Jo Wallace

Creative Director, Wunderman Thompson

My first job in advertising was at the ground-breaking agency, HHCL & Partners. They hired me straight from Bucks College in 1999 and not long after Campaign listed me and my then art director amongst their list of Top Ten Young Creative Teams. Since then I've worked at various agencies including Quiet Storm, FCB (European creative director), Saatchi & Saatchi (Regional creative director, EMEA), WCRS (Freelance creative director), Tribal DDB (Freelance creative director) and Publicis (Freelance creative director).

My career spans over 15 years but one thing never changes: the best advertising is built around a genuine truth that truly resonates with people. Be it surprising, funny, touching, or sometimes, plain scary. It's about storytelling. Ideally it becomes a two-way story.

I love ideas that affect social change. Or at least go beyond the brief. For example, I was asked to give a talk about being a female creative director. Instead I co-curated There’s a Good Girl - an exhibition which showcased and celebrated female creative talent - reaching a far wider audience than a talk ever could have. Twenty incredible female artists contributed, such as Alison Jackson, Pam Glew and Sara Pope. The exhibition received extensive press coverage, including a double page spread in The Independent, articles in Campaign, Creative Review, Style Magazine, plus live interviews on BBC Radio.

As a spin off I now host the popular dining event, Good Girls Eat Dinner. The mission is simple: to provide kick ass female role models across the creative industries (where they are sadly lacking). That makes it sound serious: it’s not. Wine is involved, it’s a lot of fun. Four inspirational women speak between courses, with previous speakers including: Alison Jackson (infamous artist), Amanda Foster (Hollywood stuntwoman), Trinny Woodall (TV presenter) and many, many more.

This year I curated a second exhibition to highlight the positive impact of migration for British Culture and the creative industries. The exhibition was called There’s a Good Immigrant and showcased artists who are migrants themselves, 2nd generation migrants, or whose work encourages reflections on migration. It joined and further promoted the debate around the importance of diversity in advertising and beyond. It also raised £2.5k for the arts charity Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts). Campaign published a thought piece I wrote about the importance of migration for creativity. It’s Nice That, The Drum, and Shots also all ran pieces about the exhibition and I was interviewed on Monocle Radio.

In other news, I was recently listed in Campaign & Creative Equals’ Future Female Leaders. In past years I’ve been a finalist for the IPA & Campaign’s Women of Tomorrow award. I’ve been invited to speak at various events including SheSays, JOLT Academy, Creative Social, Glug and WOW (Women of the World festival). I’m also a SheSays Momma (mentor).

International Women’s Day comes but once a year. But, I’m a woman all year round. 
We know from experience that brands don’t like to rock the boat. Mistakenly thinking that it’s best to stay in

In recent times I've won a plethora of awards, including a gold Cannes Lion, been listed as a Campaign &

Dear Coronavirus... It’s 3:30AM and I really can’t sleep

One person pointed out that mental health is treated too much like a marketing budget.

When you’re brave in a little way the big things look after themselves.