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Advertising's Alcohol Dilemma

Advertising's Alcohol Dilemma

Matt Adams

Matt Adams

July 5, 2019

Havas Media's Matt Adams says "We should be empowering people to know the choice to drink is one you make, not one that is made for you."

"I decided the best thing to do was to go to a total extreme and give up drinking for 2019."

Campaign

By Matt Adams

CEO, Havas Media Group UK and Ireland

July 5, 2019

 

It’s taken me about six months to write this piece. Mainly because I didn’t know what to say or, most importantly, what my real reason for quitting alcohol for the year was – whether I was kidding myself about the choice being mine or whether I’d got to a place where the consequence of not making the choice was too great.

During the 20 years I’ve spent in media, my relationship with alcohol has evolved. When I first joined the industry, the drinking culture simply was the culture. Friday afternoons were spent at the local and every social engagement revolved around booze.

At 39, I was given the reins at Havas Group Media – a business that needed a lot of help, focus and attention. A wise man once told me that any business is either a start-up or a turnaround – and it was clear which one I had inherited. Despite the support I was given in my first year, it was a big step up for me and one that was larger than I had realised at the time.

It was then that my relationship with alcohol changed, and not for the better – I used drinking as a stress-release valve. The need to go for a few beers became just that: a need, as opposed to a nice-to-have. There were a few dark moments in the horrifically termed “silly season”: the time when we all let our other halves know they won’t see us for six weeks. When we say thanks to our clients and partners through the bottom of a bottle of red. A season that many behind closed doors actually dread but feel they can’t avoid.

I’m sure many of us have struggled through a day in the office with the hangover from hell, with the feeling of dread that often accompanies it; cringed inwardly about our behaviour in front of clients and colleagues after overindulging at an industry function; or had to apologise to the family after a quick pint after work turned into an all-nighter. These less-than-ideal scenarios have almost become rites of passage; compulsory experiences for anyone who wants to progress in our world.

Would your career path be more limited without drink? Would you be missing out on vital senior-level chat and passed over? Is it possible to entertain your clients or agencies without alcohol?

 

Read the full article

"I decided the best thing to do was to go to a total extreme and give up drinking for 2019."

Campaign

By Matt Adams

CEO, Havas Media Group UK and Ireland

July 5, 2019

 

It’s taken me about six months to write this piece. Mainly because I didn’t know what to say or, most importantly, what my real reason for quitting alcohol for the year was – whether I was kidding myself about the choice being mine or whether I’d got to a place where the consequence of not making the choice was too great.

During the 20 years I’ve spent in media, my relationship with alcohol has evolved. When I first joined the industry, the drinking culture simply was the culture. Friday afternoons were spent at the local and every social engagement revolved around booze.

At 39, I was given the reins at Havas Group Media – a business that needed a lot of help, focus and attention. A wise man once told me that any business is either a start-up or a turnaround – and it was clear which one I had inherited. Despite the support I was given in my first year, it was a big step up for me and one that was larger than I had realised at the time.

It was then that my relationship with alcohol changed, and not for the better – I used drinking as a stress-release valve. The need to go for a few beers became just that: a need, as opposed to a nice-to-have. There were a few dark moments in the horrifically termed “silly season”: the time when we all let our other halves know they won’t see us for six weeks. When we say thanks to our clients and partners through the bottom of a bottle of red. A season that many behind closed doors actually dread but feel they can’t avoid.

I’m sure many of us have struggled through a day in the office with the hangover from hell, with the feeling of dread that often accompanies it; cringed inwardly about our behaviour in front of clients and colleagues after overindulging at an industry function; or had to apologise to the family after a quick pint after work turned into an all-nighter. These less-than-ideal scenarios have almost become rites of passage; compulsory experiences for anyone who wants to progress in our world.

Would your career path be more limited without drink? Would you be missing out on vital senior-level chat and passed over? Is it possible to entertain your clients or agencies without alcohol?

 

Read the full article

Matt is proud to lead the Havas UK&I media business.

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