Coking to retire

Coking to retire


After some 49 years working in the Recruitment Advertising industry, Ray Coking is to retire in June this year.

Kevin Turner writes:

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Ray from the day he joined the industry back in 1968. His first role was as a voucher clerk at an agency, no longer around, called G Street & Co. Back then we had to send proof of insertion with the invoice to our clients. The media choice was vast and I’m sure this was the start of Ray’s love affair with media selection and negotiation. There are probably only a few old lags that would remember the voucher department. Danny Cannon where are you?

The reason I know? Ray took my job and I was promoted into account management.

Ray worked at a number of leading agencies in his long and illustrious career and I have worked with him at many of them too. Maybe I’ll publish a story on Cokingisms!  One thing is for sure, there’s never a dull moment in Ray’s day.

His agency list is like a who’s who of the great and the good. Some of them have been acquired and the name now redundant: Mathers & Bensons, Moxon Dolphin & Kirby (now TMP Worldwide) Royds (McCanns), Benton & Bowles (now part of Publicis), Bernard Hodes (Hodes), Riley (now Havas People) Tribal and Penna.

Not a bad CV to have.

Ray of course has an amazing reputation with the media and is probably the first name on every function invite list. To say he is a party animal is an understatement.

But his work for his agency and with the media has, in my view, always been hard but fair. He has always tried to get the best deal and endeavour to keep the title happy too.

I’m sure Penna will throw a party to say farewell and no doubt the media will also send him off, one way or the other.

Ray, your experience is unquestionable, your energy always at the highest level, and your enthusiasm infectious.

You really have been a one off.

So time to relax, spend more time with your family and your estates around the country.

I thank you for all the fun we had together and I’m sure many others will want to wish you happy retirement."

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

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(Showing 1 - 15 of 25)

Danny Heath Date: Apr 18, 2017

All the best Ray, it's been a pleasure. At least now Jez Roberts won't have to keep explaining he doesn't have a younger, better looking, brother in the industry.

chris seldon Date: Apr 20, 2017

All the best Ray kick back and relax!.

Ray Coking Date: Apr 20, 2017

Thanks Kevin for those very kind words. You must have done some copywriting in your Ad Agency days! Some people have asked me if I would have worked in another industry if I could turn the clock back, and the answer is no, never. Over the years I have made contact with thousands of agency, media and client personnel and even though sometimes life gets very tough in this industry, there are plenty of good times as well. Thank you. A beers on me. Ray

paul kitchen Date: Apr 21, 2017

Thanks for the fun memories Ray. What a great story your journey would make. Perhaps over a cold one or two in town one evening? Good luck for the future.

Lee Touhig Date: Apr 21, 2017

I've had the pleasure of working with Ray over the years in the industry. He's always been professional, courteous and forthright, but never afraid of having a laugh and a joke along the way either. Good luck with the retirement Ray, you'll be missed in the industry.

matt jones Date: Apr 21, 2017

Legend. Stalwart. Friend. All words that can be attributed to Ray. Truly a giant of the industry and someone that has undoubtedly had an effect on all whom he's encountered. Straight as a die, honest and fair, but with a sense of humour that bewitches and beguiles you into wishing he was YOUR Uncle Ray! I've lost count of the lunches, drinks, mad nights out, (and times that Ray's covered for me when I should've been somewhere else!), and it saddens me that these will now come to an end (though somehow I still think we'll catch him around the place occasionally!) I'm honoured to call Ray a good friend, as I know dozens of other people are, and I for one shall cherish the great times we've shared, and I wish you well, Ray, as you saunter off into the sunset with a lifetime of memories and a career that inspired many. "Smokin' Coking" - one of your own! Take care, Ray, and stay in touch...

Jamie Leonard Date: Apr 21, 2017

Razor, you are one in a million and the industry has been better for having you in it. Enjoy retirement my friend. You're a true legend.

Julie Towers Date: Apr 21, 2017

Ray 'The Legend' Coking Quite simply the nicest and hard working man you could meet. Proud to be working alongside him still at Penna And you can be sure there'll be a party if not several!! Thanks for everything Ray. You may be retiring but I think you'll have a open invite to Penna Friday Drinks and our annual conference - wouldn't be the same without you there. JT

John Stainer Date: Apr 21, 2017

About time too Ray. Mr MEDIA personified, all round good operator, great bloke and a really good friend. I remember back whenever this little bloke being found at the bottom of the stairs under a pile of coats asleep at one of the Guardian xmas parties - not sure he was alone though!! And I know he hasn't changed. Good luck mate - see you soon.

Liz King Date: Apr 21, 2017

An absolute legend! Have a brilliant retirement Mr C, although I suspect it won't be particularly quiet.... BWs Liz

David Jenkins Date: Apr 21, 2017

All the best Ray! What a legend of the industry. 'Vouchers' oh dear I feel old.

Stephen Watling Date: Apr 21, 2017

Legend is a word all too easily bandied around these days. Not in your case though, sir. The industry will all the poorer without you. All the best for your retirement and, while you're at the bar, mine's a Wandle!

Daniel Smith Date: Apr 21, 2017

The time has come! All the very best Ray, I'll miss the contract 'negotiations'. Enjoy your very well deserved retirement.

Gill Allen Date: Apr 21, 2017

With all best wishes Ray. May the memories of vouchers, a Daily Telegraph waiting list and the legendary Riley media parties (amongst others) give you a chuckle or two in your well earned rest x

Sharon Kerry Date: Apr 21, 2017

Ray C, our unsung Hero! We love and miss you already. You are a legend and the industry will never be without your memory. We can't have a conference without you so make sure you are around. Enjoy your family, and new babies, including the four legged ones. Thank you for all your love and support in helping with my Kenyan Kids. You shaved your moustache off many moons ago and have never grown it back! We had so much fun over the years and you are definitely and always will be part of our family. Love you

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