Last week, heads turned again in Adland, as Unilever marketer Keith Weed became the latest industry name to threaten Google and Facebook with an advertising boycott. Joining others including P&G’s Marc Pritchard, and two colleagues of my own (The&Partnership’s Johnny Hornby and the IPA’s Paul Bainsfair), Weed called on the Silicon Valley giants to step up after last year’s many digital controversies – or face losing out on the £428bn marketers will spend on advertising globally in 2018.
There is an enormous wealth of business confidence in the West and East of England, and it is home to some of the UK’s most successful companies. Take Bristol-based Nisbets for example, founded by Andrew Nisbet in 1983; it is now the UK’s largest catering-supplies company and exports globally.
Swarovski executive board member Nadja Swarovski talks about the jeweler’s prominence in different markets, and how the company has transformed.
Some former BHS outlets have been taken over by cut-price formats including Primark, Sports Direct, Wilko and Days – a new multi-brand concept set up retail entrepreneur Philip Day to put the retailers he now owns under one roof.
It is positive that the UK then has a number of large family businesses who should be expecting to provide this balancing influence; businesses such as Associated British Foods founded by W Garfield Weston in 1935; Laing O’Rourke founded by Ray O’Rourke who launched the business from his garage; Bestway Group created by Sir Anwar Pervez in 1956, and others such as Nisbets, the catering supplies business founded by Andrew Nisbet in 1983.
Entrepreneurs are often as grateful for the opportunities that don’t come to fruition as those that do. Take Rishi Khosla: he started his first business with so little capital (he and his business partner, Joel Perlman, had just £40k to invest between them), that frugality became part of its DNA.