EUROPEAN MEDIA: Europe's big spenders

Campaign asks five European media directors about what media they wake up to, which ads have impressed them in the past 12 months and what have been the most obvious effects of the economic downturn?

OLIVER CLEAVER - European media director, Kimberly-Clark

What is your media spend for Europe?

$80 million (82 million euros).

Which agencies do you use?

MindShare (main), Carat and Initiative Media.

Has media become more creative as the pressures of recession have taken

hold?

Media vendors' focus appears to be on managing down costs; media

agencies are being inspired to get more for less and advertisers are

scrutinising new media even harder. Hard times usually galvanise

creativity.

What has been the most significant event in the European media arena in

the past 12 months?

The bankruptcy of Kirch in Germany.

Which media agencies (not mentioning your own) do you admire for

standing out in the marketplace?

Mediaedge:cia.

From which market do you see the most original media thinking?

UK.

In your view, which is the most innovative media owner in Europe?

JCDecaux.

Do you have any cross-media deals with any media owners in Europe and if

so, which ones?

Sorry, not prepared to answer this one.

What's your favourite ad of the past 12 months?

All the McDonald's ads and BT's corporate guru spoofs.

Which media do you wake up to?

Farming Today.

PAUL BAY - European media director, Levi Strauss Europe

Which agencies do you use?

Our key external media partner in ensuring continual democratic

relevance is Starcom Motive. Not easy to deliver, but with talented

people such as Iain Jacob, we have excellent support.

Which media agencies (not mentioning your own) do you admire for

standing out in the marketplace?

The intuitive light and creative spark tends to be lacking in many

markets.

In your view, which is the most innovative media owner in Europe?

Icecards in the Netherlands are fun, simple and effectively targeted.

Bigger media owners can deliver too: Glamour with its handbag size and

MTV's Levi's Girlfriends Event.

From which market do you see the most original media thinking?

The UK, Portugal and Germany.

Do you have any cross-media deals with any media owners in Europe and if

so, which ones?

At a cross-media level, I see a lot of people at media owners talking

about them, but in reality they are powerless to deliver them. Gone are

the days of Steve Heyer at Turner.

What's your personal favourite ad of the past 12 months?

My son's Miffy bowl.

Which media do you wake up to?

I put on Coronel Hathi's March (The Jungle Book) on the turntable while

I'm getting the little one's breakfast ready. There's no time to

influence my brand selection...my son is in charge of that role.

JASON DAWES - Global media manager, Adidas

What is your media spend for Europe?

About $60 million (62 million euros).

Which agencies do you use?

Carat and PHD.

Has media become more creative as the pressures of recession have taken

hold?

Definitely, although many media owners, especially international ones,

still struggle with the concept!

What has been the most significant event in the European media arena in

the past 12 months?

Ultimately, 9/11 and all its implications.

Which media agencies (not mentioning your own) do you admire for

standing out in the marketplace?

Starcom Motive.

From which market do you see the most original media thinking?

Still the UK I'm afraid.

In your view, which is the most innovative media owner in Europe?

Believe it or not, the partnerships that the International Herald

Tribune is delivering with local newspapers in key markets globally are

pretty special.

Do you have any cross-media deals with any media owners in Europe and if

so, which ones?

Nothing worth raising as ones to watch.

What's your personal favourite ad of the past 12 months?

I like the Grolsch campaign.

Which media do you wake up to?

None.

MIKE GINGELL - European communication channel manager, Lever Faberge

What is your media spend for Europe?

Unilever invests about 1.2 billion euros.

Which agencies do you use across Europe?

Initiative Media and MindShare.

Has media become more creative as the pressures of recession have taken

hold?

Not really. Media has become more effective and efficient with a lot of

pressure on extracting the maximum value out of the budgets.

What has been the most significant event in the European media arena?

Media owner consolidation/regrouping, which will provide opportunities

for advertisers as well as potential threats.

Which media agencies (not mentioning your own) do you admire for

standing out in the marketplace?

Carat and McCann-Erickson are both strong in terms of consumer insight,

in which they invest significant resource.

From which market do you see the most original media thinking?

On relatively limited budgets, some of the Central and Eastern European

countries (Poland and the Czech Republic) are demonstrating a dynamic

and open attitude to both new and old channels. In Western Europe, the

UK and the Netherlands have consistently high standards.

In your view, which is the most innovative media owner in Europe?

I would have said Bertelsmann until Thomas Middlehof's departure!

Do you have any cross-media deals with any media owners in Europe and if

so, which ones?

Yes, with the outdoor specialist JCDecaux. We also have a global deal

with AOL Time Warner, which we are beginning to exploit in Europe.

What's your personal favourite ad of the past 12 months?

My favourite ads always work on an emotional level, so for my kind of

humour it has to be Fosters' "robot cleaner", Tango's "helmet" and for

heartstrings Orange's photo messaging "don't just talk, see".

Which media do you wake up to?

Radio 5 Live.

SARAH ALSPACH - EU communications and advertising manager, Shell

European Oil Products retail

What is your media spend for Europe?

$50m (51 million euros).

Which agencies do you use across Europe?

All media is with MediaCom and all advertising with J. Walter Thompson.

Has media become more creative as the recession has taken hold?

Yes. There is an onus on advertisers and agencies to think about the

return on communication investment in the current climate, and the

increased resource allocated to thinking is delivering more creative

media solutions.

What has been the most significant event in the European media arena?

The implosion of Kirch. We are still waiting to see the final

ramifications.

Which media agencies (not mentioning your own) do you admire for

standing out in the marketplace?

Carat is a strong performer and its independence and strong management

make the network distinctive in the marketplace.

From which market do you see the most original media thinking?

The UK without a doubt. But we're starting to see increasingly creative

solutions developed in a number of other western and northern European

markets.

In your view, which is the most innovative media owner in Europe?

I've been particularly impressed by the NRJ Radio network - they think

in a very through-the-line way, offering a package, which includes

elements other than straight airtime proposals.

What's your favourite ad of the past 12 months?

I really like the new Peugeot 206 TV ads (the one where the guy beats

his car into the shape of a Peugeot) and I also think that the Schweppes

print ads are excellent.

Do you have any cross-media deals with any media owners in Europe and if

so, which ones?

None at present, but the chances of assembling a strategic deal that

suits our communication objectives in Europe get greater every year.

Which media do you wake up to?

I hate waking up in the mornings and therefore do not consume any media

as it is likely to wake me up rather than let me drift peacefully into

my day! I walk to work so I'm not exposed to much other than outdoor -

however, if I take the tube I read Metro.

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