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PR GURU, ARTIST REPRESENTATIVE AND FRIEND TO THE STARS VISITS NINGBO

PR Guru, artist representative, socialite and general confidante to the great and the good of London's celebrity scene thrilled Arete students with a visit to Arete's Ningbo Campus to talk to our community about the world of PR, celebrity and the creative industries. 

Oli, who is Co-Founder of PR business Olley Goss and art and lifestyle business East Fortune Lifestyles, took time out from his busy schedule serving A-listers to share his experiences and journey with our students. 

Oli left school at 14 with no qualifications, something he attributes to undiagnosed dyslexia which, despite being bright, meant he struggled academically. Finding himself more successful with his hands he found himself entering the world of set-building for TV, film and photographers - an environment in which he first began rubbing shoulders with famous names. Karl Lagerfeld, the notoriously aloof fashion designer and creative director of both Channel and Fendi, once hand-picked Oli to join him and a small group of acolytes to have a private dinner with him after a long shoot in France. 

Eventually, Oli decided he wanted to try his hand at something new and decided that PR could be the industry for him. Despite being officially underqualified, Oli called the office of M&C Saatchi every day for three months attempting to speak to Charles Saatchi himself. Every time he was refused by Saatchi's PA. Then, one morning travelling on the London Underground he saw an advert with Charles Saatchi and Duncan Bannatyne (of Dragon's Den fame) posing together. Calling Saatchi's office again he put on his best Scottish accent and told the PA he was Duncan Bannatyne calling for Charles Saatchi. In a moment he was put through and on the phone with one of the most powerful advertising men in the world. After some tricky smooth-talking, Saatchi gave Oli the number of the Managing Director of M&C Saatchi and told him to report for a three-month internship. Despite his qualifications, and being pitted against fellow interns from Oxbridge, Oli was a natural using his people skills to quickly develop relationships and turn these into clients. After his three-month internship was over, the Oxbridge candidates were sent packing while Oli was offered a full-time position. 

After a number of successful years working in PR for both M&C Saatchi and Borkowski Oli decided another change of scene was due. Having always been passionate about art, and with a large number of established and up-and-coming artists he can call friends, Oli decided to move into artist representation establishing East Fortune Lifestyles, a company bringing the best of British art, music and celebrity to the China market. His flair for PR has seen him venture back into the industry this time as Co-Founder of his own form, Olley Goss. 

Oli's fascinating tales from behind the closed doors of the celebrity world had Arete students gripped in disbelief. He also shared his very honest and most appreciated perspectives of the PR and marketing industries including the good, the bad and the ugly. 

And before you leave, do check out the video, below, of Oli's live performance of Shaggy's Angel from Latitude festival. 'The best impression of me I've ever heard' - according to Shaggy himself!