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DDB Remedy is a creative agency that focuses
on health communication.

We live and breathe what we do, working closely with our clients to understand their brands and what to say about them.

We think, play and work hard to make sure our campaigns stand out, and we care deeply about the end users of the brands too.

Our aim is to help everyone lead greater lives.

“It is insight into human nature that is the key
to the communicator’s skill.”

Bill Bernbach


We mix science and creativity to make great campaigns.

Sometimes you’ll find us making TV ads to drive people to consult their HCP, sometimes we’re writing detail aids to extol the benefits of chemotherapy, sometimes we’re educating doctors and patients alike on rare diseases, sometimes we’re creating content to help doctors encourage adherence.

And when we’re not at our desks, we might be chatting to teenagers living with HIV, learning about opioid dependency from addiction specialists, liaising with doctors on blood glucose management…the list goes on.


We keep it simple – doing Great Stuff is what drives us.

Great creative stuff that demonstrates the talent at DDB Remedy,
and celebrates the positive responses we get from
clients, HCPs and patients.

Don't worry, you're not signing up to anything - we'll only contact you in relation to your query.

to us

If you’d like to know more, and find out what
Great Stuff feels like, why not drop us an email?

To discover current opportunities and potential roles
at DDB Remedy email the Talent Manager to start a discussion

You can also view our current
career opportunities here.

& meet us

Welcome to our home. Come and say hello.

12 Bishop's Bridge Road
W2 6AA
Tel: 020 7258 3979

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Our ideal candidate is someone who isn’t afraid of science and has a creative side.

If you would love to communicate science in a creative way, or would love to add a sprinkling of science to your creative work, get in touch.

  • Anyone who wants to be part of doing something that helps improve people's lives

  • Anyone who wants to work in a talented team with great people

  • Anyone who knows and understands the value of great communication and campaigns

  • Anyone who has passion for communicating about new, potentially life changing remedies

  • Anyone who loves to work creatively and isn’t afraid to take on a 'sciency' brief – we’ve got people to help with that!

  • Take a look at our LinkedIn for current vacancies

Our thoughts

Creative Equals Morning: Bringing diversity to the workplace

Written by: DDB Remedy

One of our new year resolutions was to be more diverse and inclusive as an agency. Along with many others, we are working hard to break down barriers and to make our industry, and our agency, healthy and safe environments.

A few weeks ago we joined Creative Equals for breakfast, with some of the most influential agencies in London, to talk about returners into the creative industry with a particular focus on gender.

1.9 million women in the UK are not working because they feel they have a duty of care. Whether they take a break after having a baby, to look after elderly family member or to overcome an illness such as cancer, they made the decision (or were compelled) to stop working and focus on other areas of their lives. But what happen when they want to come back?

The old adage has it that “you’re only as good as your last success”, but if that success was 4 years ago things get complicated. Many of the stories that we heard this morning covered  lack of confidence, fear, feeling out of place or not knowing your worth. All this translates into overwhelming situations for women returning to work, in which agencies and recruiters pull them down and make attempts to come back challenging and traumatic.

The #CreativeComeback Programme has 48 returners that will be in training for 8 days  getting coaching sessions, and also cracking a brief from Diageo in 12 teams. Each team will have a mentor and each mentor will come from a different Creative Agency including DDB Remedy.

In March they hosted a “speed dating event” where all candidates and agencies will met, and had the chance to set up interviews and make this come back to the creative workforce smooth and positive.

At DDB Remedy we believe that life experiences make you a better storyteller, that dealing with illness makes you empathetic and that bringing life to this world gives you time management skills. If you looked after a family member you are probably a good listener and if you have travelled the world you have a gift to communicate with people from different backgrounds. As an agency we value all these characteristics so we are IN!

Stay in the loop. We will keep you up to date as the program moves forward. You can also follow us on Instagram & Facebook or send us an email if you have questions.

