Dave Buonaguidi on making noise beyond adland

Ahead of the release of his new book Blah! Blah! Blah! Dave Buonaguidi talks to CR about the modern ad industry, how people can stand out without awards, and how creativity has been lost in a climate of fear

It’s not difficult to see where title of Dave Buonaguidi’s new book Blah! Blah! Blah! came from. Over time, he has become disenfranchised with what’s become of the advertising world, a place he’s called home for over three decades – even if a little begrudgingly at times. First cutting his teeth at TBWA, HHCL and Chiat\Day, he went on to play a leading role in setting up some of London’s advertising heavyweights, including 4Creative, St Luke’s, and of course Karmarama, which he co-founded with Naresh Ramchandani at the turn of the millennium.

Part memoir, part advice guide, the book follows his journey from a troublemaking junior in 1980s adland through to his most recent venture at Unltd-Inc, a creative agency that he co-founded in 2017. Expletives are used like punctuation and littered throughout the pages as glaring subheadings (which make for some questionable side glances while reading on public transport). During our conversation, it becomes clear why. He’s fed up with an industry that relies on a stale model that encourages doing “just enough” and not much more.