"We are in the area of tension between generalist and specialist".

Andrea Bison, co-founder and managing director of consultancy Thjnk Zurich, faces our "13 questions".


1. what does not come to your office under any circumstances? 

I don't like bourgeois office individualization like holiday photos, potted plants or figurines. I love clean desk policy. It brings overview and order, is not distracting, and helps not to hide or overlook anything.


2. which print media do you privately subscribe to?

Until three years ago, the Mirror. None since.


3. what are the last three electronic devices you could do without?

iPhone, MacBook and my electric toothbrush.


4. a buzz word that gets on your nerves?

Always on. Doesn't everyone kind of want that?


5. what inspired you to enter the advertising industry?

In my school days, I collected great commercials and ads that particularly touched me or made me laugh. I framed the most beautiful magazine ads as pictures. That inspired me to do it myself.


6. what qualities make you a good advertiser?

From my point of view, it is the mixture of many qualities that makes a good advertiser. In addition to experience, it takes a good gut feeling, the ability to listen, to take a step back and put yourself in the shoes of others, passion and humour, the joy of entertainment, fun with pace and variety and, of course, the joy of ideas.


7. when you have an idea, how do you know it is a good one?

Good ideas are still in your head after a vote with many ideas, and you can usually describe them in a few words.


8. where do you currently see the biggest challenge for the advertising industry? 

The pace continues to pick up, complexity continues to increase, everything is constantly changing, and we find ourselves caught between generalist and specialist.


9 Where does the Swiss advertising industry stand in international comparison?

Behind their capabilities.


10. the most important person in your professional career?

There is no one most important person. But I certainly learned a lot from Jean-Remy von Matt, Deneke von Weltzien, André Kemper and Michael Trautmann.


11. what was the best decision of your life?

to have children.


Twelve. What do you regret?

That I sacrificed my semester abroad for love. A short time later, I was smarter.


13 Why are there not more women in the top echelons of the Swiss advertising industry?

We are one of the richest countries in the world, ranking 11th. At the same time, we are among the industrialised countries that spend the least money on family policy, especially on early childcare. Without affordable nursery places, quality after-school care, and day schools, we will not get anywhere in terms of career opportunities for women. We need social forces that change the traditional role model and a value system that does not always put economic success first in order to attract more investment in family policy. Better and affordable childcare options would bring substantially more women into full-time employment and enable them to move into management positions.

Andrea Bison studied business administration in Pforzheim and then worked at various agencies - including Jung von Matt/Alster, Springer & Jacoby, Thjnk Hamburg and Leo's Thjnk Tank, Munich. In June 2016, she founded Thjnk Zurich together with Alexander Jaggy. The Swiss by choice is married and mother of three children.

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