(Photo by Peter Rand)
Educated at Dulwich College and The L.S.E, Russ left London to work in the epicentre of world-wide advertising, Madison Avenue in New York, USA. At just 24 he was the youngest Account Director at the Ted Bates Agency, one of NY’s most prestigious ad agencies. There he pioneered direct competitive television advertising, pitching product against product, and even launched the iconic ‘Sindy’ doll to the American market, and borrowing the QE2 in the process! At 25, Russ was appointed Vice Creative Director, no mean feat for a young Limey.
Returning to London after three years, Russ continued his first love – writing – and was honoured with 15 National and International Awards for his work, including the Gold Medal at The New York Film and Television Festival and the Gold Medal at the IVCA Awards in London.
Endlessly attached first to his electric typewriter (complete with Tippex and carbon paper!) and moving on to Word Processors and then PCs, Russ produced campaign after campaign for blue chip accounts ranging from British Gas to British Airways, from Vauxhall to Texaco to launching an unknown, small Finnish phone manufacturer – Nokia – here in the UK.
It was Russ’s copywriting and Light Entertainment scriptwriting that brought him to the attention of advertising giants Saatchi and Saatchi who suggested that this was the man to become the new ‘Flying Eye’ airborne travel reporter for Capital Radio 95.8FM The job was everything Russ disliked – light aircraft and early mornings, so he was less than enthused to be asked to audition. Reluctantly he agreed to sign a two-week contract to see if he liked it. The two weeks turned into twenty years and forged one of the most memorable on-air partnerships in radio history – The Chris Tarrant Breakfast Show was considered by the media to be the most successful, profitable and downright enjoyable commercial radio show in the world. After one and a half million air miles (and no frequent flyer upgrade) Russ landed for the final time in September 2004. He took two days off and began broadcasting his own breakfast talk-radio show across Europe for the next two years. Russ now broadcasts on BBC Radio London.
The serious nature of Russ’s work is best illustrated by his full one-year consultancy attachment to the Commercial Directorate of the Department of Health, reporting directly to the Commercial Director General. Here he holistically looked at the annual NHS spend of £17 billion. The department was able to achieve savings of £600 million per annum.
NON STOP MUSIC LTD / NON STOP RECORDS
In 2009 Russ founded Non Stop Music Limited, an artiste management company with his partner, Siobhan Clifford. The company nurtures talent and covers every aspect of the music industry. Is it hard work? Only seven days a week, 14 hours a day – minimum! Is it rewarding, exciting and fun? Oh yes indeed!
Charity has always played a key part in Russ’s life, founding The Rhys Daniels Trust with ex-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman and PR guru Max Clifford in 1992, creating the now much copied ‘Home from Home’ scheme and becoming a Trustee of The Variety Club Children’s Charity in 2000.
In 2007, Russ was honoured to be invited to be The Chief Barker (CEO) of the Variety Club, a role he took to heart, taking a year out from his corporate activities to run the £10.5 million charity and its 32 staff, five-days-a-week from their London HQ. Since then Russ has been Chairman of Fundraising, The Media & Marketing Committee, and produced several large events including the televised Variety Club Showbiz Awards.
Oher charities that he is closely connected to are The Royal Marsden Campaign, raising money to help the hospital stay at the leading edge of cancer treatment and care for 40,000 patients each year and for which Russ created The Sally Kane Rose which raised tens of thousands of pounds for the Appeal following the loss of his wife to cancer. Finally, Russ has worked with The Army Benevolent Fund (The Soldiers’ Charity) since 1990, helping them to care for soldiers, former soldiers and their families who have been injured or fallen on hard times.
Russ served on the founding committee to create the now annual Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch at The Guildhall, London in 2008 – 1000 guests attended the lunch and the guest of honour has been HRH The Prince of Wales on several occasions.
Russ Kane’s autobiography, ‘Shout At The Moon’ was published by John Blake Publishing in 2002 in hardback and subsequently paperback.