To know more about the Creative Comeback programme click here.

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BCAM 2018, part 2: stand up to cancer

Written by: DDB Remedy

At the start of this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we took part in the world’s biggest coffee morning to raise money for Macmillan. Last week, the Remedy team headed to Paddington Station to collect donations for CRUK’s Stand Up To Cancer. Here are some photos from the day!

So far the campaign has raised over £25million. Well done to all volunteers and donators!

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timeTo sign up

Written by: DDB Remedy

With so many codes to adhere to in healthcare, why did we – voluntarily – sign up to yet another?

It started with a survey. Specially commissioned research of 3,500 people working in the UK advertising and marketing industry found that 26% of those in our sector have been sexually harassed (34% of female and 9% of male respondents), with 2 out of 5 people having either experienced and/or witnessed it.

The ‘timeTo’ code, a unique collaboration between the Advertising Association, NABS and WACL, backed by ISBA and the IPA, was developed in response to these alarming stats.

Its mission is simple; to ensure no one should have to experience sexual harassment; anytime or anywhere.

At DDB Remedy, the ‘Four Freedoms’ are such an important part of our culture we’ve dedicated a wall to them. At the heart of this is ‘Freedom to Be’ which embraces the right of every member of our team to be treated with dignity; any form of sexual harassment would strike at the core of that promise.

So, when we heard about ‘timeTo’ code this summer, it was something we were eager to sign up to. Not because sexual harassment is a concern at DDBRemedy – but because we want to make sure it never is.

Take the time to visit for more information.

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The death and ever-lasting life of Henrietta Lacks

Written by: DDB Remedy

This is Henrietta Lacks. She is immortal and changed the face of modern medicine after her death in 1951.

The cause of her death was cervical cancer, which spread and riddled her body with tumours. When she was originally treated at the John Hopkins Hospital (one of the only hospitals that treated black patients in Baltimore, where the family lived), neither Henrietta nor her family knew that a sample of her tumour had been taken and given to Dr George Gey.

Gey had been trying to grow human cells for years without success, but Henrietta’s cells were different. They continued to grow in their Petri dishes and within 24 hours, there would be a new generation of cells. When Gey discovered this, he sent Henrietta’s cells around the world for medical research.

HeLa cells, as they’re known in biomedical science, are the original immortal cell line. We don’t exactly know the cause of their incredible resilience, but there are several factors.

The first is the human papillomavirus (HPV) virus. Henrietta’s cells were infected with the virus, which we now know can cause cervical cancer, and the genetic information from the virus is merged with hers. Some samples of HeLa cells contain 80 chromosomes, instead of the usual 46.

Another factor is an enzyme called telomerase. In normal cells, there is a limit to the number of times a cell can replicate itself before stopping and eventually dying. This limit is dictated by telomeres, repetitive strands of DNA that protect the ends of chromosomes, much like plastic on the end of a shoelace. Telomeres are chipped away every time a cell replicates and when they’re too short, the cell stops replicating.

HeLa cells make an enzyme called telomerase, which repairs telomeres. This means that a cancerous cell will never stop itself from replicating.

Nearly 70 years after Henrietta’s death, her cells have been vital in numerous medical breakthroughs, including:

The polio vaccine
Cancer research
In vitro fertilisation
HIV/AIDS research
Mapping the human genome

Henrietta was married and a mother of five children. They didn’t find out about their mother’s contribution to science for 25 years, and ethical debates have raged ever since. In 2013, her entire genome was published online and her family fought to have it removed. After all, these are their genes too, and these cells are the last thing they have of their mother’s.

It’s also important to bear in mind that in the racially segregated world of 1950s America, it wasn’t illegal to use samples without consent. But when you consider the billions of dollars earned (none of which has been received by her family), the academic careers and the progress built from her death, one question remains. Was it right?

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BCAM 2018: the world’s biggest coffee morning

Written by: DDB Remedy

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – a cause very close to our hearts.

