MARK WESTALL/ KELD VAN SCHREVEN - Run digital agency Hard Reality
Keld van Schreven and Mark Westall run web agency Hard Reality (with third
partner Dan Sumption). They came to new media from conventional
publishing, in the form of the youth lifestyle magazine Gspot, which they
started in the early 90s and later migrated from paper to the web
Van Schreven trained in art and design and has exhibited at international
art fairs in London and Los Angeles. He’s also a capped member of Kent
County Cricket Club, a qualified windsurfing instructor and has a 7th
Grade in Kyoshinkai Karate.
Mark Westall’s background is in PR, and he has at various stages looked
after Patsy Kensit, Pink Floyd and Spandau Ballet, as well as doing
promotions for dance music label Brainiak Records. He also helped to
promote and run various clubs - including Love Ranch, Club UK and Leisure
Hard Reality’s first job was to design an interactive kiosk for
Then came one for Miss Selfridge, and Cityspace, and then came web sites,
including Revolution’s and Campaign’s, which won a Cyber Lion at the
Cannes Advertising Festival last year. Ad agency Leo Burnett bought a
substantial share of Hard Reality at the end of 1998.
Upside: Keld: eternal optimism (”I know this will work”); Mark: still
excited about the Spectrum 48K.
Downside: Keld: mobile phone phobia; Mark: goes up to complete strangers
and offers to build them a web site.
Watch for: The limo to ferry them between Canary Wharf and Sloane
ALUN HOWELL AND MARCUS VINTON - Joint creative directors of advertising
and digital communications, Ogilvy & Mather
Vinton and Howell are a pair. You don’t get one without the other. They
have one of the flashest track records in advertising. Vinton is an art
director by trade, Howell a copywriter. A surfer and ex-lifeguard, Howell
is the one to blame for that annoying Hofmeister bear. Vinton is the flash
one with, as a colleague put it, ”the Range Rover, the house in Notting
Hill with the original Picasso prints on the wall and a baby named Paris
with a silver Gucci rattle”. He’s the one who did the famous Levi’s
swimmer ad. They share a passion for interactivity and multimedia and are
now very much focused on digital TV.
Upside: Howell: brilliant creative mind; Vinton: meticulous attention to
detail, willing to help people.
Downside: Howell: can be moody and uncompromising; Vinton: his egotism can
tend to wind people up.
Watch for: Them heading a separate WPP unit to concentrate on
’non-conventional media’. O&M clients’ work on Sky Digital and Open.
FELIX VELARDE - Director, Head New Media
Enormously opinionated and hugely proud of it, Felix Velarde has managed
to rub just about everyone in new media up the wrong way at some
But there’s no denying the quality of his agency’s work or of its client
list, which includes PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Snickers, Hewlett-Packard,
Lotus and the BBC.
He started his first new-media venture, Hyperinteractive, in 1994, with
Allied Domecq as his first client. Following an acrimonious split with
business partner Richard Mellor, he set up Head New Media in 1997, with
many of his former clients following him to the new agency.
Most people who actually meet Velarde find him less confrontational than
expected. His reputation comes largely from his perfectionism and his
complete refusal to suffer fools gladly. Anally retentive about collecting
Mac Shareware applications, he’s also a techno music nut, and is always
the liveliest on the dance floor.
He used to be a junior international-class sailor.
Strengths: Sets high targets and usually achieves them.
Weaknesses: Manages to annoy a lot of people.
Watch for: More press appearances.
ANDREW WALMSLEY - Head of digital media, BBH
Andrew Walmsley has been involved in most forms of new media, from kiosks
and CD-Rom through to interactive TV, and he’s has been a full-time
nethead since 1993. He left BMP DDB Needham in 1997 to take up his current
role at BBH.
He is also chairman of the Digital Marketing Group, which he founded to
represent the major ad agencies working in new media.
His approach to work is summed up by the Confucian saying: ”Give a man a
job he loves and he will never work a day in his life.” Upside: Good value
down the pub.
Downside: Arrogance, but with an MBA to back it up.
Watch for: The DMG to do something.
EAMONN WILMOTT - Managing director and president, Agency.com Europe
Eamonn Wilmott founded Online Magic in 1995 and became the president of
Agency.com Europe following last year’s merger of the two companies.
He started off in magazine publishing, setting up Super Computing Review
in 1987 in California, aimed at scientists and researchers.
He then developed what is thought to be the world’s first commercial
internet service by turning an ’information exchange’ section of the mag
into a bulletin board.
