Stephen Allan

Stephen Allan

Worldwide chairman and chief executive

MediaCom

Contact me
My Character:
  • Tough
What have you been proudest of this year?

Am I allowed three? Agency of the year in the US and UK. Our number-one ranking by Recma on quality for global media networks. More than 900 wishes granted by Rays of Sunshine, my charity for terminally and seriously ill children.

And what's been your biggest disappointment?

Winning less than 100 per cent of the new-business pitches we participated in.

When was the last time you surprised yourself?

When I last weighed myself. Not good.

If you could change one thing about the industry at the moment, what would it be (and why)?

The new-business pitch process. There has to be a better way for agencies and clients alike. For agencies, they are too time consuming and costly. For advertisers, I'm not convinced they get a true representation of what it would be like working with the competing agencies.

How do you get your creative juices flowing?

Generally by talking with colleagues and bouncing ideas off them.

You're planning a fun night out. Who from the industry would be your (fantasy) playmates (and why)?

With me there it wouldn't be fun for any one. So I'd tell them to go without me.

The internet has been banned. What do you miss most (and why)?

E-mail. I can't imagine doing my job without it.

What's the last Google search you did?

How to lose weight quickly.

The robots are coming. What would you get yours to do for you?

Present our quarterly numbers to WPP.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A photographer.

All the world's culture (art, music, literature etc) is about to be destroyed. What one thing would you save (and why)?

In my case, the Torah (but equally the Bible/Koran etc, depending on one's faith). Without basic laws there can't be civilisation.

I'm still here because…

I love what I do and the people I work with.

The lowdown:

Like his peers on the global media scene, Stephen Allan has been a little preoccupied this year with the tsunami of whopping media reviews that have characterised the media year. The frenzy reached its apogee when Allan found himself doing two pitches back-to-back. Trouble was, one was in the US, the other in Germany. There followed a saga familiar to fans of Planes, Trains And Automobiles. It’s testament to Allan’s perpetual determined ambition that he ultimately came up smiling.

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