This year, we started a few days early by joining the world’s biggest coffee morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Last year, Macmillan’s coffee mornings raised over £27million – let’s see if 2018 can be the biggest yet, one (not necessarily homemade) cake at a time.

Keep your eyes peeled throughout the month for more #BCAM activities at Remedy!

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PM Digital Awards 2018: GOLD

Written by: DDB Remedy

We were absolutely thrilled to win double at the PM Digital Awards last week!

Our Hepatitis C disease awareness film won GOLD in Film Craft, and our educational Earfold® Hologram won GOLD in Innovation Creativity.

You can watch the judges’ responses to our film entry here, and our innovation entry here.

Great Stuff!

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The building that made history

Written by: DDB Remedy

From the outside there’s nothing remarkable about 12 Bishops Bridge Road – the place we call home. But come through the revolving doors and it’s a different matter.

Testament to this is that when Campaign, the publication of marketing, advertising and media news, celebrated its 50th birthday this year, they looked to nominate an ‘Agency of the Semi-Century’. They chose, not an agency, but a building; our building. Or to be more precise, they chose the residents of Bishops Bridge Road over the last 50 years.

It was here that agencies that were top of the tree in their day were spawned; from BMP to adam&eveDDB, and the place where ground-breaking ideas were born; from the Smash Martians to the John Lewis Christmas ads.

Hard acts to follow? For sure. But for all of us at DDB Remedy, coming to work knowing what has gone before, inspires us to do great stuff every day.

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What is Great Stuff?

Written by: DDB Remedy

The recipe for Great Stuff

We have a simple mantra. To do ‘Great Stuff’. It kind of sums up what we’re all about. We don’t make a song and dance about it, but we really want everything we do to be great – whether that’s the big idea, the client relationship or the humblest of timing plans. When you make everything as good as it can be – great is what happens.

What are the ingredients?

1. It’s about great people

We bring together a diverse mix of top talent. Then we endeavour to create an environment where that talent can flourish – always striving to make the best people, better.

2. It’s about great partnerships

We work best when we collaborate. So, we prize lasting relationships with clients where we work together to find the right solutions. And when it’s called for, we are always open to joining forces with other experts to deliver beyond expectations.

3. It’s about great products

We start by thinking – really thinking – about our clients’ challenges. Then we push for the best creative solution, honing as we go, to maximise the brand’s potential.

In short, Great Stuff means working with our client partners to make brilliant work that works.

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NABS Speed Mentoring – the future is bright

Written by: DDB Remedy

NABS is the employee support organisation for the advertising and media industry. Our managing partner Hazel recently mentored at a NABS speed mentoring evening, and we asked her to describe the experience. Here’s what she had to say.

I don’t normally venture too far on Monday evenings, and certainly not to an old clubbing haunt, but taking part as a mentor in the NABS speed mentoring evening, in the old Turnmills building was definitely worth the excursion. The sticky floors and smoky air had been replaced with beautifully clean and styled agency offices, however the crowd was just as alive and full of energy as they used to be.

The turnout was overwhelming, over a hundred mentees and at least 20 mentors. Nerves kicked in; what on earth will these bright and talented people ask me, what on earth can I tell them? Do I have any good advice to give these people? Why am I here!?

Well, the last questions answered itself. I was asked to participate as a mentor because of my years of working in advertising and also because I can answer what it is like being a woman in the industry, as well as how you raise a child while keeping down a full-time job. (There is no one answer to the last question – but at least I could share my experience of juggling work, tantrums and school-drop offs.)

The questions posed were varied, and discussions thoroughly captivating.  A few examples of some of the questions asked included:

Should I leave my job?
Do I need to go and do something more fulfilling like charity work?
How can I juggle a career and kids?
What would you do if you had lost respect for the management team? Wait till they leave, or just go?
What challenges were there for a female, who is also a mum, trying to work in this industry, and how do you overcome them?
How do you deal with the amount of work, prioritise effectively and still sleep at night?

