What a feverish toddler taught me about pitching

Christi Tronetti, Head of Growth, M&C Saatchi London, underlines why it's time to break the myth that motherhood is a creative full stop.

Christi Tronetti

Head of Growth M&C Saatchi London


I've recently returned to M&C Saatchi London following the birth of my first child and a year of maternity leave. I've come back to work with renewed energy and taken on a new, expanded role as Head of Growth. 

There are days when I feel like I have my shit together. Days when my brain is working in hyperdrive. In many ways I have rediscovered myself as an individual; not just someone else’s mum, but as a curious ‘make it happen’ force in my own right.

Yet that isn’t to pretend that this new phase of my working life has not been without its challenges.  Returning from maternity leave and jumping back into the world of new business has been, to say the least, interesting.  

Take what happened two weeks ago, mid-pitch, when my phone rang. I recognised the number on my phone immediately as it was the nursery. They were calling to tell me that Frankie had a fever and needed to be picked up immediately. When I asked if Frankie was OK I received reassurance that she was fine. Alongside the sucker-punch that she would have to stay home for at least 48 hours, or until her symptoms subside.’

Working parents get a clear perspective on what is truly stressful and scary. In an industry that celebrates bravery, it’s invaluable to have people on the team that are willing to take risks.

Christi Tronetti, Head of Growth, M&C Saatchi London

The mother of all juggles

This was the start of a whole new way of WFH. I was juggling Zoom calls with one hand whilst dispensing Calpol with the other. After navigating what seemed at first to be an impossible situation, my daughter and I both came out on the other side with a new sense of clarity.  

Far from being apologetic about this new element of juggling in my working life, it has brought with it a new set of skills which I believe working parents should celebrate more. Particularly when it comes to the world of new business, where juggling, last minute changes and pressure are all part of the day to day. 

Put simply, working parents are an amazing addition to any pitch team, thanks to the learned skills they bring to the table. 

Top of that list is adaptability. Living with a child is like living every day in beta. Working parents are forever tackling problems under changing circumstances. As an industry in a constant state of flux, we need people who can think differently and attack the brief from new angles with a degree of success - even if that means go again.  

Secondly, a sense of both freedom and perspective.  There is nothing more terrifying than clipping an infant’s fingernails for the first time. Working parents get a clear perspective on what is truly stressful and scary. In an industry that celebrates bravery, it’s invaluable to have people on the team that are willing to take risks. In the end, what’s the worst thing that can happen? It’s just advertising. No one is going to lose a finger.

Then lastly, but no less important is that sense of joy.  Small wins are still wins and wins are worth celebrating. Pitching can be a gruelling process, but all the more reason to stay positive and try to have fun whilst doing it. Working parents have a knack for finding joy even when the going gets tough.  

So my message to working parents is simple: recognise the power of the skills that you have gained, the challenges that you have overcome and those still to come. The advertising industry needs you more than ever. So let's start celebrating ourselves and each other. 

Guest Author

Christi Tronetti

Head of Growth M&C Saatchi London


As Head of Growth at M&C Saatchi London, Christi has overall responsibility for the agency’s new business and marketing strategy, with a particular focus in developing initiatives that will support clients as they navigate the growing complexity of the marketing ecosystem. As part of this, she has helped develop On the Money, a live customer panel run through Whatsapp groups which provides insight into how people are feeling and what choices they are making because of the cost-of-living crisis. She has also overseen the creation and marketing of a number of high-profile partnerships and initiatives effecting positive change in the industry and society, including M&C Saatchi Open House, Good Guys Guide and GoGo SoHo. Prior to joining M&C Saatchi Group, Christi held account management positions at Grey and Goodby Silverstein & Partners in NYC.

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