Wilmott exhibits a classic West-coast management technique, drenching the
office with his energy. Sadly, his initial pride in his glossy 8-series
BMW (with ’WWW’ in its registration) has faded under an onslaught of
mockery from colleagues. For the record, the rumour that Wilmott, just out
of school, used to sell effigies of the Virgin Mary door-to-door, is not
Upside: A true innovator, a good talent-spotter, and knows a thing or two
Downside: His insistence on correct procedure. His car.
Watch for: OM to slow down its staff turnover.
TIM BROWN - Managing director, Real Media
Tim Brown has long experience of advertising representation, most recently
at Powers International, the UK office for Publicitas. He is chairman of
the associate chapter of the International Advertising Association, and is
responsible for international coordination of the IAB UK.
He spent many of his early years in Spain. Called up for military service,
he became an expert in many useful new-media skills - like driving a tank.
He’s also run the Boston marathon.
And it’s only half in jest that he says he plans to retire at 45 to hone
his golf game for the US Seniors Tour.
Upside: Deadly in traffic jams.
Downside: Slightly too normal, slightly too smooth.
Watch for: Firearms.
RICHARD HOLMAN - Managing director, New Media Marketing and Sales
The bruiser of online ad sales, Holman can be charming to those he
respects, and wholly dismissive of those he doesn’t.
Before joining NMMS, whose clients include CricInfo, TicketMaster, Time
Out and a number of Premier League football clubs, in 1996, he worked in
TV and print sales, rising to the position of publisher at BBC
Meanwhile, he was working on an MBA in electronic marketing at City
He has no time for new-media hype and flannel, and enhanced his tough-guy
reputation recently when he refused to take a single day off work after
breaking his arm playing rugby.
Strengths: Highly respected, hugely knowledgeable.
Weaknesses: Takes himself a bit seriously.
Watch Out For: DoubleClick
ANDY MITCHELL - Managing director, DoubleClick UK
Andy Mitchell started as a business analyst at Rank Xerox, crossing to
advertising and the US in 1989. It was in California that he first got
into the internet in a big way.
He returned to the UK as development director, digital communications at
O&M, and joined the newly-formed DoubleClick UK in 1997. He got it off to
a flying start, claiming a 25 per cent share of the advertising sales
market in 10 months. Mitchell is generally seen as a classic defensive
opener, a safe pair of hands. One colleague described him as ”a great
networker with the world’s largest collection of business cards”.
Upside: Commands respect.
Downside: His new beard.
Watch for: DoubleClick vs Engage.
GORDON SIMPSON - Chief executive, InterAd
Gordon Simpson founded the first international internet advertising sales
house back in January 1997, in the form of the European arm of Softbank
Interactive Marketing. He helped to establish it in the UK, France,
Germany and Spain. Last March, he and most of his SIM colleagues left to
create InterAd, billed as the first independent, wholly European internet
sales house. Pan-European campaigns are expected to be a significant
proportion of its business.
Upside: Astute operator, international experience.
Downside: Struggling to sign up the really high-traffic UK sites.
Watch for: Some big UK clients.
CLIENTS AND ONLINE BUSINESSES
RICKY ADAR - Founded and runs digital music distribution company
Proof that techies can turn hip if they hone their image carefully enough,
Adar used to be an R&D engineer for Plessey and Siemens. He decided to
apply his audio compression expertise to his major interest, music, after
seeing the light during a nine-month fishing trip in Greece. His launch of
the Cerberus Digital Jukebox web site in 1995, where users pay to download
dance tracks, made him a small but significant renegade in the music
A self-styled crusader for the wider distribution of independent music, he
managed to convince Levi’s to install his Virtual Record Kiosk in its
stores. Cerberus hopes to have 1,000 installed Europe-wide over the next
His vagueness about things numerical is, one suspects, partly an image
thing, and he can come across a bit ’music-is-my-life’. He’s better
company than this sounds, though, and is respected by the likes of CDnow
boss Jason Olim.
Upside: A true pioneer.
Downside: Perhaps destined to be influential without being mainstream.
Watch for: His bullish rhetoric to be matched by performance.
CHRISTOPHER CODRINGTON - Managing and marketing director of the internet
music and video shop, IMVS
There have been three Christopher Codringtons. The other two were
Governors General of Barbados. Aged 25, ours set up a small private oil
and gas company in Houston, Texas, and ran it for eight years before
setting up a company providing independent radio stations with aerial
Launched in 1992, Metro Traffic Control was funded by 10-second ads inside
the live broadcasting content, and served 64 radio stations by the time he
He joined IMVS as its manager and marketing director in 1995, having known
the founder, David Windsor-Clive, since 1989. Good for a laugh, informal
and hands-on, Codrington is at home working in a smallish team such as
IMVS, and contributes to its relaxed atmosphere.