Speaking to the other mentors before we got started, we did our own mini speed mentoring, swapping life hacks that help us get by. We all need support and advice, no matter who we are.

In our mad, fabulous creative world, stress is expected.

We are told to be more resilient, mental health issues are on the rise, time is definitely not on our side and a work/life balance is seen as some form of utopia. Yet, some of the brightest, most talented people in this country still want to join. They fight to get a job in the industry. And fight to do a great job once they are in. We need to nurture them and ensure we give them the support they need to do the very best they can. Based on the talent in the room, the future of the industry is definitely bright.

Thank you NABS for all you do to support us.

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Keep CALM, campaign on

Written by: DDB Remedy

Just carrying on is not ok anymore

In the final week of March, passers-by in Central London noticed a strange and unsettling sight: 84 men, faces covered, standing silently on the rooftops of office towers as if they were about to leap to their deaths. In the same week, DDB-ers were met with the same grim sight near the usually welcoming café.

These spectral apparitions were in fact life-size sculptures – each one a poignant reminder of the 84 lives lost each week to suicide.

We take the wellbeing of our DDB-ers very seriously. Indeed, health and communication are the life force of everything we do here. So we were proud to stand by our sister company adamandeveDDB with the launch of Project 84, their second campaign for CALM (The Campaign Against Living Miserably), a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide.

Mental illness and suicide among both genders is associated with significant stigma and underfunding of healthcare and support resources for those directly affected and their families. Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK – not road traffic accidents, cancer or smoking-related illnesses. CALM says that three of every four suicide victims are men.

“As a society we have to move past embarrassment and awkwardness, we have to face this awful issue, discuss it and actively work to stop it.”

Simon Gunning


Not easy to read, much less think about. But underpinning the campaign was hope. The hope that by telling the stories of each life lost, each of us can better understand the complexities of depression and suicide, and be part of the movement for change.

adamandeveDDB collaborated with the internationallyrenowned artists Mark Jenkins and Sandra Fernandez to create 84 individual figures that were installed on top of ITV’s Southbank buildings for the week. Each individual story was hosted on the Project 84 website. Project 84 also launched an online petition drive to persuade Britain’s government to take action to improve suicide prevention and bereavement support. The sculptures were out on Monday morning. By the afternoon, the petition had more than 80,000 signatures.

Difficult subjects challenge us. Scare us. Change us. But change doesn’t happen unless we say something and take a stand. The Project 84 campaign did what it was meant to. It got the conversation started. Got people thinking and talking about precious lives lost and how we can support those who need it. Change is coming. And we are so proud to be a part of it.

For information and/or support, visit CALM.

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DDB Remedy’s working parents

Written by: DDB Remedy

Advertising is a wonderful, exciting, creative career, but can be challenging – especially for working parents. Many surveys have reported that the pressures of being a working parent often leads to many choosing to leave advertising as they are looking for a career where they can better juggle their work-life balance. So how does the advertising industry retain the best and brightest talent once they become parents?

A number of people at DDB Remedy are working parents and we asked their views – both mothers and fathers – on how they manage to balance looking after a child with the busy working lifestyle of an advertising agency.

The main feedback from most of the parents was the challenge of balancing both your professional and home lives. A planner from our strategy team said, “A routine is helpful; I try to always have breakfast and dinner with the kids. These are two high-quality moments we all cherish, and it helps us start and finish the day in a good mood.”

She also touched upon the importance of flexibility in an agency. “There is the ability in certain circumstances to work from home in the morning or be off in the afternoon, so I can drop my daughter off at school.” This was echoed by a senior director on the accounts team, who said, “The agency provides me with flexibility about how I work, enabling me to do nursery drop-offs or pick-ups. As long as I do my work and do it well that’s all that really matters.

