Media: Perspective - De Nardis can help wipe out nostalgia trips atAegis Media
By by Ian Darby, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 28 October 2005 12:00AM
All the talk on the away terrace at Yeovil on Saturday was about Ant & Dec's remake of the darts quizshow Bullseye, which was to be shown later that night. Phrases such as "bus fare home", "In one" and "You can't beat a bit of Bully" were much in evidence.
Nostalgic good humour that suggested ITV1's audience share would be high that night. But not everyone was tuning into Ant & Dec's Gameshow Marathon.
In a cab back to Yeovil Junction station (which is miles from anywhere), Hawkeye, Coxy and myself had the pleasure of being driven by a lady called Di. The tattooed Di had left her disabled husband at home in front of the telly while she did a few Saturday night jobs. Would he be watching the Bullseye remake on ITV, we excitedly enquired. "No, we don't watch ITV," she said. What would he be watching then? "Police chase shows," she calmly replied, as though it was the most normal thing in the world for a cab driver to say, which it probably is in Yeovil.
The football aside, then, it was refreshing to get out of the media bubble of London to find that people have some rich and strange television viewing habits.
Back to the office on Monday morning and it seemed the rural Somerset madness was still in the air with the news that Mainardo de Nardis, the chief executive of Mediaedge:cia, had just been announced as the chief executive of Aegis Media.
It seems an odd moment for de Nardis - urbane and intelligent but armed with a reputation as a tough businessman acquired during his time as Chris Ingram's fixer at CIA - to be joining Aegis, the subject of so much takeover speculation with de Nardis' WPP employers among the runners and riders.
But with Publicis dropping out of the running, other suitors are keeping their powder dry and there is still a job to do at Aegis and a clear rationale for the appointment of a global chief executive of its media arm.
The Aegis chief executive, Robert Lerwill, is not a media man by background and needs a representative to move between himself and his local operational teams at Aegis Media. Also, Aegis Group has grown significantly over the past two years, especially through diversifying on the research side, so it no longer seemed viable to have a chief executive running both the media side and the plc.
It remains to be seen, of course, if de Nardis is a good choice for the role. But, for now, his arrival creates a positive headline for Aegis, which has lost so much talent from its media operations in recent years.
It might also dispel some of the nostalgia surrounding names such as Kemoun, Rebbouh and Craze.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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