He avidly follows F1 racing and is happiest soaking up the warm sun, blue
sea and great seafood in the Caribbean.
Upside: Job versatility, entrepreneurship, approachability.
Downside: The JR Ewing of UK new media?
Watch for: When he gets bored.
FREDERIC COLAS - Head of P&G Interactive, Europe, the team that drives P&G
digital marketing strategy and activities.
New-media roles don’t come much bigger than this. Born in Nice, Colas
joined P&G’s marketing department after business school in 1992. He held
several posts as brand manager in France and Portugal, and moved to
Cincinnati in 1996 to be the co-founder of P&G Interactive. He returned to
Brussels last year after two years in the US to create P&G Interactive
He is highly praised by his peers for his energy, vision, openness and
enthusiasm. Just how much of this comes from his passion for computer and
role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons is not clear, but Colas
claims that they help to give him a better understanding of digital
Upside: Huge responsibility, highly respected, yet nice.
Downside: Dungeons and Dragons.
Watch for: P&G to be less US-centric in its new-media activities.
JULIAN COSTLEY - Chief executive, Electronic Share Information and
Projects Costley has got off the ground include satellite communications
subsidiary Maxat (now Globecast), the Computer Channel (the business TV
channel on BSB), and the Business Television Corporation
(business-to-business TV production). He relishes the idea of one day
being able to tell his grandchild how he was responsible for bringing
online share trading to the UK. Tries hard to counteract the boring image
of the company, and make it sound fun.
He’s taken with all things wooden: he has a classic 1921 sailing boat, and
plays the guitar and mandolin. He loves to jam with his guitar-playing
brother, although not in public. Upside: Good at start-ups.
Downside: He faces a big job educating investors.
Watch for: An internet stock market.
SHERRY LEIGH COUTU - Chairman of Interactive Investor International
Coutu has put more than 85 financial services companies on the internet,
among them Schroder, Scottish Mutual, Standard Life and Deutsche Bank.
Before setting up iii, she founded and was managing director of Internet
Securities, rated by Wall Street Journal Europe as the best online source
of financial information.
Coutu’s other jobs have included stints at Andersen Consulting, Coopers &
Lybrand and the LEK Partnership.
She supplemented her politics degree with an MSc in international
economics at LSE and an MBA at Harvard. Enormously hard working, she tries
to go rock-climbing and sailing when she gets a chance.
Upside: Career track record.
Downside: The City establishment has yet to get the net.
Watch for: Online share trading to take off in the UK.
MARK DANBY - General manager, Freeserve
Mark Danby can genuinely be said to have changed the face of the internet
market in the UK, by launching Freeserve, Dixons’ free ISP. It forced
other ISPs, content providers and e-commerce companies to take a hard look
at their business model. Now, having persuaded 475,000 people to use it in
the first six weeks, Danby has to make Freeserve into a profitable
business, and to do that it has to sign up content and commerce
Danby previously worked in management consulting and corporate finance,
and joined Dixons as corporate development manager, with responsibility
for business start-ups.
Upside: Upped the ante.
Downside: Still has to make Freeserve a real portal.
Watch for: Deals with content and commerce partners - soon.
SIMON DARLING - Interactive marketing & e-commerce manager at Unilever
until December 1998
Simon Darling is the man who taught Unilever chairman Niall Fitzgerald to
surf the web. Unilever’s recently announced deal with AOL, Microsoft and
NetGrocer - worth tens of millions of pounds - is the biggest commitment
to new media so far from a packaged goods company.
Darling has played a key role in shaping strategy and raising awareness of
new media within the group, working with everyone from brand and sales
managers right up to the likes of Fitzgerald. He served a classic fmcg
marketing apprenticeship in Unilever’s delightfully named Home and
Personal Wash team before moving on to the interactive job. His remit has
encompassed more than 20 web sites and three interactive TV projects, as
well as various database and relationship marketing projects.
He left Unilever in December to spend time working and travelling in East
Asia and Latin America. Much of his energy recently has been spent
organising the leaving party.
Upside: Vision and passion. Colleagues say he’s always pushing for the
Downside: Infamous as well as famous within Unilever. Has made a few
Watch for: His next job.
PATRICK BURTON - Vice-president global media and brand communication,
Patrick Burton likes to cultivate the image of the cynical old geezer
nursing his pint in the corner of the pub, which is where you’ll often
find him. ”If you want to grow beyond an industry that gets less than one
per cent of clients’ advertising budgets, you all need to grow up, get a
life and learn to have fun,” he told a recent new-media conference.
