Valerie Ludlow: What makes her tick?

10 Questions thrown at the CEO of ASG & Partners and IPA's Northern Ireland Chair

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Valerie Ludlow, CEO of ASG & Partners and IPA's NI Chair, allows a generous glimpse into her past and present self and shares wonderful advice on how to deal with being different.

Valerie Ludlow: What makes her tick?

Valerie Ludlow in her own words

"I started out in Market Research (TNS), then internal comms (ntl/Virgin Media) and moved into advertising 13 years ago. I’ve worked with some incredible brands and helped deliver award winning work. Now as CEO of ASG & Partners I am responsible for the day-to-day running of the agency; whilst still working on the strategic delivery of key agency accounts."

1. If your house was burning down, what one thing would you save (excluding people and pets)?

I’m not a collector and I hate clutter, so this really stumped me. My partner on the other hand is a big collector and when I posed this question to him he said I’d be too busy helping him save his vinyl collection (750+ and counting!!) to worry about what I needed to save.

2. What is your favourite word?

Pizza

3. What do you wish you’d invented?

Minecraft. My daughter was an early adopter and I was completely stumped about its appeal. 10 years later she is still playing it, her bedroom is filled with branded toys and clothing, I can name several Minecraft vloggers (and recognise their annoying laughs) and I’m a seasoned MineVention attendee. I’ve also seen the educational impact it has on her spatial awareness, built a basic knowledge of elemental science and other planning skills.

4. If it wasn’t advertising, what career would you have chosen?

Historian – probably specialising in the American post-bellum/ Wild West period.

5. What have been your best and worst business decisions?

Best: joining ASG & Partners and working with our Chairman (Colin Anderson). He recognised my ambition to do more and gave me the chance to do just that.

Worst: those few occasions I’ve backed down and allowed the solution to be compromised to avoid further stress, anxiety, time, costs etc. Sometimes, some of the best ideas are the hardest to get across the line – but they are often the work I am most proud off.

6. What is your most over told personal anecdote?

Just like collecting – I’m not really an anecdote kind of person. I’ve always been a listener (and an observer) and I believe that has helped me with my career. It allows my clients to talk and share – and this usually leads our project planning in more interesting directions.

7. What’s been the best thing you’ve read recently (article, book, tweet etc)?

I’ve just started reading the works of Kate O’Brien. She was referenced in a documentary I watched recently about the film Brief Encounter - "the co-protagonist Laura (Celia Johnson) says she has reserved "the new Kate O'Brien" at her local Boots library, which prepares the audience for the moral dilemmas that the character is about to face." I did a quick wiki search and whilst she was really popular in the 1940s and banned because of some of the subjects she tackled – has fallen into relative obscurity.

8. What’s your most hated business jargon?

All of it.

9. What advice would you give your younger self?

I was bullied in my teens because I was considered different and a bit weird. So, I would tell my younger self to keep on being different and weird – that it all works out and that at 42 I’m still considered an oddity by some and that’s fine with me.

10. What song or film has influenced you the most?

Anything with Bette Davis – but especially "Now, Voyager".

Quick fire questions

  1. Breakfast / lunch / dinner?
    Breakfast

  2. Cats or dogs?
    Dogs

  3. City, sea, fields or mountains?
    Sea

  4. Early bird or night owl?
    Night owl

  5. Head or heart?
    The missing third option "gut"