Helen Kenny

Managing Director, Sonny London / MJZ

At a time when a Procurement Officer can outrank an ECD, The British Arrows gives us all a moment to celebrate how craft enriches us all, and when unbridled, bestows upon our industry extraordinary memorable advertising.

It all started in borrowed rugby shorts at 6-10 Lexington Street, summer of 1989. Fresh from three years of studentopia, I had just got a job as a runner and rather quaintly took their job offer quite literally. But as it turned out Pam Power and Kathy O’Shea expected nothing less, so I ran - 2,000ft cans of rushes to the Bijoux, sound loops to Magmasters and cutting copies to VTR… After six years of syncing rushes, checking Ridley’s answer prints and hanging trims, to finally cutting for Frank Budgen. It was the most atomic of apprenticeships.

I then did a postgrad in Excellent Swearing at the University of Tim Delaney at 233 Shaftesbury Avenue. Guardian ads were played out from post houses to tumble cabinet ministers and Tim told Adidas: “We Knew Then, We Know Now.” David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Muhammed Ali and Steffi Graf, all on a school day, and the BBC on a Perfect Day.

And just when I thought myself wise and qualified in the world of advertising, boom, I met Fredrik Bond. Year 2000 the BTAs, the Great Room, Grosvenor House, there’s Fredrik, a man of liquid mischief and nuclear energy. Within a month, we had begun the most peripatetic of lifestyles, running through airport concourses of the world, last call for wherever the hell we were going next. Pause and remember, days with Jonah Lomu in Auckland, Ronaldo v Ronaldo in Barcelona, 300 falling stunt men in Toronto. Back then I had pink hair, Fredrik had…hair.

Actual graduation, toss the mortarboard it’s 2005. Put together everything you have learnt so far from the wisdom of your mentors and build something new. Sonny is the sum of all these parts.

Currently seated at the helm of Sonny and MJZ London, 45a Brewer Street, looking across the road at the portal of 6-10 Lexington Street, which reminds me, I’ve still got those rugby shorts.