Metro styles sales team on agencies

By JONAH BLOOM,, Monday, 27 September 1999 12:00AM

Metro is hiring, firing and restructuring to create a sales team in the image of a media planning agency.

Metro is hiring, firing and restructuring to create a sales team in

the image of a media planning agency.

In a radical departure from traditional newspaper sales strategies,

Metro is going to be sold like outdoor media or radio. ’We are not like

other newspapers,’ said Mike Anderson, deputy managing director. ’We own

London between seven and nine in the morning. In effect we have 350,000

moving posters. Anyone who has been to the ’drain’ at Waterloo will tell

you it’s a phenomenon. We have to sell it this way.’

To achieve this change in thinking, Anderson - who worked with New PHD

until earlier this year - has started a total overhaul of the sales


Rather than having a sales director, sales managers and sales

executives, he has decided to appoint a head of trading, a brand group

head and a head of planning. Four brand managers and eight assistant

brand managers will report to these three heads.

Anderson has lured Evening Standard regional sales director Ben Davey

away from the sister newspaper to take the head of trading role, and

poached GQ ad director Justin Farnan as brand group head. He is still

hunting for people to fill the other 13 posts. He would not talk about

redundancies, but sources close to the company said these were


’Media agencies cottoned on to the need for planner/ buyers a long time

ago,’ said Anderson. ’But media owners have failed to create the


That is what I am trying to do, I need people who understand our

commodity, and speak the planners’ language.’

Members of the new team will ’not be suited and booted’, and they will

not be taking taxis or drinking alcohol. They will however be travelling

on the tube and going into pubs and clubs. ’I want people who are the

brand, just the way MTV salespeople were the brand when they first

started selling in London.’

The sales/planning team will also be encouraging buyers to use London

Underground poster sites and Metro simultaneously.

This article was first published on


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