The Imposterous David Smith’s idea of feedback was changed when a review caused his ECD to throw up in a bin

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The Imposterous David Smith’s idea of feedback was changed when a review caused his ECD to throw up in a bin

This week’s guest has had two distinctly different kinds of creative leaders in his time. Once his ECD threw up in a bin when he heard his script, overly dramatic and arguably not the best way to motivate people. The other type focused more on fostering a sense of trust and community – now the founder of his own agency Blood UTD, he firmly hopes he’s in the latter camp.


In our conversation we learn that David Smith thinks that a degree of burn out is inevitable for all creatives, it’s part of the process. But how you are supported in these phases and how you then learn to grow from them is a crucial factor in your own self belief, which has a direct impact on your longevity. Because the ECD that threw up in bins actually managed to get great work out of his team – it’s just that he burnt through the human capital in his team like a blowtorch.

In starting his own business David has a central philosophy of trying to turn a ‘decent profit’ with his team. By that he doesn’t just mean keeping the lights on, he means having the discipline of choosing the kind of clients and projects that actively contribute to society, rather than exploiting them for pure profit. After all, you don’t need to keep the lights on quite as much when you’re able to sleep well at night.

David Smith is a creative thinker of international standing. Founded Blood UTD in 2016 – an agency that began life with a focus on doing the best work in the space of sport and fitness. But has since evolved to focus on good companies – by good, we mean companies that are focused on generating profit in a manner that is fair and sustainable. This is not about strident wokeness or ardent moralising, but rather the belief that profit and decency don’t need to be divergent forces, that there is a path forward where you can make money without messing things up.

In an unexpected move, we have a second and third guest on today’s episode. Joining David asre Regina Stoombergin and Julia Spencer aka M.I.A aka Mums in Ads. MIA who is, sadly, still the most exclusive club in advertising and we talk about the issues facing all returning mums. But the good news is they want you! All you need to do is;
1. Be a mum
2. Be in the industry and
3. Find the bloody time to squeeze one more thing in.

Mums In Ads will be on the rooftop at the Corner Hotel in Richmond on Thursday 29 September from 6pm. So if you’re in Melbourne, an Adland mum of whatever sort (hey, we don’t discriminate), join them for a drink.

With a new episode every week, The Imposterous is hosted by Michael Knox (ECD, Think HQ) and Graham Drew (CCO, Grey Malaysia) and as has been created to explore the theory that even the world’s most respected creative professionals suffer pangs of inadequacy that either stifle their potential brilliance or protect them from mediocrity. Tune in to find out how Imposter Syndrome might just be a thing that you don’t have to run from.


Some people call Andrew Stevenson the pod whisperer, if you listen carefully at We Love Jam Studios you won’t hear him… As ever visuals colourfully spoken onto the canvas by Cohan Banfield. The Imposterous is available now on itunes, Spotify, Google Play or

Listen to previous season two episodes with Jeff Goodby, Valerie Young, Damon Staplton, Mietta McFarlane, Brent Smart, Peter Nankervis, Pum Lefebure, Paul Middleditch, Gus Worland and Natalie Lam here.

The Imposterous David Smith’s idea of feedback was changed when a review caused his ECD to throw up in a bin