An advertising agency is a living, breathing entity. We are made whole by the individuals who work here. It’s their energy, enthusiasm and talent that make us what we are. We can’t buy a machine to improve productivity and no computer programme can replicate genuine creativity. More than any other industry I know of we are totally dependent on the members of the ‘team’ and their input to the greater good.
So if we’re a living, breathing entity then all of us must make up the various different body parts of that entity. I’m only certain of three people in the agency and the parts they play. Roy is this agencies brain and Alan is its heart. Together they give us life, direction, thought and energy and are the hardest ‘organs’ to replace. The thinking and ideas come from Roy, the drive and adrenalin come from Alan, and both work seamlessly with each other. Beyond those two the only other I’m certain of is John Carrick, he’s our soul. It’s difficult to fully explain your soul, it’s easier to say that without it you’re empty, lacking sensitivity and nobility, any feeling or empathy or even identity. Your soul is purported to weigh 21 grams, I don’t think John ever weighed 21 grams, he certainly doesn’t now! However the weight he is, is not equal to the weight he carries. I’ve never seen John fall out with anyone in the agency in my time here, that alone is remarkable however what is almost unbelievable is I don’t think I’ve heard him say a bad word about anyone either. Because he is always here, and to most he always has been, we tend to take what he can do for granted. Natural gifts, augmented by a strong work ethic and a dedication to his craft should never be taken for granted, they should be celebrated. If you ever meet an ex-employee the one person they all ask for is John, without exception. His influence on the creative department is obvious to anyone who enters it (and I don’t just mean the lost work tickets). He is quiet and thoughtful, he’s not showy, doesn’t rant or rave, crave the spotlight or throw tantrums when everything doesn’t go exactly his way. He is the ‘go-to’ guy for so many in the agency, when deadlines are tight and briefs are vague Johns door is the one that gets knocked. His influence on the agency is rarely seen from the outside, the louder more forceful personalities seem to carry more authority however that is because the soul is hard to see and can really only be felt from within.
Karl Jung said that the soul is ‘not subject to the laws of space and time’ something most account handlers in here would agree with that from time to time however perhaps Ray Charles summed John up better ‘What is soul? It’s like electricity – we don’t really know what it is, but it’s a force that can light a room.’ Take care of yourself John.