Alfredo Marcantonio started out as a client at Volkswagen. Inspired by the work of David Abbott at VW’s Agency DDB, he quit to become a copywriter.
In the mid 70's he joined Collett Dickenson Pearce, arguably the world’s most creative agency and in 1981 helped MD Frank Lowe to found Lowes.
In 1987 he joined what became WCRS Matthews Marcantonio, and ran BBDO London, until its merger with AMV reunited him with David Abbott.
By 1998 he was Vice Chairman of AMVBBDO in London and Creative Vice President of BBDO Milan.
Marc has worked on some of Britain's most successful advertising including Hamlet, Heineken, Stella Artois, BMW, BT and Carling Black Label.
He contributed to D&AD’s 'Copy Book', showcasing the world's best copywriters. His own publications include 'Remember those great VW ads?' and the Economist poster book “Well written and red”.
He currently helps run MPH, a creative consultancy.
Where did you study?
St Dominic's College, Leatherhead, Surrey
Please tell us the first year you appeared in the D&AD Annual?
As a Client in 1973 (Volkswagen)
As a copywriter in 1977 (CDP)
What makes a great idea?
Impact and persuasiveness.
Complete this statement: Creativity at it’s best….
can force change.
Where do you get your inspiration?
From absolutely anything.
Which piece of creative work do you wish you’d done and why?
The song of love by Giorgio De Chirico. It heralded the birth of modern art and encouraged Rene Magritte to start painting.
Who has inspired you most during your career?
Bill Bernbach, Bob Levenson, David Abbott, Tony Brignull, Alan Parker, Howard Zeiff.
Describe your first encounter or involvement with D&AD?
In 1970 I worked at Volkswagen for Alan Priest (father of Ben), who had a bookcase full of strange looking albums. One day I asked him what they were. He said "They're Art Directors annuals.They contain the best ads that are produced every year." "can I borrow them?" I asked. "Yes" he replied "One at a time". I took them home. I was driven to buy a magnifying glass so I could read the body copy.. I was hooked. I fell in love with advertisements and a few years later quit to become a copywriter.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known at the start of your career?
Too much to list here.
What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
Winning Frank Lowe's admiration and respect.
Can you tell us about the best moment of your career so far?
Picking up one of my Silver Pencils on the stage of The Albert Hall.
Recommend a book, a film and an artist that you think every creative should experience?
The Bill Bernbach Book by Bob Levenson. Visconti's Death in Venice. Giorgio De Chirico.