The happy Englishman whose home is Malaysia!

06 April 2015

( - 

Englishman Ian Cruddas has been in Malaysia since 1999 and is married to a Malaysian, with whom he has two young children. He came to Malaysia to work with Watsons as Merchandise Manager and worked himself up to General Manager where he helped to build the company to over 220 stores. He was voted “Retail CEO of the Year 2006/7” by the retail sector in Malaysia. As CEO of Nando’s you can see him doing the ‘chicken dance’ with mascot Barci at his new restaurant openings, now totalling over 50 across Malaysia! 

On April 21 Ian will join 25 other speakers and panelists at the 4th Malaysian CMO Conference on April 21 in KL. We have an honest chat with him… 
It is said clients fire agencies and not the other way round. On what basis do you think an agency could actually fire its client? 
I think it is perfectly acceptable for an agency to "fire" a client for the basics of not paying, breaking agreements, legal disputes, etc., but I also think this could and should happen if there are strategic differences or a divergence of creative direction/ideas.
Do you agree with the statement: "Business ideas from the least expected players and angles will disrupt your brand faster than advertising can save it”. 
Totally agree, particularly in the current environment of speed to market, digital space and due to the "non-loyalty" of the consumers in a competitive landscape.
Media agencies make more income than creative agencies. Do you think this is fair in an industry driven by ideas?   
Not fair at all. The creative is what drives the results, the creative is where it's at! 
More and more, the media portion will reduce as digital becomes more and more relevant.
Most agencies still operate like sweat shops working furiously to meet impossible deadlines. 
A few years ago someone actually died from overwork in Jakarta. Why is this still the work culture?  
It’s the clients! And I am as guilty as any client in terms of expectations and demands on agencies. It is always brief in at 5pm and expect a result latest the following morning. It’s the nature of the beast. Is it right? Clearly not, but in a dynamic, constantly changing market, speed and nimbleness is key to stay ahead. 
Share a personal experience of yours in dealing with difficult agency people and how you managed the situation…
Sadly, as with most clients, you don't manage a “difficult" agency, you just change the agency! 
However, my preference has always been to work with small, emerging agencies and then build the business mutually to the benefit of both client and agency. 

To sign up for the 4th Malaysian CMO Conference on April 21, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or download PDF here. 



{include_content_item 10078}

You don't have permission to view or post comments.
Back to top