In It for the Long Run: Ignasi Puig

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Ignasi Puig has been in the advertising industry for over 20 years. He started out as an account executive in 1985 at ad agency Delvico Bates. Two years later, he became the product manager at Warner-Lambert. Next, Puig became the general manager of Backer Spielvogel Bates, and in 1992 he returned to Delvico as its general manager — all before starting his own agency.

But before the back and forth between jobs, Puig spent many years in school. He earned an MBA from ESADE in Barcelona, a Majeure Entrepreneur from HEC Paris, and another MBA from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

After graduating in 1985 Puig immediately joined Delvico. There he met his future business partner Luis Cuesta, who at the time was the general manager of the agency. Eleven years later, however, Puig, ''Luis, Toni, and Felix'' decided to create their own agency. And in February 1996 the four created SCPF (Puig is the ''P'').

''The reason I work in advertising is because of the people and the opportunity to work with great minds,'' says Puig. ''For me, who you work with is just as important as what you do. The talent and the diversity of people in our industry are what make me work in advertising.''

According to a mini-bio, ''SCPF is an award-winning global creative agency with offices in Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, and Miami. Part of the WPP network of agencies, SCPF has been behind memorable campaigns for IKEA and BMW. The agency has received top industry accolades at the Cannes International Advertising Festival, Addys, The One Show, etc.''

''Marketing directors come and go, fiscal years, quarter results, Wall Street analysts…the short-term mentality puts a lot of pressure and jeopardizes brand building. Since we started SCPF, we have been obsessed with building brands for the long term in a consistent way,'' continues Puig. ''We still think this is the way to go. We are in it for the long run.''

As CEO of SCPF, Puig’s main responsibilities are ''building and expanding their business in America by hiring the right teams we need and attracting and managing the right clients.''

''I enjoy working for different markets with different people, whether it’s discussing over breakfast how to help a soft drink client increase their market share or brainstorming over lunch on how to launch a new car,'' says Puig. ''This is what I like, working in different industries and connecting with their people.''

Throughout his career Puig has worked with several powerhouse clients ranging from Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, and BMW to IKEA, Vodafone, DHL, and ING Bank, among others. However, the ads that have made him proudest are not measured in style of ad or campaign but in consistency.

''What makes me proud is the consistency of our work after more than 10 years. SCPF has contributed to building great brands in the eyes of consumers — ads like ‘Mano’ for BMW or ‘The Republic’ for Ikea or ‘Remember’ for Vodafone are some of my favorites.''

But Puig isn’t afraid of change — especially when it comes to the ever-evolving technology in the ad world, the biggest being TiVo.

Puig says, ''The future is the past. We will come back to a scenario where there is not one ruling medium with large audiences, where reaching different target groups will require a lot of innovation and creativity.''

What, then, does Puig, with over 20 years of ad experience, have to offer those interested in advertising careers?

''The changes to come will make working in advertising a more interesting and exciting challenge. Changes should happen more rapidly. So be prepared to work in a changing environment.''

Q. What do you do for fun?
A. Since I moved to Florida, sailing has become my main hobby. Dining with friends is also one of my favorite pastimes.

Q. Throughout your lifetime, what movie have you watched the most?
A. Citizen Kane and Lawrence of Arabia.

Q. What was the last book you read?
A. A book about the life of Salvador Dali.

Q. What music is on your iPod or in your CD player right now?
A. Elton John is singing “Daniel.”
Q. If you had an extra hour in the day, what would you spend it doing?
A. Talking to my four children.

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