Effectiveness Hall of Fame - Les Binet
Q: What have been the high points and low points of your career?
High point: I’ve probably forgotten the absolute high point, because I was almost certainly drunk at the time. But working with Peter Field on two books has been pretty cool.
Low point: Spending three months writing an IPA case that we were convinced was destined for a Grand Prix, and then having it withdrawn at the last minute due to client concerns about confidentiality.
Q: In your work, who has had the biggest influence on your communications thinking and practice – and why?
There have been lots of big influences, including Sarah Carter, Mark Earls, Andrew Ehrenberg, Peter Field, Paul Feldwick, Robert Heath and Byron Sharp. But I suppose the biggest influence of all has to be Louise Cook, who taught me everything I know about econometrics.
Q: What knowledge or skill do you have today that you wish you had possessed when you started out?
Does the ability to use Google count?
Q: What is the single, most important change you have seen in the industry since you started? Has it been a change for the better or worse?
The arrival of the internet, and the everything that followed. Massively a change for the better.
Having read Physics at Oxford, Les Binet took an M. Phil. in Artificial Intelligence at Edinburgh University. His research focussed on the use of computer models to study the way human beings process language. In 1987, he joined the Account Planning department at BMP, where he turned his modelling skills to the problem of measuring the effects of advertising.
Over the years, Les has worked on accounts for AXA, Barclays, Diageo, Heinz, John Lewis, Nestlé, Phillips, Unilever, Virgin, and Volkswagen. He has also played an important part in establishing the agency’s reputation for effectiveness, having won an unprecedented number of IPA Effectiveness Awards.
Since 2001, he has served on the IPA’s Value of Creativity Group, helping to promote effectiveness and evaluation. In 2004 he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the IPA, in recognition of his services to the advertising industry, and in 2005 he was Convenor of Judges for the IPA Awards.
Les is a member of the Wharton Business School’s Global Advisory Board on the Future of Advertising, and a regular columnist for Admap magazine.
Last updated 15/10/2013