The Nige of March: He's back in Boag

By By Frank Chung | 7 March 2013
Nigel Marsh's TED speech on work-life balance remains the most viewed ever with over one million hits.

High-profile ad industry figure and prolific author Nigel Marsh is back in a cheeky branded content piece for James Boag – just don't tell him that.

In the 23 February edition of Fairfax's Good Weekend magazine, the former Y&R Brands chief executive expounds on “how to be a better man” under a James Boag banner, in what looks suspiciously like a long-copy ad for the Tasmanian beer.

So is Marsh, author of Fat, Forty and Fired and Fit, Fifty and Fired-Up, the new James Boag brand ambassador? “No, I don't think they'd want me,” he told AdNews. “Especially as I haven't had a drop of drink for 10 years. Don't get me wrong – I'm sure they're lovely.”

According to James Boag, 'Greatness Rarely Comes Easy'. Neither, it would seem, does Marsh. So how did he come to be in the ad? “I didn't really realise I was. I was just asked by Good Weekend if I'd write a column on work-life balance.”

Dashing any hopes of an ongoing brand tie-up, Marsh said not to expect any more out of the campaign from him. The second instalment of the eight-part series ran in the 2 March Good Weekend, featuring journalist and former rugby player Peter FitzSimons.

So besides emerging as the tee-totalling face of beer, what else is new in Marsh land? “The Sydney Skinny was a success beyond our wildest dreams, so we're already in preparations for the second year. We had overwhelming feedback, it was gorgeous. Our modest ambition is to make the world a slightly nicer place one swim at a time.”


The nude ocean swim on 17 February raised over $10,000 for NSW National Parks and Wildlife. Marsh said he plans to take the event global after next year.

Meanwhile, Marsh's book Fat, Forty and Fired is in the very early stages of development as a TV series. US network ABC commissioned Warner Bros to produce a pilot, with former Friends writer Jeff Astrof penning the script – shooting is yet to begin. Marsh is cautiously optimistic, calling TV production “a long, very uncertain process”.

In addition to nude swimming and piloting TVs, Marsh has been getting busy on the speaking circuit, offering his services as an executive coach and doing a lot of writing. So can we expect a new book any time soon? “My wife says the next one will be Sad, Sixty and Single if I don't earn more money.”

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