HEADLINER: He’s big and he’s clever - but can he deliver for New PHD? - Mike Anderson is ready to take New PHD into its next phase, says Anna Griffiths

By ANNA GRIFFITHS, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 15 August 1997 12:00AM

Mike Anderson, CIA Medianetwork’s marketing director, is very good at sweeping people along with him, just as he did me, smoothing over his late appearance for our meeting by persuading me to accompany him to the corner shop to get his nicotine fix.

Mike Anderson, CIA Medianetwork’s marketing director, is very good

at sweeping people along with him, just as he did me, smoothing over his

late appearance for our meeting by persuading me to accompany him to the

corner shop to get his nicotine fix.

After a three-year stint at CIA, where he helped bring in more than

pounds 50 million of new business last year and nurtured the agency

through a difficult and public spat with the TV sales house, Laser, over

airtime trading, he is moving to New PHD as its first marketing

director. His job, in the words of Jonathan Durden (a partner at New

PHD), is ’to kick us about a bit’.

New PHD and CIA are worlds apart, so how will Anderson fare in a trendy

media shop like New PHD? ’In the last three years, we have forever been

drawing brand maps at CIA of who’s where in what market in terms of the

media brands, and CIA has always tried to position itself towards what

New PHD is, which is ’clever’. You can buy size, but you can’t buy

clever, and the ultimate position is to be big and clever. New PHD has

gone some way to get there.’

He already has plans for New PHD which, following a successful merger

with Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO’s media department, wants to get its teeth

into some big multinational accounts. ’New PHD is very successful, so

it’s a case of trying to shape, package and deliver it in a way that

people want to buy. The interesting effort will be to reflect the

proposition - which is clearly the people,’ he says. He promises it will

take him nine months to stamp his indelible mark on the agency.

Anderson’s strategy for drumming up new business is simple - it’s called

bulldozing. He will not give up if he thinks he has something that a

client should be interested in. He explains: ’There’s a discipline to

this. If you stick to it, you will get a result. I made 90 calls to

someone, and he’s now a good friend. I sent him a message on Sky Text,

played quizzes with him over Sky Text and now I’ve been to the guy’s

house drinking wine with him and his family. Now that’s because I wasn’t

going to go away - I genuinely believed that I had something that he

should see.’

Anderson makes no pretence about what he does. ’I am a salesman and I

will always say that to people. I’m not a planner or a buyer. Most

people don’t want to do this job and, in a way, it’s an opportunity.’

His job is to network and, according to others, he’s a dab hand at it.

Ian Scott, group advertising director at the Publishing Consultancy, who

worked with Anderson at the Scotsman, says: ’He has a hugely natural

talent in working the floor. By the end of the evening everyone will

know him. He’s got a way of getting people to warm to him and of

breaking down people’s defences.’

Quite a few defences must have been broken down to keep CIA on Visa

International’s pounds 31 million pitch during the Laser dispute.

Competitors were fuming when CIA went on to win it. Anderson recalls:

’That was one of the most exhilarating times in my career because it was

an incredible result.’

Anderson has one big advantage when it comes to entertaining and wooing

clients - his immense capacity to hold his drink. As Scott puts it:

’Michael is a big, big lad. He and I went on holiday together when we

were in our twenties, and every night he carried me home.’

Anderson is a man on the make and has been since he was a teenager. When

he left school, he ran an ironing business called ’Ironing Maid Easy’,

alongside a booming business from the boot of his car, selling Christmas

decorations and fluffy toys on petrol forecourts all over Scotland.

Anderson claims he never forgets his early days as a sales executive,

recalling the first time he came to London, full of hope and


’It is important for me to remember the day I came here 11 years ago,

with everything I owned in the back of my Ford Fiesta. I try and

recapture that as much as possible.’

Mike Tunnicliffe, CIA Medianetwork’s managing director, has a few

Anderson peccadilloes he’d like to warn New PHD about. ’There’s always a

complete wild overspend of the marketing budget and then he bloody talks

his way out of things. We’ve got more things with CIA’s logo on than we

have produced media plans. Every single gimmick he has is completely

unbudgeted. The funnier they are, the more expensive they are.’


1983   The Scotsman, sales executive

1985   Observer, agency sales executive

1987   Maxwell Publishing, group sales manager

1988   Mail on Sunday, client sales executive, becoming

       head of client sales

1992   Media Airtime Sales, marketing development director

1992   Evening Standard, head of client sales

1994   CIA Medianetwork, marketing director

1997   New PHD, marketing director

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk


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