“It helps that the vast majority of the people in leadership roles in the agency have children – so they ‘get it’. The agency/network also provides a scheme to buy extra holiday which I imagine for most parents is quite useful given the holiday commitments having children puts on you.”

With examples including a wide range of support schemes after the birth of a child, working part-time, or flexible hours of employment, there is support and guidance in place for parents to juggle the extra demands brought on by being a parent. The friendly face of HR is always ready to talk to parents at DDB. This means the approach at the agency towards each parent is also highly personal; “DDB helps and understands parents because everyone is down to earth and tries to help you through difficult times.”

At a time where a survey of working mothers in advertising reported that 94% of them felt that the industry fails to accommodate their needs, the approach at DDB is both refreshing and impressive. This can best be summed up by our managing partner; “In general the key to the support is the culture. It feels as though it’s okay to be a parent at DDB Remedy, which has not been the case in other agencies that I have worked in.”

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What did Prince, Charles Dickens and Alexander the Great all have in common?

Written by: DDB Remedy

The answer?

All were believed to have had a neurological condition which alters the electrical activity of the brain – a condition better known as epilepsy.1

So, what exactly is epilepsy?

Perhaps the best way to answer this to explain what it isn’t.

Epilepsy isn’t, for instance, a sign of demonic or spiritual possession, as was once believed. In fact, the Greek origin of the term “epilēpsia” translates as “To lay hold of, seize upon, attack”.2

Epilepsy also isn’t just one condition.

It is, in fact, comprised of over 40 different conditions3 – meaning two people with epilepsy can both have conditions characterised by completely separate features.

So, what unites all these different types of epilepsy?

Epilepsy is defined in the medical dictionary as:

“…a neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain.”4

To help with our definition, I’ve picked out the words ‘recurrent’ and ‘abnormal electrical activity’.

Let’s take those in reverse order.

‘Abnormal electrical activity’ – otherwise known as ‘seizures’ – refers to large groups of neurons in the brain that fire at the same time.5

In more technical terms, a seizure is produced by neuronal hyperexcitability (neurons firing in large numbers) and hyper-synchronicity (neurons firing in the same direction).5

A thought experiment will help illustrate the concepts of neuronal hyperexcitability and hyper-synchronicity.

Imagine finding yourself at a busy traffic intersection in Mumbai.

In every direction you look, cars, tuktuks, and eager passers-by whizz past you in a hurry. Closing your eyes, the sound of motors, horns and the general commotion of a busy crossroads is all that can be heard.

Imagine this is the brain in its normal state and the people in this thought example represent the millions of neurons carrying messages to different areas of the brain.

Now imagine that for every car, tuktuk, and passer-by at your traffic junction, we add another – effectively doubling the number of people at our already busy intersection.

Furthermore, imagine everyone at your intersection starts moving in the same direction.

This is what happens inside the brain of someone experiencing a seizure – we have more neurons (hyperexcitability) moving in a synchronised direction (hyper-synchronicity), resulting in abnormal electrical activity in the brain.5

When viewed on an electroencephalogram (EEG), a non-invasive device for measuring the electrical activity of the brain, we see large ‘spikes’ appearing at regular intervals, indicating the event of a seizure.

A central facet of understanding epilepsy is that any area of the brain can be affected. The symptoms exhibited are often a direct reflection of the impaired function of the corresponding brain area.6 Using a form of partial seizure (a seizure only affecting one hemisphere of the brain) as an example, frontal lobe epilepsy results in uncontrollable muscle movements – reflecting the key function of the temporal lobe in controlling motor function.7

Returning to our definition of epilepsy, the term ‘recurrent’ was also highlighted as a key feature of the condition. It is generally agreed that an individual must experience at least two seizures before they are diagnosed as having epilepsy.8

However, unlike frontal lobe seizures, many forms of epilepsy do not manifest themselves in ways that are obvious to the individual themselves, or to an onlooker, making diagnosis very difficult.

