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MAJOR - 17 years and counting...

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By James Harrington

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It's coming up for 17 years since we first started MAJOR, and frankly it still feels like yesterday. I vividly remember sitting in a bar in Hove with my co-founder, Martyn McDermott, talking openly about our frustrations at work and somewhat flippantly saying, why don't we just hand in our notice and start an agency?

We were both 29 at the time, on decent salaries with all the in-house ‘benefits’, and in secure job roles. But we were also disillusioned about not being able to embrace new design-led digital marketing technologies/approaches in our existing roles. Full of energy and enthusiasm, but having always worked ‘in-house’ and never ‘agency side’, we were determined to somehow make a difference and the obvious choice was to ‘go it alone’ and start our own thing. A few Jägermeisters later, we decided it was an AWESOME idea. What were we thinking?

Fast-forward a couple of weeks after that initial throwaway comment, and we found ourselves sitting in the board room of a £300 million plus UK plc, pitching them to outsource their brand and marketing operations to us. And, as the old saying goes, the rest is history. The truth of the matter is, we had no idea at the time that we were laying the foundations for a business that has stood the test of time and continues to thrive.

And we were lucky, VERY lucky, on multiple fronts. We timed our move right, and we were able to persuade the board of the company that we were pitching to (our existing employer at the time) that taking our team ‘off’ of their books and onto ours was a great idea. We had a captive audience from the outset, and were able to grow our business/new client base beyond that very quickly.

We've also been blessed with the support of brilliant team members along the way, two of whom (Andy Whittaker Davs Howard) are now co-directors of the agency.

Looking back, we've certainly had our fair share of good times and tough times, as is the case with all businesses (not just agencies).

Finally, it goes without saying, but we're genuinely grateful for the clients, experiences, awards, job satisfaction, flexibility, life lessons and friendships that we’ve gained along the way.

Here’s to the next 17 years of MAJOR; it’s been a blast so-far and I can’t wait to see what the next 17 years bring!

James, Martyn, Andy & Davs

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