Harris deserts Active for rival MRI

Michael Harris, sales director of corporate barter company Active International, has defected to its UK arch rival Media Resources International (MRI).

Michael Harris, sales director of corporate barter company Active

International, has defected to its UK arch rival Media Resources

International (MRI).



Harris, who joins as managing director of UK operations, is the third

senior member of staff to jump ship to MRI in the past few months.



Active’s ex-new-business director Steve Lloyd arrived at MRI as sales

director in October together with Lee Arthur, the company associate

media director who is responsible for signing media owners up to the

corporate barter system (Media Business, 11 October).



Harris will take charge of the UK sales division for MRI, which

exchanges companies’ superfluous goods, such as out-of-date computer

equipment or unused plane tickets, for the equivalent value in media

space.



MRI’s chief executive officer for Europe, Simon Lee, said: ’The job is

more of a senior sales function. As well as doing the usual work of a

managing director, Michael will be out there actively presenting at a

very senior level and closing deals with the big corporations.’



The corporate barter company is taking on three more telemarketing staff

for the UK. It has also recruited four multilingual senior sales people

to sell in France, Germany, Sweden, Poland and other European countries,

as part of its plan to create a London-based ’European sales hub.’



Active’s managing director Tim Glover commented on Harris’s move:

’Michael is a good salesman. I’m delighted he’s got the job and we’re

sorry to see him go. We’ve got a strong senior management team here and

he probably couldn’t find the position he wanted. MRI is much smaller

than us so he’ll be able to spread his wings there.’



Active’s senior business development director Paul Trueman will assume

Harris’s role. The company, which claims to be the biggest corporate

barter company in Europe (with MRI as the second biggest), has also

replaced Lee Arthur with John Burr, a former planner/buyer from

MediaCom.



According to MRI, an estimated 2 per cent of UK advertising spend now

goes on corporate barter, a figure it expects will grow to 5 per cent

over the next few years.



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