Here we face a major challenge.

A good example of these ‘hidden’ forms of epilepsy can be seen in individuals who experience recurrent ‘absence’ seizures.

Absence seizures, a form of ‘generalised’ seizure (a seizure that affects numerous areas of the brain), are a form of epilepsy that results in a brief loss of consciousness. They are characterised by a ‘blank’ look in the individual’s face and a fluttering of their eyelids but, surprisingly, motor control remains unimpaired during the seizure.9,10

An individual experiencing an absence seizure will continue standing or walking during the epileptic episode and may have the appearance of ‘daydreaming’.10 As absence seizures predominantly affect children, many cases are misunderstood as daydreaming in class, or having a lack of focus.

Recognising forms of epilepsy that are not characterised by marked symptomatic traits represents one of many challenges encountered by epilepsy researchers today. Moreover, expanding public awareness of epilepsy, reducing misunderstanding and fear of the condition, is an additional challenge currently faced by patients with epilepsy.

In a 2012 survey conducted in Saudi Arabia, over half of people asked (N= 398) attributed the cause of epilepsy to spiritual possession.11 While this figure sounds shocking, it indicates the need for urgent action in epilepsy education, as many parts of the world still associate the condition with stigma, fear, and superstition.

Appreciating that epilepsy is, in fact, a complex array of conditions resulting from neurological processes of the brain – and therefore open to innovative therapeutic interventions – is a message of understanding and hope we can all take away with us.


1. The Mighty: 9 Famous People You Probably Didn’t Know Had Epilepsy. Available from Accessed December 2017.
2. Dictionary: Origin of epilepsy. Available from Accessed December 2017.
3. Epilepsy Action: Epilepsy facts, figures and terminology. Available from Accessed December 2017.
4. Oxford Dictionaries: epilepsy. Available from Accessed December 2017.
5. Hoppe M, et al. EEG in Epilepsy. In: Lozano, A.M., Gildenberg, P.L., and Tasker, R.R., 2009.  Textbook of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. Berlin: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp.2575-2585.
6. Hermann B, Seidenberg M. Epilepsy and Cognition. Epilepsy Curr 2007;7(1):1.
7. Kellinghaus C, Luders HO. Frontal lobe epilepsy. Epileptic Disord 2004;6:223.
8. Epilepsy Society: how epilepsy is diagnosed. Available from: Accessed December 2017.
9. Blumenfeld H. Consciousness and epilepsy: why are patients with absence seizures absent? Prog Brain Res 2005;150:273.
10. Epilepsy foundation: Absence Seizures. Available from: Accessed December 2017.
11. Obeid T, et al. Possession by ‘Jinn’ as a cause of epilepsy (Saraa): A study from Saudi Arabia. Seizure 2012;21(4):245–249.

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I can see a rainbow – but is it the same rainbow?

Written by: DDB Remedy

(And why shrimps are way cooler but just as terrifying as humans.)

It’s 1665 and Newton is home in Lincolnshire away from the Great Plague of London. In a particularly reflective mood, he thinks: What are colours and where do they come from? Is the light without or the light within? Is an object inherently red or is this just how we perceive it?

So, in classic mad, Newton style, he pokes a knife into his eye.

I tooke a bodkine & put it betwixt my eye & [the] bone as neare to [the] backside of my eye as I could: & pressing my eye [with the] end of it… there appeared severall white darke & coloured circles.”

But this doesn’t tell him much about colours.

So, he takes a prism, puts it in his dark room with a little light creeping in from the outside. The stream of light shatters through the prism to make a rainbow on the wall – what Newton called a coloured image of the sun.”

This wasn’t anything new. At the time people believed white light was given by God – it was holy. It was actually the prism that was ‘muddying’ the light.

The genius of Newton was to hold up a second prism to the blue light. If the prism was doing the ‘muddying’ then there would be more colour or another rainbow. But there wasn’t. The light stayed blue.

