THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 best media buyers (and their hairstyles)

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 19 December 2003 10:30AM

1. Mark Jarvis, the head of media at Carat. Press sales directors have been alarmed at the number of follicularly challenged people muscling in on 'the press party'. The industry's new-fangled multidisciplinary buying directors, as in Mark 'Billiard Ball' Jarvis, have shiny domes. The response of one publisher was to issue a memo to all sales staff instructing them to grow their hair long or to cultivate spiky or unusual barnets.

2. Matt Blackbourn, the executive buying director of Starcom MediaVest

"See what I mean," one sales director said. "Not a hair on his head." The sales teams of many media owners, especially on the press side, where they still have sales teams, now give their staff training videos showing Benny Hill paying suitable homage to Jackie Wright.

3. John Overend, the investment director at PHD

The most alarming development was at PHD where the investment director John "Slaphead" Overend, has joined with the head of press, Adam "Shaveling" Crowe.

4. Paul Thomas, the press director at MindShare

And a similar situation was going down at MindShare where the press director is Paul Thomas. Yup. His head is as hairy as a particularly smooth eggshell that has been buffed down by a very efficient egg shell buffer. And he now works closely with MindShare's investment director, Nick "Kojak" Theakstone.

5. Jim Freeman and Kelly Harrold, the joint heads of press at Zenith-Optimedia

Yes, Freeman uses more turtle wax than hair gel. But this entry also highlights another theme that's emerged this year - double acts. Many media owners are beginning to suspect that they're being systematically worked over by good-cop-bad-cop routines.

6. Like Steve Goodman, the press director at MediaCom, and his deputy, Claudine Collins

Actually this is Tigger and Eeyore. Princess Pushy (irrepressible, smiley, gregarious) and an introverted Prince Charming. It's hugely effective, apparently, though to date we failed to establish any conclusive evidence that either Goodman or Collins is bald.

7. Mark Collins, the broadcast director at MediaCom

Staying with MediaCom and being totally serious for one moment (appropriately enough - everything is desperately sincere at MediaCom), just about everyone in the television marketplace has been saying that the broadcast director, Mark Collins, has been at the top of his game this year.

8. As has Chris Hayward, the head of TV at ZenithOptimedia, but one thing is holding him back. The consensus in the industry has long been that Hayward would be destined for greatness if it wasn't for his hair. He's got tons of it, hasn't he? But listen. He comes from Liverpool, right? And the media industry expects everyone who comes from Liverpool to look like the Harry Enfield Scouser. So it's obvious, isn't it? When the right opportunity presents itself he'll whip off the bubble-perm wig and dazzle us all.

9. However Chris Locke, the executive buying director of Starcom MediaVest, is a lost cause. No matter how often the barbers down in his E13 manor show him the clippers, his hair still grows back. This year, Locke was the latest veteran buyer to be kicked upstairs to a big desk and an even bigger mega-buying role.

10 Andy Roberts, the executive director of investment at Starcom Motive

We were a bit rude to Andy last year, revealing that his nickname was robot. Sorry. We promise it won't happen again.

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This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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