David Kolbusz Chair of the CAMPAIGNS Jury

CCO, Droga5

It's a matter of public record that most business bios are written by the person they're about, so let's drop the "written in the third person" charade and let me tell you a bit about myself. I am Canadian by birth. My mother is English - hence my ability to work in this country legally - and my father is German. For most of my life I believed he was Polish. Fact is, he's of Polish stock but was born in Germany. I found this out about three weeks ago, though subconsciously I suppose I kind of already knew it. I'm not sure why birthplace figures so prominently in most bios. I guess to a degree it informs who you become. 

I got my first job in Canada. It was at TBWA. I did some work there I was proud of. Buried some mistakes. Then I moved to London and joined Mother. Yann and Luke brought me in. I owe them my career. I did five years there. Then moved to Goodby Silverstein & Partners. That was my first job creative directing. I was very self-assured but my barometer wasn't as strong as it needed to be. I learned a lot from Jeff and Rich, but also from my creative partner Margaret and my accounts partner Leslie. I love them with all my heart and carry a piece of them with me to this day. I would've stayed longer but San Francisco wasn't a great fit. It's a lovely city but I need more distraction in my life.

So I left for BBH London. Pulled by the forces of Nick Gill. I still remember his sashaying down the spiral staircase the first time he met me in the second floor coffee bar. So many amazing people in that building. So much work I'm proud of. If I tried to name everyone this horrible thing would be twice the length.

Wieden+Kennedy New York followed. I'd been Deputy ECD at BBH and wanted a shot at the top job. This one was on offer and who says no to Wieden+Kennedy? I spent a year and a half there working with a collection of creative directors, all of whom could've taken my job. They were that good. But I missed London.

David Droga wanted me to help run the UK office and he's probably the nicest most charismatic man in advertising so I said yes. Either that or he's the world's most incredibly accomplished sociopath. He's been very kind so far, though. Droga5 London - where I am now - seems to be doing well. We've won some business and made some work I'm proud of. This is a nice feather in my cap too.

I'm excited to be chairing The British Arrows 2017 Campaigns Jury. It's an amazing show. I remember my first win. It was for an ad called Dance for the mobile phone brand Orange. I got a bronze. I was beat out by Nick Gill himself for his Vodaphone Mayfly ad. It was good too but I secretly resented him for that. At the time I convinced myself it was because Rosie Arnold was on the jury. But then I met Rosie and realised she's anything but conspiratorial and one of the sweetest human beings on the planet. She's on my jury this year too! Anyway, she'll keep it clean.

God, this reads like a confession, doesn't it?
I suppose I should end with something profound.
Life is a collection of wasted opportunities and we all die alone.
Too dark?
I'm sorry.
I don't know what to believe anymore.