There aren’t that many advertising creatives who have a Wikipedia page. But Grey London’s Chief Creative Officer Laura Bambach does.
It tells you that she is Australian. She was coding by the time she was 20. Started in publishing, moved into digital advertising, came to London, became executive creative director of LBi, then at Dare. In 2013 was co- founder of creative agency Mr. President. In 2020 she moved to Grey London as Chief Creative Officer and after 10 minutes they said, ‘Will you be President as well, please.’
She just can’t stop co-founding things. Like SheSays, which helps women make progress in the creative industries, We Are Oko, which is a mentoring platform, The Great British Diversity Experiment and Cannt, a festival for those unable to get to Cannes. It’s exhausting just listing her many side-hustles.
What neither Wikipedia nor her CV tells you is that Laura is compassionate, wise and universally loved. Getting her to lead The Caples Awards jury in 2023 makes us cats that got the cream.
10 questions that let us pry into the wonderful world of Laura JB.
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you in the last week?
The creative energy I was part of in the agency this week – it was back to the uplifting, momentous, electric and tingly vibes that is always the thing I’ve loved about work. Nothing beats that feeling!
You are incredibly busy with the agency and with your other interests, She Says and We Are OKO. What do you do to switch off?
I cook – it’s my meditation. The more stressed I am the more I feel the need to spend a day in the kitchen experimenting. I started my life as an artist, so when I get time, that too. But my real joy is starting businesses to make the world a better place.
In your career, what one piece of personal work are you most proud of?
There are so many – it’s like choosing your favourite child! I couldn’t possibly.
What work has Grey London produced you’re particularly proud of?
Again, it’s like choosing a favourite child, but the consistently strong work we make for Pringles has to be right up there – and your favourite piece of work is always your last one so I’d say from that the Pringles Multigrain/Multigran campaign that’s been out in the last few weeks.
What recent work have you seen from another agency (or agencies) that you would really like to see entered into The Caples? And why?
I think it’s more important that the work I haven’t seen before is entered into Caples! I want the Caples to be a place where smaller agencies and braver work gets seen.
What does it mean to you to be President of The Caples Awards in 2023?
It’s such an honour. It’s such a fascinating and cool awards show, and there’s something of the pirate spirit to it, which I love and is very close to my heart, to my life and to Grey!
The Caples is free to enter. Is this brave. Or very, very stupid?
I think it’s wonderful, generous and will make for some brilliantly leftfield winners.
If you hadn’t ended up in advertising, what would you be doing instead?
Great question! I’d be throwing myself into art or into some kind of entrepreneurial endeavour, I’m sure.
If you could have five creative luminaries sitting around your kitchen table, having a drink and a chat, who would they be? What do you think you’d talk about?
Nick Cave, Bjork, Jessica Walsh, Little Sims, Leigh Bowery
We’d talk about our own inspiration, our life learnings, the nature of creativity and how we could collaborate on that new project that’s going to make a difference to the world.
Impossible question. But what is your one all-time favourite piece of advertising, the idea you most wish you’d done yourself?
It’s old (in digital terms) and weird but when they streamed the live birth of an elephant in Antwerp Zoo it was utterly amazing.