A postcard for Tim Broadbent

A year or two ago I wrote a piece here on Medium aimed at advertising students about what I learned from the business. In the first paragraph I quoted a friend who said that “after a week of being [in China] you feel like you can write a book”. After a year, you could manage an essay. And, after ten years of living in China, you would probably end up with a only a postcard.”

That friend was Tim Broadbent and today I learned that he died.

Tim was the significant other of my strategic planning partner while I was based in Asia. I used to visit them often in their beautiful apartment in Beijing from where he worked as Ogilvy’s Global Director of Effectiveness.

The stories and thoughts that eminated from his gigantic brain as we drank wine late into the nights lifted me out from the smog at the windows and into space from where I could look down on this world in its entirety. He could take me to that place where you consider everything and beyond because as a planner, that is what you can do for people. He knew lots about lots of things and beyond that, could connect the dots in weird and interesting ways.

I could write more about Tim. But like with China, sometimes a postcard is all you can manage.