A view from the Chair

January 6, 2014

Mark Gorman

You’ve probably not met me, but I’ve been here since July.

(Behind the scenes, sussing out what makes Robson Brown (RB) tick.)

I’ve been coming down from Edinburgh for a few days each week and talking to people in and around Newcastle (thank you all for your time and your very friendly welcome and insights).

But its not all been work. I’ve discovered a few gems in my leisure time; The Free Trade Inn. Sleeperz. The Crown Posada (what a grand name). The Tyneside Cinema. The cycle track to Wallsend. Chicken Soup with Persian Flatbread from the Moulin Rouge on Westgate Road. (But why is a Persian restaurant named the Moulin Rouge I wonder?)

What has impressed me (apart from that Franco Persian alliance) has been that although Robson Brown has been through a pretty tough patch it’s much more than just still here. It has quietly been going about its work in a pleasant, bright environment, populated by a great bunch of people determined to prove the naysayers wrong.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s been difficult. But RB has managed its way through a tricky period, in the midst of a deep recession, and emerged at the other side of it, a bit bruised admittedly, but very much up for what lies ahead.

For those of you who don’t know me I once ran a fairly significant Scottish Creative Agency (go on, LinkedIn it) and since choosing to plough a different furrow I’ve gained a bunch of pretty useful insights into how agencies work, whether they be traditional, cutting edge, techy or crafty.

It would seem that during my time here I’ve said the right things to the right people and in the immortal words of my first ever boss “They haven’t found me out yet.”

And so, here I am, mouse in hand, actually trackpad beneath finger, kicking off my spell as Non-Executive Chairman of this Grande Old Dame of the North East.

Actually, forget the Grande Old Dame bit.

We’re newly sprung as you’ll see from our website.

In fact, we are reborn.

I like to think of us as the most experienced start up in the North; phalanxed by an army of Mission Group experts. Ready to add value to our offering when and if you need it.

Balance did, Holiday Discount Centre did, Fresh are in the process of doing so.

And you know what?

It works.

Say hello some time.

I’d love to meet you.

I might even be tempted to step out to the Moulin Rouge with you.