about

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I started my career working on famous global campaigns at some of the world’s most creative, strategic and trail-blazing agencies.

I developed it by launching a hugely successful international communications agency in Amsterdam and an independent communications consultancy near Düsseldorf. I have created thought-leadership campaigns and written speeches for a wide range of clients and colleagues.

As of March 2014, I am putting my experience at the service of the International Baccalaureate, a global non-profit organisation based in The Hague, motivated by a mission to create a better world through education…

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My story begins and continues in The Hague, although my life and career have always been international. I was born here in Holland, and grew up in the USA, England and Indonesia. The last four generations of my family were international in outlook – as travellers and explorers, and teachers, as well as communicators….

den_haag

The Hague, South Holland


Ventura Pier

Ventura Pier, South California, USA

My schooling was nomadic – I went to nine different schools, starting at the Montessori in Wassenaar, ending up boarding at Reed’s School in England.

reed's school

Reed’s School

I read English literature at Harris Manchester College, Oxford and was awarded a First Class (Honours) degree.

Harris Manchester College, Oxford

Harris Manchester College, Oxford

The college offered the option of studying the London University literature course, which was a more modern, flexible curriculum (less focus on Anglo-Saxons, more on modern writers). As a result, I studied at an Oxford University college, taught by Oxford University tutors, going to Oxford University lectures, working in Oxford University libraries (I especially loved the 15th century Duke Humfrey and the 18th century Palladian Radcliffe Camera libraries), debating in the Oxford Union – and came out with a London University degree! I was also awarded the Sir Charles Harris prize by the University of London for the quality of my written Finals papers.

1duke humphrey's library, oxford Bodleian-Library-Old

Duke Humfrey’s Library, Oxford


2radcliffe camera oxford

Radcliffe Camera

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was offered a place to read an M.Phil by St John’s College Oxford, in preparation for a doctorate, but (partly because of student debts) I turned down that opportunity in favour of starting my career at Saatchi & Saatchi in London. I was one of twelve trainees recruited from over 8,700 applicants, and I worked on some of the agency’s best known, brand-building, award-winning accounts, including Anchor, Procter & Gamble (Head & Shoulders, Ariel) and Pilkington (whose corporate TVC bulletproof won a Golden Lion at Cannes). I worked my way up from graduate trainee to account director and it was at Saatchi’s that I first saw the potential for global advertising (one of the agency’s calling cards – it was conceived and pioneered from the London HQ).

Saatchi & Saatchi, Charlotte Street, London

Saatchi & Saatchi, Charlotte Street, London

I wanted to develop my international role and took up an offer to move to Düsseldorf to run Procter & Gamble‘s multinational toothpaste and shampoo accounts.

Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf

Later, in Hamburg and then Milan, I developed and led global campaigns for Unilever ice creams, one of which (Me & My Magnum), helped make Magnum Unilever’s largest worldwide brand. The hugely successful international roll-out of marketing and communications became the model for Unilever’s other big brands. Our campaign was awarded many prizes, including a golden Global Effie (for effectiveness) and a shortlisting at Cannes (for creativity).

Hamburg

Hamburg


Milan

Milan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I came back to Düsseldorf to run the worldwide Allianz account at BBDO. (Allianz, the world’s largest insurer – and a huge multinational financial services company – is well-known in Germany, less so elsewhere.) The campaign helped build awareness, positive perceptions and turnover for Allianz across the world.

BBDO from the Königsallee, Düsseldorf

BBDO from the Königsallee, Düsseldorf

I then founded and ran an international communications agency, cayenne communications (now Dentsu), in Amsterdam, employing 45 people. It was based in two interconnected, sprawling art nouveau mansions on the Stadhouderskade in the centre of town. After successfully launching the agency and winning five competitive new business pitches, we launched the first pan-European total communications campaign for Canon (You Can, shortlisted at Cannes and Shots) and Yakult, as well as advertising Skoda locally.

caynne communications' offices in the Stadhouderskade, Amsterdam

cayenne communications’ HQ in the Stadhouderskade, Amsterdam


Stadhouderskade seen from the bridge

Stadhouderskade seen from the bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After two years, I began to see that the classic advertising agency model was losing traction – digital new media opportunities were transforming the way content is produced, enjoyed and responded to.

To gain deeper insight, I resolved to work independently as an international communications consultant, focusing on content creation and strategy.

Based in Germany, I specialised in English language communications for the international media and German, Dutch and Belgian companies, covering:

– Strategy development  (creative briefs, marketing communications platforms, consumer insights).

– Speechwriting.

– Communications content  (articles, features, copy, reviews, reports, blogs).

– Translation (German to English, Dutch to English, French to English).

– Book editing/reviewing/publishing

– Concept development

– Literary writing – In 2012 I published my first book, Honour (under the pen-name Freddie Omm). It was an Amazon best-seller in the UK and Germany.

As of March 2014 I shall be developing Global Brand and Communications at the non-profit International Baccalaureate, the world leader in its field:

The IB’s four programmes for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.

Founded in 1968, the IB currently works with ober 4.500 schools in 152 countries to develop and offers four challenging programmes to over 1.4 million students.

This will allow me to put my experience at the service of a truly global, truly effective and idealistic organisation, uncircumscribed by the old advertising agency and marketing department strictures and their outdated working practises.

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