I joined the advertising industry as a wide-eyed 21 year old who wanted to change the world through marketing. I was full of creative ideas, had a knack for the data, and was ready to make a difference. I was ready to use the glorified CSR (corporate social responsibility) projects and turn them into messages that championed people and the planet. Messages to inspire Malaysians to be better and do better. It wasn’t long before I became disillusioned with everything I believed in. After 4 of our best campaigns got the boot (because there was no budget), numerous 15-hour days and nights, countless missed family dinners and events, arguments with clients who saw us as slaves to carry out their demands, I was out. Some people said I couldn’t handle the tough lifestyle. “It’s not for everyone”. I agree – no one should be subjected to such working conditions. I’m not ashamed that I only lasted 2 years at my agency. On the contrary, I’m proud that I had the guts to leave. I came to NZ to start a new life for myself and that’s when I was met with a community of like-minded individuals who showed me that my previous beliefs were real. It WAS possible to use marketing to make a difference. Conscious marketing for purpose-driven businesses, that prioritise people, planet, animals, then profit. Yes. This was a philosophy I could get behind. This felt like coming home.