So Newton inferred that the rainbow was coming from the light itself. Light is a physical thing in the physical world.

But not everyone was happy.

The romantic poet John Keats said Newton took all the poetry out of the rainbow.

Another romantic poet, Goethe, also had an experience with colour. One spring, after turning away his gaze from a bed of yellow crocuses, he experienced a flash of violet – and came to conclude that our perception of colour begins in the world but finishes in the mind.

Hundreds of years later, we now know that there is some truth to this.

Scientists understand that colour has an objective reality, but that it’s also a trick of the mind, and all to do with perception.

But how differently do we see things? And what are we missing out on?

Turns out, a lot.

If a dog, human, butterfly, and alien were to look at the rainbow they would each see it VERY differently.

Humans see the rainbow as ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet) while dogs see a blue-green rainbow – half as thick as what we see.


Our eyes contain millions of cones and rods. Rods enable us to see motion and light while cones let us see colour.

Dogs have two cones: green and blue. Humans have three cones: green, blue, and RED.

A difference of just one cone allows us to see a much more magnificent rainbow than a dog.

Butterflies have FIVE cones. So, in addition to seeing two colours we don’t have names for, they can see colours our brains can’t even process.

But the prize for animal with the most cones goes to the little but magnificent mantis shrimp that lives in our planet’s warm coral reefs.

The mantis shrimp has not two, not three, not five but SIXTEEN colour receptive cones.

Imagine the nuclear rainbow a mantis shrimp would see. No other animal we know of can see as many colours.

But can they perceive the beauty of what they’re seeing?

Probably not. These shrimps have tiny brains and as it turns out, are incredibly violent. They move so fast when attacking crabs and octopuses that they boil the water around them. And forget keeping one as a pet – they break aquarium glass.

Mantis shrimp are terrifying, violent, beautiful, amazing creatures. Just like humans.

So, I can see a rainbow – but is it the same rainbow? Well, it depends on who you’re looking at the rainbow with.



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The post-rationalising tail wags the emotional dog

Written by: DDB Remedy

We like a challenge. So, we asked our managing partner and all-round strategy guru, Tracey, to summarise 2017 in a couple of words. She chose ‘post-truth’ and ‘truthiness’, and from that extrapolated a trend.

Last year has saw ‘post-truth’ enter the lexicon. The term was so omnipresent that The Oxford English Dictionary declared it word of the year.

Stephen Colbert, a comedian, coined a precursor to the concept: truthiness, which is perhaps closer to what is often implied – that the fact is, in fact, an untruth.


The quality of seeming or being felt to be true, even if not necessarily true.

But ‘Post-truth’ is not really new – at least not in the communications industry.

Economists have historically portrayed humans as consistently rational (homo economicus) but the ‘truth’ is that all behaviour is influenced by who we are and how we feel.

We can trace our questioning of how logic and feeling influence who we are and how we feel to the curious case of Phineas P. Gage (1823–1860). Gage, an American railroad construction foreman, survived a large iron rod being driven through his head, destroying much of his brain’s left frontal lobe. While he was still able to function, his personality and behaviour were fundamentally changed.

So began our quest to understand how our brains are ‘wired’; we know there is a rational and emotional part, but how do these two inter-relate, which part drives and which follows?

Research by Antonio Damasio (Professor of Neuroscience, Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Southern California) into patients who have damage to the limbic part of our brain showed the profound effect this had on the ability to make decisions. Leading him to conclude; “We are not thinking machines that feel, rather we are feeling machines that think.”

What does that mean for brand choice? Les Binet, Head of Effectiveness, adam&eve DDB and Peter Field, Marketing Consultant analysed 996 advertising cases of 700 brands in 83 categories. The findings were surprising. Brands that focused on emotional priming generated a greater return than those which were rationally based – and even more than those that had both rational and emotional elements.

