It’s a tough life being a head of cinema. You’ve got to drag
yourself to film premieres, sit through movies that us plebs won’t see
for a month, make small talk with the likes of Tom Cruise and go on
boring skiing trips to Verbier with Carlton Screen Advertising.
’Yeah, it’s a nice job,’ admits Universal McCann’s Sarah Harrison with a
grin. ’It’s also pretty friendly as it’s such a small industry. There
are only two cinema advertising companies - Carlton Screen Advertising
and Pearl & Dean - and you often have to use both to get the coverage,
so we know each other really well.’
Universal is the second biggest buyer of cinema advertising after Carat,
spending around pounds 9 million on the medium last year.
Around pounds 4 million of that figure was spent by the Central Office
of Information, which runs big cinema drives to find recruits for the
army and navy. She also lines up cinema campaigns for Bacardi, Sprite
But the Bristol-born Clapham dweller doesn’t just do cinema. The rest of
her days are spent as media account director for Wickes conservatories
and kitchens, Nestle Foods, Panasonic and Air Canada.
In the final quarter of last year, Wickes Building Suppliers favoured
press with some radio, while Nestle brands Honey Nut Cheerios, Honey Nut
Shredded Wheat and Nesquick were advertised mainly on television.
For Panasonic’s television products, Universal bought television and
outdoor; and for Air Canada it snapped up TV spots mixed with some
Out of hours, Harrison loves to go travelling but she’s not a Bognor or
Benidorm girl. Trekking off to China and Russia via the Trans-Siberian
Railway or visiting Peru’s Machu Picchu - where she spent her honeymoon
in September- are more her style.
She speaks French, Russian, Italian, Portuguese and, wait for it,
Bulgarian, so it is more than likely that she can converse with the
The former CIA Medianetwork employee confesses to having a bit of a
’hyper’ personality. So when not working or exploring the globe,
Harrison tries to chill out with some wine tasting and yoga - one class
she attends more than the other. No prizes for guessing which.
Cookies and cream Haagen-Dazs
Folk taking themselves too seriously
Arrogant sales people.