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Rory Sutherland

Vice-chairman of Ogilvy Group, The Spectator’s Wiki Man

Rory Sutherland Biography

Rory Sutherland is Vice Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather UK and is an expert on consumer behaviour, trends and the influence of the internet. He supports the need for companies to alter the perspective of clients, bringing about novel perspectives on diverse products.

Ogilvy’s Vice-Chairman once suggested to Microsoft that they enable people to share office documents on the internet. The idea was dismissed. With a sharp wit Rory uncovers how potatoes were rebranded by Friedrich The Great, and why he has no problem playing with our value system.

After a spell teaching at a grammar school (and finding his colleagues far more challenging than the pupils), Rory applied to a number of advertising and marketing agencies and was offered a planning role by Ogilvy & Mather. He was asked to leave the Planning Department and moved to the Creative Department instead as a junior copywriter. He worked on accounts including American Express, Royal Mail, and the relatively obscure software company Microsoft.

Despite approaching Microsoft with the idea of a system whereby people could share Office documents over the nascent internet and being roundly rejected, Rory went on to help found OgilvyOne, the group’s dedicated digital and direct agency. He remains an advocate of so-called ‘360 Degree Branding’ ensuring brands have a coherent, joined-up presence in all relevant media areas.

Rory was appointed Head of Copy, and shortly afterwards Creative Director of Ogilvy. He has also served as the president of the Institute of Practioners in Advertising (IPA) – the first ‘creative’ to do so. Ogilvy is now part of the massive WPP ad and media group and count Ford, Unilever, IBM, American Express, BP, and British Airways amongst their top accounts.

With characteristic wit and erudition Rory looks at the successes, the failures and the outright bizarre from the ad world. He analyses what branding means, what creativity is, and the value of persuasion over compulsion. In particular he looks at behaviours – as individuals and groups, consumers and employees – and how we often make the wrong decisions, or the decisions others want us to make. He considers how the potato was rebranded by Friedrich the Great of Prussia, the mysteries behind advertising, why the media is like food and why cheap, imaginative answers can often be better than expensive ones.

Rory Sutherland Videos

Testimonials for Rory Sutherland

Rory is the original advocate of ‘360-degree branding,’ a persuasive and charismatic speaker and has a tremendous knack for making ideas come to life in an easily digestible way. He has been walking the walk longer than anyone.

Gary Leih

Chairman, Ogilvy Group

Rory touches on an interesting topic which is mechanistic innovation and blooms into perception…

Cleverly Engaged Marketing

Rory Sutherland‘s Topics

Behavioural Economics

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Books by Rory Sutherland

Rory Sutherland Book
Rory Sutherland Book

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