Although all we do must be legal, decent, honest and truthful, we have always recognised that which appeals to emotion and personal belief is more powerful than simple, objective facts.

But in the healthcare space, the scientist within will always want to see the evidence to support beliefs. But which comes first? The emotional desire or permission to believe? And what is the winning combination? Sure, data is important. As important as salt is to a perfect recipe. But data, like salt, should be used in the right combination. Too much and you have an unpalatable saline solution. Get it right and you have the perfect margarita.

So, let’s drink to more emotional communications.

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  • Creative Equals Morning: Bringing diversity to the workplace

  • BCAM 2018, part 2: stand up to cancer

  • timeTo sign up

  • The death and ever-lasting life of Henrietta Lacks

  • BCAM 2018: the world’s biggest coffee morning

  • PM Digital Awards 2018: GOLD

  • The building that made history

  • What is Great Stuff?

  • NABS Speed Mentoring – the future is bright

  • Keep CALM, campaign on

  • DDB Remedy’s working parents

  • What did Prince, Charles Dickens and Alexander the Great all have in common?

  • I can see a rainbow – but is it the same rainbow?

  • The post-rationalising tail wags the emotional dog

A Comment on Gender and Inclusivity

In both national and industry press, there has been significant media attention around the requirement of organisations to publish statistics on their gender pay disparities.  DDB Remedy is not required by the legislation to report our statistics, as we employ less than 250 employees – but as an agency, we welcome this initiative and the conversation it has started.

The government has made reporting gender pay gap a requirement, as it is believed that greater pay transparency increases the likelihood that action will be taken to address the disparity.

Following the reporting deadline of the 5th of April 2018, we have seen a trend of women being under-represented in organisations’ upper quartiles. Reports show that the reasons for this under-representation are many and varied, and include factors such as parenting responsibilities, or lack of promotion opportunities.

An exception to this is that, like the wider advertising and creative industries, we experience challenges in hiring women into the traditionally male-dominated parts of our business – particularly creative and technology roles. There is generally a smaller pool of female talent in these sectors. We don’t think that this needs to remain the case. So, these are areas we are focusing on to develop and hire female talent.

We have established a Diversity and Inclusion team to focus on all equality issues, not just those of gender. We really care about this topic and know it is crucial to our future success. We are also investing more than ever in learning and development, to nurture, grow and retain the great people we have, regardless of their gender.

As an agency, we are proud that we distribute our annual discretionary bonus pool to all eligible employees, not just senior leadership positions. We consider this to be very important in our endeavours to reward all for effort and contribution. We also review all salaries annually and benchmark against industry salary surveys, to proactively ensure equality across all roles. 

Hazel, Managing Partner: “I feel very fortunate that throughout my time at DDB I have been very well supported by the organisation, and encouraged to take the next step in my career by those around me, including during my return to work following maternity leave. The ability to work in a flexible manner, and the support shown for my newfound family responsibilities allowed me to continue to work in the agency world.

Whilst the gender pay gap is a necessary discussion, to facilitate change in attitudes in the work, there is also the need to tackle some of the causes for this, and ensure that everyone in our organisation is supported to progress at all levels, from the most junior to the most senior, regardless of gender, age, race.”

Tracey, Managing Partner: “I’m really proud to work at DDB Remedy. I’m surrounded by great people who are committed to doing great stuff. And when it comes to talent, there is no gender divide. Which made it all the more gratifying to find that when we looked at pay, there wasn’t a gap.  Considering how many companies have got their work cut out to fix this, it feels good to know I’m at a place where people are judged by what they contribute – not by how many x chromosomes they have.”

What is Equal Pay?

We have noticed a bit of confusion around this.  The gender pay gap measure is not the same as equal pay. Equal pay is a legal requirement in the UK, and relates to men and women performing the same job but being paid differently; whereas the gender pay gap does not look at individual roles, but at how pay and bonuses are distributed across an entire business.