Sir John Hegarty is an advertising executive and the Founder of Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH). In 2007 he received a knighthood for his services to the advertising and creative industries. John resides in Clerkenwell with his wife Philippa.
You’ve built a legendary career in advertising. What are you doing nowadays?
I’m now a partner in an early-stage investment company, helping entrepreneurs get their business ideas off the ground with investment and advice, it’s called, The Garage Soho. Our first piece of advice is, don’t just start a business, build a brand, because that’s where value will reside.
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you today?
Having lunch with a long-standing friend and bumping into people I would never have met on a Google Hangout.
What indulgence will you never give up?
My list is far too long.
Is there a place you can’t wait to return to?
Our vineyard in France. Philippa, my wife, and I can’t wait to get back there.
What one physical object do you value the most?
Anything that can be replaced should never be overvalued.
You’ve built several successful companies. How do you spot talent?
Get lucky and only invest time in things you love. If it fails, you can console yourself in the fact that at least you loved it.
What is the Ad that changed everything?
Levi’s Launderette. Sadly, the star of that Ad, Nick Kamen, just died. But it changed the fortunes of Levi’s and BBH, it also changed fashion, reintroduced classic R&B music to a new audience and made boxer shorts, the must have underwear for men. Not bad for 60 seconds.
Can you think of a specific current problem with the world you’d like to solve?
Our leaders lying to us.
How do you think your industry could be more responsible?
Tell the truth. It’s the most powerful factor in communication.
Tell us about a belief you had early on in life that you now feel differently about.
That we’re all artists. I now realise we are, but some of us shouldn’t exhibit.
What is the last song you listened to?
Desolation Row, by Bob Dylan. It was his 80th birthday a few weeks ago and Mick Jagger rated it as his favourite. I listened to it and have to say it’s brilliant.
Do you believe in an Afterlife?
Only for a pair of Roscomars.