We catch up with Nick Woods, Head of Consumer & Creative Director UK/EMEA at Waggener Edstrom

Congratulations, you’re Waggener Edstrom’s new Head of Consumer and Creative Director. What’s top of the agenda?

Meeting our senior client base, helping develop our fully integrated offer, telling people all about it, pitching, hiring, growing.

And I’ve been asked not to set the whole agency on fire. So far so good…

What makes WE stand out from the crowd?

There are lots of things: our independence means we have far greater control of our destiny than the networks; our presence in more than 80 countries means we can handle bigger briefs then the boutiques; our founders, two working mums, still being actively involved in the business means our north star is constant; our European lead is a straight-talking Yorkshireman who is quick to find the fun side of things; we work with amazing brands like Coke, Volvo, Body Shop, Unilever, Jagermeister, AVG and Microsoft.

From a consumer comms perspective we have app developers, web builders, film-makers, radio specialists, insight and analytics experts, writers, producers, editors, creatives – all in house. This means we have as well-rounded an offer for consumer clients as any agency in the country and that we can create an original, compelling answer to pretty much any consumer brief around.

We are very much an agency on the rise.

You’ve just started to grow your team, what core attributes do you look for in an employee?

Curiosity, hunger, chutzpah, smarts, a love of the word shenanigans, competitiveness, the linguistic ability to not just avoid clichés but to weave subtle euphemisms into conversation; and an understanding of why the phrase ‘just dropping the kids off’ will always make me laugh.

What one thing should your team know about you?

That there’s more than one thing to know about me…

Complete this sentence ‘in 12 months’ time I will……. not have set the agency on fire’

‘in 12 months’ time I will not have set the agency on fire’

‘in 12 months’ time I will not have set the agency on fire’

What’s the best campaign you have ever worked on?

I’ve loved lots of the work I’ve done… from creating Blue Monday/The Worst Day of the Year for Sky Travel a decade ago to developing, pitching, winning and delivering the Face from Space for KFC at Weber; everything I did with Nestle. And Harley-Davidson. And Miller Genuine Draft. And Johnnie Walker. And Jack Daniels. Winning Vagisil satisfied an itch I’d had for some time…

When you’re not coming up with outrageously creative ideas what do you get up to?

No, that’s it I’m afraid, just as poor Kate Middleton has become simply a woman ‘born to breed’ for the Windsor’s, so to am I now tragically destined to churn out original and brilliant creative after original and brilliant creative for the Waggener Edstrom family, until the end of eternity.

What book did you last read?

There are a couple on my bedside table including Dave Trott’s latest, one on the West Ham ICF and The Bonfire of the Vanities… all destined to be started and left unfinished as I get distracted by something more interesting…

We hear you’re a fan of Pinterest, what are your top three boards?

I think I’ve become slightly obsessed with it… professionally it’s *the* best resource around for finding and storing content which might be useful at some point in the future. And the thing about it is that having just three top boards is well-nigh impossible… like your favourite film or song, they change with moods and occasion and need.  The most active brands I see tend to be in fashion and travel although Innocent’s boards tell their story as eloquently as any other channel; and Dazed and Vice seem really on top of their output too.

This week I’m mainly into boards with neon signs, because it turns out I’m a huge neon signs geek, and contemporary Korean art because some of it is just sooooo weird/cool.

From Beaconsfield to Covent Garden, what’s the best thing about being in the west-end?

Some people think Beaconsfield is very lovely. But there is an everso slightly wider array of shops, bars, restaurants, culture and energy generally, up the West End…

What’s your guilty pleasure?

*whispers in Prospect’s ear, raises eyebrows, nods, laughs conspiratorially with Prospect* yes, really…

And finally, what’s the best advice you have ever been given and by whom was it given?

It was given by my friend Anne Kendall and is so sage, wise, well-intentioned and well-received that it will stay between just us forever.

Although Chris Talago has reinforced the not-burning-the-agency-down-thing once or twice, and that seems pretty sound too.

To find out more about the consumer team at Waggener Edstrom and to be in the running to work there please contact


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