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Old Red

My first boss had a red biro that he nicknamed ‘Old Red’.

I learnt so much in my very first marketing job. I find myself reciting, referring to and returning back to his tried and tested mantras over and over again. The lessons are etched in my head forever.

My training with him was a proper grounding in the foundations of good marketing – a broad introduction into the vast and wonderful elements of a great marketing toolkit.

Old Red would appear to mark up my copy. At the time I feared Old Red – wondering if my copy would pass the test and get signed off without further edits or redrafting.

Two pairs of eyes

But now I completely see the benefits of what Old Red came to teach me.

‘Four eyes see more than two’ became one such mantra because sometimes you become so close to a piece of work that you can’t see any obvious flaws in it. It’s always useful to get someone to check over your work for any mistakes or to make suggestions for improvements.

One of my first jobs was to design our Yellow Pages adverts – this was back in the day of print advertising. There was no margin of error and once it was sent to print there was no going back. So it had to be perfect (unlike now, with the ability to edit websites and digital media).


It was the best way to learn my craft. And watching the same boss throw any direct mail straight in the bin (without even opening it) if his name was not spelt correctly on the envelope, made me realise the importance of getting things right. Of making the best first impression. Of the power of language and words.

So if you need a second pair of eyes to check over your existing copy, you can send it my way for editing and proofreading (where the legacy of Old Red lives on).