Headline | April 8, 2016

How To Boss It Like… Paul Frampton CEO at Havas Media Group UK & Ireland

Paul Frampton_CEO At Havas Media Group

These leaders are changing the world for the better. We find out how they get the job done.

Countless leaders are changing the world.

From Eileen Burbidge to Simon Belsham and Debbie Wosskow, these smart people get an incredible amount done, and all in an impossibly short space of time.

This morning we’re talking to Paul Frampton, the CEO of one of the country’s most successful media agencies, Havas Media Group UK & Ireland.

Havas Media Group helps some of the world’s biggest companies, like O2, Nationwide and Emirates Airline, to create and place adverts, and last year saw a huge 33% increase in its business.

After the success of 2015 next year Frampton will help move Havas Media Group into new premises at King’s Cross next year.

It’s part of the so-called Havas Village project, started by the group’s French parent company, to move all 24 of Havas’ London-based agencies together under one roof.

The idea in London (and in the 37 such Villages around the world already builty) is that bringing together expertise across advertising, digital, promotions, creative, research and more under one roof helps ideas to cross-pollinate and will lead to even more business for Havas.


A busy man, with big ideas, The Memo asked Frampton how he gets it all done.

What time do you get up, and what part of your morning routine sets you up for the day?

I get up at 5.45am. Switch off my Apple Watch sleep tracker to see how long I actually slept for, then my first task of the day is to check Twitter notifications from the night from my non-European followers.

When I’m in the right frame of mind, I’ll start the day with a 15 mins TRX suspension work-out.

My wife (Luisa) and I rise at the same time and tend to play some Balearic beats while we shower, catch up on the morning’s news from the Beeb, before a brisk walk to the train station.

I take a 15 minute smartphone break to peruse The Guardian’s insightful perspective on domestic and global events, paying particular attention to the business and sports sections.

What apps or methods do you use to be more productive?

In the past, I dabbled with Evernote and Todoist but today I just use the standard Apple Notes and to-do list features to capture notes.

I’m constantly mulling over my next blog or tweet so I tend to use any downtime to capture my latest inspiration. I’ve always been a big believer that to be a leader, you must be prolific in your thought leadership and today that means being inherently social – thinking, sharing and interacting out loud.

It still amazes me that so few leaders have leveraged the immense power of social platforms to engage with customers, talent and influencers.

I’ve recently become a fan of a new app called Charlie, which scans my contacts and the web to give me a briefing on the people I will meet that day.

It needs some improvements but it’s the beginnings of smart AI meeting EA [executive assistant]…if I’m honest it doesn’t come anywhere close to matching my brilliant, serene and omnipresent EA Amy but I do like how Charlie attempts to make busy people’s lives easier.

What smartphone do you use?

An iPhone 6S. Unlike most people, I cherish the size of the screen and rarely use my iPad as a result anymore.

It’s white, 64Gb and is always at capacity with over 8,000 photos and 20,000 emails at any one time.

It’s synced with my Apple Watch so that I can be always on and check/acknowledge social notifications without needing to always reach for my phone.

How many people do you meet in a day?

I have to split this between the physical and digital world.

In the real world, I reckon I probably meet around 40-50 people a day – on average I have eight meetings a day with at least half being external, walk the floors of at least two of our four London Havas Media Group buildings and will spend time in a room at least once with a room of 15 or so of our brilliant Havas talent.

In the social world, I will interact with at least another 60 people, if not more, across Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram & Snapchat. I average around 70-100 individual social interactions within a typical day and, contrary to popular belief, manage this all myself!

Of my social community more than half are outside of the UK so I enjoy learning, sharing and debating trends with a global audience.


What book are you currently reading or which one book would you recommend?

I’ve just finished The Circle which depicts the rather frightening direction technology could take, if not balanced with humanity.

I’ve now moved on to something a little more classic – Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. My wife is Colombian so I’m a big fan of his literary style which hits both romantic and comic notes.

On my Kindle, I’ve also broken the back of John Kotter’s brilliant book on Leading Change ; this remains a source of constant inspiration for me at a time when change has most certainly become the new normal.

When do you work until? Are you still sending emails in the night? Or do you have a wind down routine?

On days when I am not entertaining in the evening (usually 2-3 times a week) I generally leave the office around 7pm-7.30pm and the journey home is spent catching up on the day’s emails, tweets and LinkedIn messages.

My wind-down routine starts on the walk from the station to home with my wonderful wife who has a unique ability to decompress my mind after the day’s relentless schedule.

There’s generally a big new business pitch on or some interface with my bosses in Paris, so the early evening is rarely uneventful. I try to stay away from my laptop in the evenings but my real mantra is protecting the weekends.

I’m happy to work 14 hour days during the week, but the weekend is sacred and is time I fiercely protect to cherish with my wife and beautiful kids.

Having read many reports recently about how smartphone lighting stimulates the brain, I now make sure to switch my phone off at least half an hour before retiring to bed.

What piece of advice would you give to anyone starting a career in marketing/advertising?

Be curious and resourceful. The world of marketing is changing at a lightning pace as the future does not look like the last couple of decades.

Spend your time researching and understanding emerging technologies and the potential applications they could have for advertisers. Find a passion area and make this your superpower.

Be prolific in sharing your own perspectives and you will be investing in your personal brand for a future that will be even more social than today.

Published in The Memo.