Analysis: How To Sell To ... Tara Marus - BJK&E’s media group head will beat you with a five iron, warns Lexie Goddard

Tara Marus is worried. ’I’ll probably come across as the dullest person in media,’ she frets as we settle down to chat. Why? Unlike most agency folk who jump ship every 12 months, Marus arrived at BJK&E for a week of work experience and ended up staying for six years. ’If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ she explains frankly. ’I like it here.’

Tara Marus is worried. ’I’ll probably come across as the dullest

person in media,’ she frets as we settle down to chat. Why? Unlike most

agency folk who jump ship every 12 months, Marus arrived at BJK&E for a

week of work experience and ended up staying for six years. ’If it ain’t

broke, don’t fix it,’ she explains frankly. ’I like it here.’



But dull she isn’t. People who have received a tongue-lashing from Marus

know how strong her character is. Indeed, some might call her downright

scary. ’I’m sure many media owners are frightened of me,’ she says with

a sly smile.



Her clients are also anything but boring. Triumph underwear, Chrysler,

Seiko watches and FT.com all come under the watchful eye of the

Battersea-dwelling media group director.



Marus and her team - planners/buyers Duncan Owen and Jason Smith - are

also about to relaunch the hairspray brand Harmony, this time without

the kitsch ’Is she or isn’t she?’ 1970s strapline. Finally, they are

putting together a ’fun and funky’ media plan for the launch of Coors

Light, the American beer that arrives herein October.



Marus reports to agency director James Jennings but insists that BJK&E

is not into hierarchy. ’We’re like one big family,’ she adds. A typical

family outing goes as follows: pints of Fosters in the Coach and Horses,

a tiny Irish pub near BJK&E’s Covent Garden office, before moving to

PJ’s where they knock back tequila until they are chucked out at 2am

(see Diary, p28). ’I’m surprised they still let us in,’ she laughs.



The group head is ’addicted’ to golf and has a ’respectable’

handicap.



But to avoid completely embarrassing yourself on the fairway, you should

know that Marus won first prize in a golf tournament organised by

BJK&E’s occasional ad partner Delaney Fletcher Bozell.



Still afraid of picking up the phone? BJK&E managing director Mark

Patterson assures Media Business that Tara is, in fact, a softy. ’Her

bark’s worse than her bite,’ says Patterson. ’She’s very cuddly - a real

daddy’s girl.’



But you don’t stand much chance of getting cuddles unless you’re

tall.



Apparently, Marus only goes for fellas over six foot two.



LIKES

Golf

Jollies (’can’t get enough of them’)

Tall men

DISLIKES

Account history requests

Clockwatchers

Time wasters



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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).