Vale Mike Morris - champion of creativity from NME to Australian Posters to Campaign Brief

MIKE-MORRIS-NEW.jpgMany in the Australian ad industry - on both the east and west coast - will be saddened to hear of the passing of Mike Morris, the lovable sales director of both Campaign Brief and bestadsontv.com, who passed away peacefully in his sleep late last week while on vacation in Port Douglas.

Mike wasn't your average sales guy - he was a passionate supporter of creativity in all its forms, even from his time at New Musical Express during Punk Rock's heyday from 1979 to 1982 in London - where he knew everyone and went to every gig.

As he emailed Renegade Films and RocKwiz executive producer Joe Connor only a week back: "Working at NME was about the coolest thing a guy of 21 could do - saw every band in the world - all the punk/new wave, mates with the Clash + the Stranglers, heady days to a fan... (Dire Straits playing in the Nashville Rooms in West Kensington to about 50 people - next day my first attempt at a live review I laughed at them, 'Dire' indeed. 18 months later biggest band in the World! - I can pick them."
Mike Morris_main.jpgBorn in Wales, Mike joined the Royal Navy in 1973, where he served until 1979, before joining IPC Magazines in London as a sales executive.

He came out to Perth in 1982 where he took a sales role at Australian Posters, eventually rising to WA Sales Manager. It was in 1984 - the year we started Campaign Brief in Perth - when we met Mike, who supported the fledgling mag with his regular AP Outdoor Ad of the Month - a key factor in Western Australia being the centre of Outdoor creativity in the 80s. He was a central figure in the Western Australian industry and transferred to the national sales manager role in Sydney in 1989, two years after we set up the national edition of Campaign Brief in 1987.

Mike went on to join Nettlefold Advertising in Sydney, then helped set up their Vietnam operation in the early 90s. Unfortunately, Vietnam banned outdoor posters in the mid 90s and Mike took the creative director role at BBDO Vietnam in 1996, where he stayed until 2000, when he returned to Perth. In March 2002 Mike joined Campaign Brief in Sydney, working across the Australian and Asian editions, where he remained until his untimely death.

Says CB co-publisher and editor Michael Lynch: "All of us at CB will miss him greatly and we're all devastated that he's gone way too soon.

"Our deepest sympathy goes to his parents Norman and Marjorie, his sister Hilary and brothers Steve and Peter. Our thoughts are with them at this very sad time."

2 Comments

Stephen Douglas said:

I am very saddened about Mike's passing...I knew Mike for nearly ten years (since my first dealings with CB). During that time he had become a very good friend. Funny enough, he was the only guy who knew more about 'punk' music than I thought I did!
More importantly, he was one of the most honest and genuine blokes that I have known in our industry.

Mike Morris was a great bloke, I will miss him a lot!

Stephen de Wolf said:

One of the greatest things about having been a part of the CB family was the privilege of knowing and becoming friends with Mike Morris. He was a passionate man, an honest man, a man with a big laugh and a bigger heart. Mike was a true gentleman. I'll miss you Mike.

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