DIARY: ICE TO ESKIMOS - Insert expert makes an Astra-nomical recovery

Andrew Mercer pulled off the deal of his life soon after a near- death experience.

Andrew Mercer pulled off the deal of his life soon after a near-

death experience.



Mercer, now ad director of the Radio Times, previously worked as an

insert sales executive at The Mirror. Shortly after an accident at home

involving an exploding boiler, our hero hobbled into Lowe Howard-Spink

on crutches, with his laptop strapped to his back.



’I was kept waiting and was about to leave, but my colleague, Peter

Muscant, persuaded me to stay. We pitched to Gary Birtles and Terry

Edwards, who ran the Vauxhall Astra account. I knew they were

relaunching the Astra at the Motor Show and that they had a sales

brochure.



I said: ’Why don’t you insert it into The Mirror?’ Their quizzical looks

made me wonder whether I had said something profound or profoundly

stupid.



’Anyway they bought it - three million brochures - the biggest single

insert deal ever done. Later, a headhunter called up. ’Whoever did the

Astra insert deal is the type we’re looking for,’ he said.’



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