He started his career as an accountant, but soon moved into media buying,
joining Allied Breweries, via Bass and Cadbury Bourneville, in 1984.
Burton was one of the clients who ’got’ new-media first, launching his
first internet project nearly five years ago. His background gives him an
uncompromising attitude towards things digital. Although he has
consistently invested heavily in web and kiosk projects, Burton has also
been among the most consistent critics of the industry’s self-absorption
and failure to promote itself properly.
Strengths: No-nonsense, plain-speaking approach ...
Weaknesses: ... can get on people’s nerves.
Watch Out For: More heavy-duty new-media investment.
JULIA GROVES - Digital channels manager, British Airways
Not only is Julia Groves one of the leading client marketers in new media;
she also holds the coveted title of Client Most Likely To Be Invited To
Industry Parties, a fact which has a lot to do with her semi-legendary
consumption of liquid intoxicants.
Groves has overcome organisational conservatism to help shape BA into one
of the most impressive new-media client companies. She has a reputation
for being exceptionally quick on the uptake and getting what she
For one so young, she’s impressively high up the food chain of such a
large and byzantine organisation. Has been known to propose marriage to
Tom Bowman (qv), more than once.
Upside: Driven, articulate, intelligent.
Downside: Although good at winning awards, she needs to work on those
acceptance speeches a bit.
Watch for: Further graceful ascent through the BA ranks.
KEITH GIRLING - Head of channel development, Co-op Bank
Not one to flit from job to job, Girling has been with the Co-op Bank for
20 years. Indeed, he has spent most of his working life in banks and tried
his hand at everything from personnel to consumer credit and corporate
But the current job is a quantum leap forward on the
Girling is responsible for the rapid development and delivery of Co-op
Bank services across a range of new-media technologies. There’s no
doubting the fact that this once sleepy bank is out to reposition itself
in a high-profile way.
First came the ethical stance, accompanied by loads of TV ads, now it’s
technology’s turn. The web has recently been littered with banner ads for
the Co-op, all promoting it as the most technologically literate clearing
bank in the UK.
As well as the internet, it has made a big noise with its kiosks in banks
and shops, and its presence on Sky TV’s interactive text service.
Upside: Boundless enthusiasm. In a banking context, he’s a visionary.
Downside: He is a banker.
Watch for: Further virtual banking projects.
BRIAN GREASLEY - Head of product development, Cellnet
When Cellnet’s head of product development Brian Greasley introduced
Genie, he helped to change the nature of both mobile phones and
interactive services.Genie, which sends personalised news and other
information to mobiles, was the brainchild of the ex-art student, and has
since been widely feted in new-media circles. ”If it’s Monday, it must be
awards night,” he is fond of saying, so often does the service pick up
Greasley joined Cellnet five years ago, following a spell at rival
telecoms company Cable & Wireless. He has a reputation for being
ultra-competitive, which extends beyond work and into the boozer, where he
is known to take games of darts very seriously. ”He has all the stress of
a professional sportsman, without the payoff,” says one peer.
Greasley is possessed of a photographic memory and, as befits a man
working in the mobile telephony market, he is a gadget freak, acquiring
every possible piece of dinky hardware before anyone else.
Upside: He dreamt of Genie.
Downside: Thinks telecoms is a dead trendy industry.
Watch for: More awards.
PETER INGWERSEN - Brand manager, Premium, Levi Strauss Europe Middle East
Peter Ingwersen has been hugely influential in the development of internet
advertising in Europe. He not only spearheaded the introduction of the
’I-Candy’ style of advertising with which Levi’s is associated, but was
also one of the biggest online advertisers at a time (1996, early 1997)
when the medium was in its infancy.
Ingwersen’s background is in clothing and fashion design. He was
instrumental in the launch of the Levi.com site in 1995. Since February
1996 he has been in charge of the European interactive media programme,
including the European section of Levi.com, CD-Rom projects, and in-store
His latest job takes him away from day-to-day involvement with new media,
although as brand manager, Premium, he is charged with taking the Levi’s
brand into new areas.
Upside: Creative thinker with a wild enthusiasm for new media.
Downside: It’s sometimes hard to know what he’s on about.
Watch for: Imaginative partnerships that broaden the brand.
TIM JACKSON - Founder and chief executive of online auctioneer QXL
A restless, inquisitive and engaging character who spurns formality,
Jackson was a journalist for 12 years and still writes a column for the
FT. But QXL is his life these days. Jackson stumped up the money to get it
going, and the business is now growing at 30 per cent a month. It’s
expanded into Germany and France, and has branched out from its initial
offering of computer gear and consumer electronics to include jewellery
Jackson is a devotee of street markets and very large Indian restaurants,
and has a tendency to expound on the benefits of Buddhism. Still, how many
people can tell you they’ve no TV, and still sound more honest than
Upside: Good at working out what people really want as opposed to what
they say they’d like.
