The people behind Rock And A Hardplace 


Nick Schon

Nick Schon

Nick has worked for some of the best big, full-service agencies in the UK and Europe including 15 years at Saatchi and Saatchi London. At Grey Nick was Global Creative Director on the Sara Lee account. "For me what's important is a good idea that can lead to visually arresting work. I like innovative concepts and I like working with people who like the same." Nick's won creative awards in Germany, UK and USA including a Cannes Gold.

He's also illustrated over 160 children's books which are used in 80% of the UK's schools and sold in 134 countries.  Nick teaches Children's Book Illustration, is Director of the MA Creative Comms course at the European School of Communication in London and teaches a course in drawing to creatives who need to get loads of ideas on paper fast.


Paul Arnold

Following a brief spell walking around with a sandwich board (“I’m Paul and I want a job in advertising”), Paul spent 14 years at Saatchi’s running a number of European accounts such as Reckitts and Hewlett Packard, as well as heading up training. He launched the Saatchi MBA and developed and sold courses to the European network.

In 1998, Paul moved to Grey Advertising to head up GlaxoSmithKline’s global toothpaste advertising, developing work in over 70 markets worldwide. In 2005, he switched roles, becoming Global Strategic Planner on GSK brands. Paul has since won Gold, Silver and Bronze Euro Effies (and wrote the strategy for a fourth) – one every year for the past four years.

Paul has always been a passionate learner. He has an MBA, MSc in Organisational Change and Master Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming (modelling of successful behaviour patterns). He has also invested in many extensive personal development courses that have taken him around the world. Paul left Grey in 2009 to set up his own training consultancy. He is a visiting lecturer at Westminster University.

Paul Arnold

Paul Burns

Paul Burns

Paul spent 25 very successful years at Saatchi & Saatchi looking after client business. He became their Training Director and first Director of Knowledge Practices, sitting on the main Management Board of the Agency. 


He has run accounts across a wide variety of businesses, from the hugely successful bid and launch of the National Lottery, to fast turnaround business on News International. He has led teams on large and complex financial brands and has run countless Blue Chip fmcg brands.

Paul launched The Burns Unit tlc in 2009 and in a few short years it has built up an enviable client list. The Burns Unit tlc works with many of our key trade bodies; IPA, ISBA, EACA, Clearcast and also with over 60 leading agencies from traditional above the line agencies, to large and small media agencies, specialist digital and search agencies as well as a number of blue chip client orgsanisations. Paul is also the author of the IPA Foundation Certificate, the award winning eLearning program.


WillowDNA

WillowDNA is an award winning online learning and knowledge company, delivering business improvement through technology-enabled learning. Going beyond traditional approaches to e-learning, creating flexible, tailored experiences that showcase the best in formal and social learning. WillowDNA provide an acclaimed hosted learning platform, Pathway and all the consultation, content, support and training needed to ensure learners have the best possible experience.  

As Specialists in taking complex programmes online, from corporate academies, professional development, CPD, online degree and accreditation through to just-in-time performance support.   It is this open, flexible approach to learning that led us to WillowDNA be recognised as one of the most exciting and progressive e-learning companies in the UK by the industry’s most prominent thought leaders. 

Gold Award Winner, eLearning Awards 2012 - Best Online Distance Learning Programme. Bronze Award Winner 2013, e-Learning Awards 2013 - Best eLearning for Compliance.  Shortlisted for the 2014 Learning Awards, Best Online Learning Programme. Judges at the 2014 eLearning Awards and featured speakers at DevLearn, Las Vegas 2014


Graham Fink, Paul Arnold and Nick Schon after recording Graham's video

Graham Fink, Paul Arnold and Nick Schon after recording Graham's video

What's gone in to Rock And A Hardplace

Thousands of man (and woman) hours have been spent writing and developing the ten modules. They have been tested and adjusted by real candidates in real agencies. 

Developed over 18 months, the ten modules were recorded in Bristol using amongst others, the voice of Peter Suchet.

Videos were filmed at various locations during this time by David Maginot MA. He was in charge of the editing technical and visual aspects of the videos.

The visual theme of stone-age characters reflects the fundamental nature of the truths contained in the modules and describes the typical agency experience of being caught between a rock and a hard place…account handlers are caught between the creatives and the client,  creatives are caught between the CD and the account handlers, and everyone comes up against the Finance Director! The modules feature over 2000 original illustrations.