TBWA chairman Jean-Marie Dru on philanthropy, Eminem's vocabulary and the creative benefits of jetlag

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Jean-Marie Dru is the chairman of TBWA Worldwide, where, nearly
30 years ago, he coined the term “disruption,” which has been
the agency’s mantra ever since. Disruptive brands and people
change the status quo,
not to destroy
, but to create new and innovative things.

He’s the author of seven books on the topic, and his latest,
Thank You
for Disrupting
,” is out today. In it, he explores the
business philosophies of entrepreneurs like Oprah Winfrey,
Apple’s Steve Jobs, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google co-founders
Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Haier Group’s Zhang Ruimin.

In this episode of “Ad Block,” Dru talks about the work he
does three days a week with the French Academy of Medicine
Foundation and UNICEF France, where he is president. “What’s
the most important thing for the four of us in this room?” he
asks. “Health. And then what’s the most important thing for the
future of everybody? Our children.”

The French national committee raises funds for UNICEF, which are
distributed to more than 180 countries. But “it’s not only
raising money,” Dru says. “It’s defending children’s rights
everywhere in the world, including in my country. For instance,
when Mr. Trump decided he would separate the children [on the
U.S.-Mexico border] from their parents, which is very bad. We
don’t separate them, but for that reason, children are in jail
with their parents in France. That’s not good, either.” The
organization also focuses on helping the 20 percent of French
children who live below the poverty line.

At the French Academy of Medicine Foundation, Dru has made
increasing access to medical care the sole priority of the
institution. “If you want 6 billion people to be in good health,
you need two things,” he says. “Research and access.”
Without access, he adds, “you can have medicine for 5 percent of
the population, and the other 95 percent won’t get the

The foundation works with hospitals and facilities in countries
like China and Haiti to train doctors and health care workers.
“In the largest hospital in Shanghai, many of the doctors speak
French,” Dru says, because they’ve trained in France. “If you
want to be a surgeon, if you come to Paris, you are allowed to be
in the operating room with the surgeon. In America—and I
understand why, it’s because of the insurance companies—you

Dru also talks about his love of classic films, which he can
only find easily on streaming platforms, and his love of music,
particularly The Beatles, whom he saw live in concert twice. “I
watch many, many documentaries on Netflix about music. The last one
was on Eminem—and I loved it by the way,” he says. “Did you
know out of all the musicians in the last 50 years, he’s the guy
with the largest vocabulary?”

He’s also a fan of rappers and poets the French call
“slammers,” including Abd al Malik, a Paris-born slammer of
Congolese descent. And he weighs in on the creative benefits of
jetlag, the right time to drink rosé (not in Paris) and his
eventual retirement from agency life.

“It’s kind of obvious that one day I will have to stop
working for TBWA,” the 72-year-old says. “I would not like to,
but I think it has to happen one day, obviously.”

Source: FS – _Marketing
TBWA chairman Jean-Marie Dru on philanthropy, Eminem's vocabulary and the creative benefits of jetlag