A quiet man of honour.

This blog is dedicated to Geoff de Burca.  In fact he paid for it.  Let me explain.

One week after the amazing Channel 4 Stand up to Cancer night, MediaCom ran its own version in the bar in Holborn.

Compered for the evening by the inimitable Jem Lloyd-Williams (McIntyre eat your heart out) the evening comprised entertainment from a selection of MediaCom comedians (you can do your own jokes here but the stand ups included COO Josh, joint strategy head Steve, head of press Adam and joint head of trading Phil and also featured global head of art, Sam’s “dark satanic interpretation of a popular quiz show”).  Proceeds from the bar obviously went to CRUK but there was also an auction of services and that’s where this blog comes in.  For one night and one night only the content of this blog was for sale and went to the highest bidder.  Step forward Geoff who acquired the blog after a tough tussle with our head of Create and our head of Finance EMEA.

I’ve known Geoff now for a couple of years.  He works as a director in our CiD team (that’s the Challenge and Innovation team here at MediaCom.)  He would describe himself as a generalist.  I would describe him as one of the most curious and interested strategists I’ve met.  In fact he’s so known across the planning floor for his almost obsessive search for knowledge and experiences that they call him “one step ahead of Google”.

He’s one of life’s natural explorers both intellectually and literally – he uses every day off to go somewhere – in the last 12 months he’s been to Vietnam, Barcelona, France, Malta and Porto, and his next trip is to Iceland.  On recently acquiring a Kindle, he has downloaded all the classics and is working his way through all of them.

One of the most obvious things about Geoff as you come to know him is his sense of honour.  He will never give anything or anyone less attention than they require.  He will always treat people and projects with respect and empathy.  And he will always give the right and proper advice (even if that means tough love sometimes).

Recently Geoff and I worked on a pitch together.  His skill at the dark art of behavioural economics is second to none, and it was on the basis of this that we effectively tore up the expected response to the brief and sold in a startlingly innovative and yet pragmatic suggestion. This took guts and conviction.  Not just to sell the idea internally but to sell it to the potential client.   Not only was the pitch successful but you should see the evidence of the thinking creating impact and real change as the ideas in the pitch become real before the year turns.

I’m glad Geoff bought this blog, because it gives me the chance to tell him how his colleagues feel about him.  Geoff is one of those people with whom it is a privilege to share an office.  He and his work continue to grow.  The best is yet to come.

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