Branding & design

Olins, Wally. (9 of 19). The Oral History of Wolff-Olins

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  • Recording date

    2001-11-05, 2001-12-14

  • Is part of (Collection)

    Oral History of Wolff Olins

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Reading

  • Interviewees

    Olins, Wally, 1930-2014 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Roberts, Melanie (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 9: Wally Olins [WO] talks about how the film Genevieve influenced his decision to go into advertising. Describes himself as intuitive and impulsive. Joined S.H. Benson 1954 (now part of WPP). WO talks about wishing to go to New York, but encouraged to go to Bombay. Marrying Renata just before leaving in 1957. Details of size of operation in Bombay, describing his boss where he was initially one of six account executives. Returns to experience of what it was to be a trainee account executive in London - pettiness, hierarchies and the usefulness of becoming known through accurate reporting of meetings. Tells anecdote of getting Camp Coffee advertisement wrong. Describes freak circumstances leading to his getting close to Deputy MD, Douglas Baine, who became mentor, sending him to Bombay. Arriving in India and both WO and Renata discovering they liked the people and the country. Talks about his intense curiosity for this 'parallel universe'. Describes the English community and its largely colonial attitude to Indian people, excepting himself and the friendship circle he and Renata drew around themselves. Talks about the strength of his ambition leading to his becoming a Director of the company. Describes the skills he developed while in Bombay, as well as what fuelled his ambition.

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