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Introducing: Kate Jenner, Champion of Iberian Advertising


We find out why the Director of Little Black Book in Spain and Portugal is so excited to celebrate the region’s creative industry

Introducing: Kate Jenner, Champion of Iberian Advertising
Kate Jenner is Director of Little Black Book in Spain and Portugal. Based in Barcelona, her job is to make sure the most exciting work coming from the Iberian peninsula gets the global attention and fame it deserves. 

She’s had an impressive career in advertising, rising through the ranks of AMV BBDO in London and working on some of the most iconic advertising accounts in the world, before moving to Spain in 2013 to work on the service production and production side of the industry.

Her passion for Spain predates even her fascination with advertising. We caught up with her to talk about these dual interests and how she plans to indulge them further as part of Little Black Book.

LBB> Do you remember the first time you went to Spain? What did you think of it at the time?

KJ> I first went to Spain aged two months so I don’t really remember it. My mum tells me I was bitten numerous times by mosquitos. But I remember a time a bit later when I was a bit in awe of my grandfather, who grew up in Spain and was pretty much bilingual. I also had a few bilingual friends and I basically thought that was pretty cool. 

So I set about learning Spanish and my first trip alone was to Barcelona at 14 on a school exchange. I remember the Sagrada Familia covered in scaffolding, Zara, McDonald’s and an adventure park, Port Aventura. And the family where a friend of mine stayed who had lots of cats. A good family friend was also a Spanish teacher and I think that - and the fact that my grandparents lived there - spurred me on to learn Spanish properly. Later on I realised the Spaniards were pretty laid back people who worked to enjoy life and I liked their attitude.

LBB> What first got you interested in advertising?

KJ> I think really, like most, I fell into advertising. I remember playing the advertising game when I was younger - who would be the first to guess the ad in the break (in the days when you couldn’t fast forward them) but when I left university I was looking at a path in either marketing or advertising, having done stints for both the Guardian and Red Bull. And after a couple of gruelling grad scheme interviews by chance I was offered a temporary position at AMV BBDO. I took it, and within the year I had gone from new business assistant to account manager on the BT account.

LBB> What are your most enduring memories of working in your previous roles?

KJ> The good memories have to be the amazing working environments and the great people. AMV is a world leader in both those things and I’ve taken that AMV attitude with me to other places I’ve worked. I have since worked in both service production and a Spanish production company. 

LBB> When did you decide to move to Barcelona? 

KJ> I had been at AMV for nearly 10 years. I’d achieved a lot, I thought: account management, client secondments to BT and Sainsbury’s, a stint in new business, a really gruelling but incredible Cancer Research UK campaign. I’d bought a flat, I’d taken a career change and worked in production on the Audrey Hepburn Galaxy campaign. And I wanted a short time out to brush up on my Spanish. I only came for six months. That was four years ago.

LBB> What do you think's the most exciting thing about the Spanish advertising industry?

KJ> The immense talent pool. There are so many incredibly talented people in the advertising industry in Spain. They are often the unsung heroes working for foreign production companies, who see us as the place to come and shoot because it’s normally sunny and Messi lives here. But those people are often also working for Spain’s many incredibly talented directors and production companies. It’s the work made by that talent that I’d like to be seen on the global stage. I think the creatives here think boldly and have a great sense of humour. I want to help give Spain a louder voice.

LBB> Outside of work, what are you most passionate about and why?

KJ> My seven-month-old son probably doesn’t count so I’d have to say running and fresh air. Nothing is better than a few kilometres on the Carretera de les Aigües on a Sunday morning. It’s a 9km pathway with an incredible view over Barcelona. Just now I run with a pushchair in front of me! I missed this year’s half marathon but I’m heading towards another Barcelona half marathon in February next year.

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LBB Editorial, Thu, 14 Sep 2017 15:41:32 GMT