Paul Banham: ‘Ok isn’t ok, good enough never is and that’ll do won’t do’
Posted on 2019 Jan,18

ArabAd pick ups the heart and mind of Paul Banham, Executive Creative Director at J. Walter Thompson MEA, a man who ultimately wants to become better at everything he does and for whom good enough is never good. Here’s more about the British creative, fan of Chelsea, Hemingway and cigars.

What gets you up in the morning?

My body clock (which is annoying at the weekends).

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Starting with a blank sheet of A3 layout paper every day and seeing how far our (me and my teams) imaginations can take us.

Who do you ultimately want to become?

Better at everything I do.

What is your greatest extravagance?

An occasional trip to Savile Row.

What’s your motto in life?

Ok isn’t ok, good enough never is and that’ll do won’t do.

What keeps you in the game?


What keeps you up at night?

Pitches more often than not.

What inspires you most?

Hegarty, Arden, Clow, Wieden, etc.

What music have you been listening to lately?

Fleetwood Mac.

What is the gadget you cannot live without?

All of them.

What can we find on your phone?


What quality do you most look up to in a woman?


What quality do you most look up to in a friend?


Who would you like to sit next to on a seven-hour flight?

No one.

If you could live for one day the life of another person, who would it be?

Roman Abramovich (I’m Chelsea Fan obviously).

If you could have dinner with someone, living or dead, who would it be; and what question would you ask him/her? PHOTO

Ernest Hemmingway – Could you write a five-word story?

If you were to change profession, what would you choose to do?

Painter / Film Director.

What do you consider to be the greatest headline of all time?

The Independent - It is. Are you?

What business tip would you give the newbies?

Talent is nothing without passion. If you don’t have a passion for the business, then go find what you do have it for. Life is too short.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A cigar called Hamlet.

Where can we find you on a Friday night?

In a good restaurant with friends usually.

If you could choose one superhero power, what would it be and why?

Being able to read clients’ minds.

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Share it with family and friends (and buy an Aston Martin).

What would you like to be doing five years from now?

Same as now (being the ECD of a great creative agency).

If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?

Here (Dubai).

What’s the last book you read or movie you saw?

Chutzpah & Chutzpah.

What is the one thing you wish you have designed?

The iPhone.


I am... busy

I like… sleeping

I want... a holiday

I have... 1,172 emails to answer

I wish... someone else would answer them all for me

I hate... very little (except for laziness)

I fear... heights

I Google... everything and then nothing

I wonder... about everything

I regret... a little, but not a lot

I love... my family and friends

I need... to book a flight to see them all soon

If I ruled the world... I’d probably resign

I dream… big.


My Favourite…

Dream Destination: French Polynesia

Restaurant: Zuma

Hotel: Charlotte ST Hotel London

Meal: Lamb chops

Quote: “It’s not how good you are, it how good you want to be”

Book: The Count of Monte Cristo - Dumas

Movie: Alien

Flower: Orchid

Animal: Dog

Poet: Hemmingway

Music/band: Anything from the 80’s

Painter: Roy Lichtenstein

Heroes: Dad