Former Qantas CMO Tim McColl Jones will join the line-up of experts speaking at next week’s IPA Campaign Planning Course in Melbourne, 20-21 March. As part of the three-day residential program, Tim will be discussing how and why ideas spread and whether there is a science to sharability, particularly in today’s changing communications landscape.

In the lead up to the course, we sat down to find out what makes him tick with our very own Proust-style questionnaire…

Which trait do you most value in your clients?


What is your greatest extravagance?

Haigh’s chocolate.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Dishonesty. Like advertising, the talk/promise is only a small part of it. Delivering is key.

What talent would you most like to have?

Music – either to write, play or sing. It’s one of the magic creative industries.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Professionally – a contribution to consistently great, effective work and continued learning.

Which campaign do you think, ‘I wish I had done that?’

Anything that defies the category convention and something that uses truthful human insight and emotion. OTC (Telecom International) in 1977 remains a favourite.

What is your most marked characteristic?

A refreshing honesty.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Without sounding too Maslow, wisdom kicks in during your 40’s and family, health, safety and self-confidence are central to perfect happiness.  New things are the sugar hits. And the Hawks winning gives me a certain Schweppervescence.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Many and varied – from Hawthorn greats to Sir Ken Robinson.

What is your motto?

Live curiously.

What top tips would you pass on to today’s agency executives?

  • Be curious, look to gain as much experience as possible.
  • Celebrate effort and understand failures to truly learn.  It’s not just about awards…
  • Always be prepared to have a POV.
  • Don’t conform to the status quo in agency life. Be interested and interesting.  
  • Don’t take things too seriously.
  • Challenge conventions.
  • Celebrate having the Client in Agency space.  
  • Celebrate creativity; we are not consultants.