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35 West Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
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Maggie Shepherd

VP Reputation and Communications

Emily Doskow

Chief Marketing Officer

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Leo Q+A: Ali Wilde

Leo Q+A returns to spotlight Senior Account Manager Ali Wilde from Leo Burnett London. Taking client services to a new level, Ali is embarking on a challenge of a lifetime — swimming 30 miles in the Pacific to raise money for Royal National Lifeboat Institute, a charity and Leo Burnett client that is committed to saving lives at sea.

Having previously adventured across Madagascar, Ali is no stranger to the great outdoors. This particular challenge involves swimming from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge, an expanse of water known for its perilous swells and large concentration of great white sharks—it’s responsible for 11 percent of the world’s shark attacks.

In water only 10 degrees Celsius, the relay team of five will be wearing only speedos, a neoprene cap and goggles. They will be the first non-Americans to attempt this swim, placing them in the fast lane for making British history.

Donate to Ali’s team to help him achieve his personal motto: “Make it happen.”

Official job title:
Senior Account Manager.

Describe your job in one word:
Long-term relationship.

What’s on your to-do list this year?
To not get eaten by a shark.

How would your co-workers describe your personality?
A confusing mix of enthusiasm and pessimism.

What's the first thing you do in the morning?
Shower, swim or bacon. I can’t function until I’ve been submerged in water or eaten some bacon.

Where do you do your best thinking?

Do you have a personal motto?
Make it happen.

Favorite Leo Burnett quote:
Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.

What are you most passionate about outside of work?
Adventure travel and challenging myself - both physically and mentally.

What does your perfect day look like?
A 12-hour trek through inhospitable and unfamiliar terrain in a foreign country – with an ice-cold Coke to round the day off.

What creative talent would you most like to have?
The ability to infuse the written word with personality and intrigue.

What’s your greatest advertising-related fear?
Losing the trust of my clients and colleagues.

How do you feel about the current state of advertising?
Things are constantly shifting in this industry. It is an industry that must move with the times and adapt to suit new technology, new behaviour, new anything! This is what makes it such an exciting and challenging industry to work in.

How would you like to end your career?
With a large redundancy package.

What would you say is your most creative accomplishment?
Being part of the team to produce the first advertising billboard to be fully interactive 24/7/365 for McDonald’s UK.

What advertising lingo do you most overuse?

What trait do you value most in your co-workers?

What do you think most people misunderstand about the business?
The multitude of different roles and disciplines that come together to work a project through and create any given piece of work.

If you could be a character in any commercial, who would it be?
The man from the Southern Comfort ad, ‘Beach – Whatever’s Comfortable.’

In work or life, what’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Deciding to swim 30 miles through cold, rough, shark-infested waters to raise money for the RNLI.

If you could go back and give advice to your intern self, what would it be?
Never wear headphones. Always listen to what is happening around you and learn from it.

Three all-time favorite campaigns:
Southern Comfort – “Whatever’s Comfortable”
John West Tuna – “Bear”
Hermoba Foundation – “My Blood is Red and Black”

Take a look at past Leo Q+A's:
Leo Q+A: Zoe Crowther
Leo Q+A: Susie Henry
Leo Q+A: Dan Gilroy
Leo Q+A: Christopher Riebling
Leo Q+A: Alexander Haase
Leo Q+A: Daniel Spadaro
Leo Q+A: David Kuta
Leo Q+A: Sarah Tynan
Leo Q+A: Josh Raper
Leo Q+A: Charley Wickman
Leo Q+A: David Schermer
Leo Q+A: Anne Beebe