John_cunning_2 John Carver

John Carver


John left Canterbury College of Art's School of Architecture after just one term. He intended returning, but never did.

A stint in a suit and bow-tie taught him a valuable lesson: he'd never make an account handler. Cut to a year later, Marketing Magazine is running a 6-page feature on John and his achievements in the music industry.

Seeing a gap in the market, John founded Britain's first "youth specialist" ad agency, The Leisure Process (TLP) which grew to become the country's leading specialist youth agency with clients ranging from Coca Cola to Levis to Carphone Warehouse to Eidos. In addition, there was a whole host of record companies and their artists. From Paul McCartney to Robert Plant, Simply Red, Sting and Craig David, John directed pop promos and commercials as well as art directing sleeves. With many of his clients on limited budgets, he was always looking for ingenious ways to get them talked about.

It was with this in mind that he co-founded a new kind of communications consultancy with Anna Carloss in 1998. They called it Cunning Stunts.

Through Harry Monk, a production company set up alongside Cunning Stunts, John directed pop promos and TV commercials all over the world. Robbie Williams' managers hired John as part of their "dream team" to market Escapology. He conceived the campaign, then wrote and directed the epic, "one-shot" commercial with a production budget of $500K. 

Several years ago Anna and John merged Cunning Stunts and Harry Monk into CUNNING where John's role is to oversee all aspects of Art Direction, Graphic & Digital Design, Film-making and Brand & Creative strategy.

John is fascinated by Outsider Art and considers his film STARVECROW to be one of the world's first Outsider films. He would always rather create a new path than follow an existing path and this thinking permeates every aspect of his life.

Nurturing and inspiring young, aspiring talent has been a recurring theme. He is proud to have "discovered and been associated with a multitude of young Creative people that have gone on to excel in their chosen fields, from photographers & film-makers to Ad Creatives & Artists.

Over the years John has owned dozens of classic cars and loves anything without a roof or windscreen. He attends Goodwood Revival every Summer. He’s mad on fishing and has caught Bonefish in Cuba, Marlin in Cabo San Lucas, Carp in Kent, Trout in Hampshire, Golden Dorado in Argentina and fresh run Atlantic Salmon in Nothern Russia.  

John is regularly invited to talk at Art Schools, Universities and Colleges about ideas and communication. He has also written for various magazines about a mix of lifestyle subjects.