6th September 1989. Maggie Thatcher, the iron lady, was supreme ruler of Britain. The Soviet Union was still a super power, and the UK was gripped by a savage recession. And we decided to set up our very own below the line advertising agency. We called it Mighty Mouse Communications.

At the start there were just the three of us, occupying a small, cramped office near Victoria station in central London. Aside from a modicum of marketing ability, we had a number of things going for us. For starters we were using Apple computers for producing material – making us one of the first agencies in London to do so at that time. This gave us an edge in terms of speed and keeping costs down. We decided from the outset that we wanted the agency to live up to its name – to be small but produce powerful work for clients. Within a year we’d won a substantial amount of business from large ‘dinosaur’ advertising agencies, and we were working for clients such as Beefeater Gin, HMV Record Stores and Carpetland – the UKs largest carpet retailer with over 80 stores. We also moved into above the line work, creating print and radio advertising as well. We were on our way…

A few weeks after we first set up, I got a call from an old friend who lived in Sweden and worked for a large biotech company. He asked if we’d consider producing a few posters and some other material for a trade show. ‘Of course’, we said, and this led over the next few months to us eventually managing all of their advertising and print material work. I was the one flying back and forth between London and Stockholm every month, and so I suggested we rent a small office for me to work out of whilst I was there. This we did and within a year, our small office in Sweden had grown to 10 full time employees and I had moved there permanently. The unique thing about us in Sweden at that time was, the majority of employees in the Swedish office were non-Swedes.

Seventeen years later and what’s different? Well, for starters we’re now called Dowell//Stubbs – the name changed back in 2000. Oh, and we’ve grown a bit – we’re now a team of 25 people – all special and all talented. But we still have the same international mix and focus – in fact we always joke that the only language you don’t need to speak at Dowell//Stubbs is Swedish!

As for Mighty Mouse, well I’m happy to say that’s still around as well. It’s the name we’ve adopted for our new company – Mighty Mouse Digital Media.

Happy Birthday to us.

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