With a turnout of 50+ people the launch event for The New Brand Spirit exceeded all our expectations. After a few drinks and nibbles, Colin Hann of Frithstreetconsulting, who kindly hosted the event at their Soho premises, opened the floor for a series of what he called "vignettes": Hamish Pringle, who co-authored the original "Brand Spirit" with Marjorie in 1999, gave an insightful speech on the development of sustainability and CSR communication from the late 90ies to today. He explained the concept of The New Brand Spirit, to which he kindly wrote the foreword and lent the title and finished by quoting Jonathan Mildenhall, VP Global Advertising Strategy & Creative Excellence at Coca-Cola, who descriebes The New Brand Spirit as "important work" that "will be referenced time and time and time again".
Co-Author Christian Conrad described the journey of a book project that took over 4 year to complete as "an adventure which provided many insights and much inspiration" and declared the intention of the book as wanting to inspire excellence in communicating sustainability. Both he and co-author Marjorie Thompson thanked publisher Jonathan Norman of Gower Publishing for his limitless patience, before Marjorie Thompson focused her "vignette" speech on thanking Anette Ettore, wife of the late Paolo Ettore, to whom she dedicated the book, for the inspiration Paolo, head of Saatchi & Saatchi Italy had been to her during and after her time at Saatchi & Saatchi Cause Connection. The highlight was Anette's speech in which painted a moving portrait of Paolo Ettore as a values-led pioneer of CSR and sustainability communication in Italy and far beyond. She finished off by quoting Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi worldwide who challenges the advertising world to make sustainable brands irresistable.
The guests of the event came from business, media and civil society alike. A special honor was the presence of the Rt. Hon. David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham. As authors we thank all that made the effort to come, for the inspiring conversations and the relaxed and optimistic atmosphere they created.