I have experienced a lot of racism in advertising: Brigit Bottse on bad clients and good inspiration.

We sat down in our Amsterdam office with Brigit Bottse, Account Director & Co-Owner of World Champion Amsterdam BV, to talk about difficult clients, comfort zones and how much her daughter inspires her.

“I never gave up, and I never let anyone discourage me.”

Can you tell us about a time you stepped out of your comfort zone?


I never really step out of my boundaries. I always try to find a midway that works for the client, but also works for us from a creative point of view. And yes, sometimes you have to kill an idea. But when an idea is killed, it's not like we just stop there. We keep working until we come up with something that works for everyone.


What have you discovered about yourself through your work?


I have discovered that I am quite controlling, but not in a negative way. I just want things to be perfect — but of course in life nothing is perfect. I have learned to be more flexible and open to new ideas. I have also discovered my creative side and come up with a lot of creative ideas. It's a wonderful feeling to know that I can be creative and have an impact in the industry.

 What have you discovered about yourself through your work?


I have been running my agency for something like 30-40 years now, and along the way, I have learned a lot. As a small agency, you have to do a lot of things yourself to keep the budgets in the company. It taught me to be involved in every layer of a project, which is a good thing, but it can also be exhausting. 


Looking back, I appreciate being more involved in the creative part of the project, which would not have been possible as a client service director sitting in a big agency. Now, I am involved in every step, and I have more flexibility because it's my agency. I chose advertising to be creative, and that's something I wouldn't want to miss.


What would stop you from working with a client?


Simple racism. Full stop. I believe that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, and I will not tolerate racism in any form. It's important to me that I work with clients who share my values and beliefs.

Have you experienced racism in the advertising industry?


Yes, I have experienced a lot of racism in advertising as a woman and as a Black person. I was very active in the automotive world, which has been dominated by men, so that was a toxic environment. But I never gave up, and I never let anyone discourage me from pursuing my goals.


How do you handle difficult clients?


I try to stay calm and listen to what they're saying. I always try to get to the root of the problem and keep the conversation open. By acknowledging their worries, the difficulty gets away. It's important to have a good working relationship with clients and to be able to communicate effectively.


How do you keep yourself creatively inspired?


Don’t laugh — but I get the best ideas when cleaning. It may sound strange, but cleaning helps me clear my mind and focus on new ideas. I also like to observe young people, older people, their styles, the way they talk, behave, their interests, and the things that I've read. That triggers me in a good way. I also love travelling as different cultures, people and food inspire me.


Does being a mother keep you inspired?


Yes, my daughter Noah keeps me inspired! She's amazing, and I love the way she goes through life. She's a very serious student but also someone who enjoys life a lot. 


I don't forbid my daughter to do things because I think its better for her to find stuff out on her own. So when she wants to go out to a club that I might be unsure of — I would never tell her not to go. Instead, I want her to go and experience life by herself and make up her own mind. 


The way she handles herself in this world — which, let's be honest, is quite difficult and cruel — is really inspiring. She stays strong and stays fierce and has all these amazing friends around her who help her enjoy life.


What advice would you give to the younger generation who want to get into the creative industry?


I would encourage them to pursue their passion as life is about being passionate, not about earning a lot of money. The creative industry can be tough, but if you're passionate about what you do, it's always worth it.


Thanks Brigit!




Brigit Bottse

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