ANALYSIS: How to sell to ... John Rooke - The 10 Media director is the man who launched Weebles

By LEXIE GODDARD, campaignlive.co.uk, Monday, 13 December 1999 12:00AM

John Rooke has been there, done that. He launched Weebles (’Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down’) at Gray; drilled a hole in the floor and played office golf at the full-service agency Mallerman Summerfield James; did loop-the-loops in a helicopter with his boss at the now defunct London Media and told Kylie Minogue he loved her. And that’s just a taster.

John Rooke has been there, done that. He launched Weebles (’Weebles

wobble but they don’t fall down’) at Gray; drilled a hole in the floor

and played office golf at the full-service agency Mallerman Summerfield

James; did loop-the-loops in a helicopter with his boss at the now

defunct London Media and told Kylie Minogue he loved her. And that’s

just a taster.



Rooke has had more jobs than hot dinners since he started out in 1976 at

the age of 19. But ’for some unknown reason’, he has always managed to

work on a beer account.



In June, the East Londoner landed the role of media director at 10

Media, a subsidiary formed to handle planning and buying for the clients

of marketing services company 10 Group. 10 Media, whose clients include

Chubb Insurance, Barratt Homes and Deloitte & Touche, is a joint venture

with Expert Media and is headed by Expert’s affable managing director

Nick Barron.



Rooke is housed in Expert’s offices which allows him to use the agency’s

photocopier, nick a few staff when necessary and discuss what GMTV

newsreader Penny Smith was wearing that morning.



10 Media has billings of between pounds 6 million and pounds 7 million

but Rooke thinks the division will soon outgrow Expert’s Carnaby Street

office.



He wants to win more fmcg, tourism and music accounts and negotiate as

many sponsorship deals with West Ham as possible.



Rooke sealed West Ham’s first ever sponsorship deal years ago. ’No-one

has ever heard of the client,’ he says sheepishly. ’But I did get to

meet all the players and sit in the directors’ box.’



The Greenwich-based director steers clear of work beers from Wednesday

to Sunday when he looks after his sons: 11-year-old Ben and

nine-year-old Jake. The time is spent driving the boys from one sporting

activity to the next or battling it out on the PlayStation.



Rooke is sneakily practising PlayStation’s Spyro before wrapping it up

for his sons for Christmas. The idea is to impress the boys with his

gaming prowess. After all, he’s got an image to maintain, having been

voted ’coolest dad’ at Ben’s and Jake’s school.



’I’ve got a reputation for being hard-nosed,’ he says. ’But I’m not

really, once you get to know me.’





LIKES



West Ham



GMTV’s Penny Smith



Enthusiastic reps



PlayStation





DISLIKES



Arrogant reps



Reps who don’t know their ratecard



Untrained reps



Getting beaten at PlayStation.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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