent years Smoke & Mirrors was bought as part of a wider acquisition by DHL and then in 2017 by Advent. During that period, we quadrupled in size and won awards for our work; all while being managed by a company with a corporate structure that was designed to homogenise everything it could to save cost. How did we keep the creative ethos alive while the company that owned us asked: “What is the lowest price you can charge for an idea?”

I’d like to explain how we succeeded in an unfamiliar landscape, what hurt us and what became an advantage. Amidst the anecdotes that anyone in a group company can relate to, I feel there are lessons we learned that I’d love to share.

LUCY BORNE

GLOBAL PUBLICITY & MARKETING DIRECTOR

SMOKE & MIRRORS

AMSTERDAM

Lucy Borne is a public relations and marketing specialist from London. She moved to the Netherlands in 2015 where she currently lives. Lucy joined Smoke & Mirrors as Global Publicity & Marketing Director in 2016. Under her direction, the post-production company has received many accolades including Fonk Magazine's, ‘Who to Watch & Coolest Dutch Brands 2017’ and Adforum's, ‘Top 5 Post- Production Studios’. She also dedicates time to highlighting female talent within VFX, leading to her recent selection for Pitch Magazine's ‘100 Superwomen in Advertising’.

Before Smoke & Mirrors, she spent her time agency side at reputation management company, FinchFactor, where she got to work for clients such as; MediaMonks, Critical Mass and Anomaly. During that time, she was a proud ambassador for the female-focused platform She Says, and managed the curation of the feature ‘She Says: Pass it on’.

Lucy also spent time as program manager for Art for All in association with the United Nations; a foundation of artists, curators and facilitators who co-create large-scale public art installations with and within communities across the world.

In her spare time, Lucy works closely with The Board of Culture in Amsterdam as an advisor on creative initiatives for the city. As a passionate speaker on the subject of ‘women's voice in advertising’, she also regularly speaks for groups such as the Amsterdam Brunch Club and Amsterdam Culture Club.

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