Downside: Doubts about his people-handling skills - he recently went on a
body language management course.
Watch for: How long will QXL hold his interest?
HERBERT KIM - In charge of marketing Bertelsmann’s online bookselling
Mr Nice Guy, with a knack for selling books online. He has somehow worked
out a way to be disarming while at the same time being one of those
horribly clever US MBA graduates who have come over here to teach us all
about one-to-one marketing.
He forsook IBM’s internet division in New York for Oxford’s spires and the
chance to spend more than #1 million setting up Blackwell’s online
operation, turning it one of Europe’s fastest growing e-commerce sites
before he was poached by Bertelsmann.
Kim is a devout follower of the gospel according to Don Peppers, and
one-to-one marketing could be a topic to avoid if you land up next to him
at the dinner table. Stay off that, however, and he’ll come across as
resolutely casual and unnerdy.
Upside: The move to Bertelsmann confirms him as a new-media
Downside: The combination of being clever and American.
Watch for: BOL’s opening gambit.
WILL LOVEGROVE - New media manager, Ministry of Sound
Will Lovegrove, aka Dr Love, aka Lovey, is the man credited with turning
the Ministry of Sound into a new-media force to be reckoned with.
Joining the Ministry with a PhD in something dreadfully technological,
Lovegrove has seamlessly converted from C++ programmer to marketer. He’s
responsible for the club’s live web broadcasts, its online store, and its
recent decision to become an ISP. Despite his pivotal role, Lovegrove is
still frequently mistaken for a 12-year-old, and wears a trademark look of
spaced-out confusion. His winsome ’mother me’ look seem to have made him
popular with the ladies, in particular Zinc’s account manager Hester Bloch
(qv). Surprisingly, given his job, Lovegrove is known to hate large
Upside: Capable, hard-working.
Downside: Can’t dance.
Watch for: A proper job.
SIMON MURDOCH - Managing director of Amazon.co.uk.
Gentle, quiet, polite ... so what’s he doing trying to be Mr Amazon in the
UK? The answer is that he knows as much as anyone about the UK online
books market. It was the prospect of moving beyond being a niche player
that persuaded him to sell Bookpages, the online bookshop he started in
1996, to Amazon.
Despite a techie background (a PhD in artificial intelligence and nine
years at the software house Triptych), Murdoch has an entrepreneurial
edge. He ended up taking over Triptych with his father and another
investor after three years there, and started specialising in ordering
systems for booksellers; Dillons and WHSmith became clients.
In 1995, Murdoch tried to persuade WHSmith to start selling online, but
the less than enthusiastic response to his idea persuaded him to take the
Upside: A clever guy with his eye firmly set on the top.
Downside: Resolute side parting. And should a man who dreams of being a
science fiction writer have so much influence?
Watch for: How comfortably he will fit into the Amazon mould.
COLIN MACKLIN - Consultant and industry marketing director,
Macklin recently left Thomas Cook, where he was director of consumer
futures, and is now in his element as an independent. He’s one of those
people who seems to find nothing more natural than coming up with 5,000
possible solutions for a new problem. A born consultant, in other
Compulsive and frantic, he was once asked at work why he turned right at
the top of the escalator when everyone else turns left. He explained he’d
measured it was two steps nearer his office and would save him many miles
He’s as avid an enthusiast of one-to-one marketing as ever, and now
divides his time between Broadvision, consultancy Arthur D Little, and
travelling around Europe and the Far East. An ex-Marks & Spencer graduate
trainee, Macklin helped Thomas Cook sell its business travel division to
American Express before persuading the board to give him free reign in a
new-media department. Likes intimidating cigars, although he’s stopped
smoking about 50 times.
Upside: Energy, never gives up, good at spotting opportunities.
Downside: Can be too tenacious and a bit of a whirlwind.
Watch for: More Broadvision clients.
EVA PASCOE - Founder and director of Cyberia Group, and director of new
media at the Arcadia Group
In 1994, the idea of people paying for a coffee and access to a computer
for half an hour to surf the net was considered a bit barmy as a business
idea. Yet that is when Eva Pascoe co-founded Cyberia, the first internet
She is an expert in interface design (which is presumably where the degree
in cognitive psychology comes in useful) and is a forceful evangelist for
the internet and new media.
Apart from Cyberia, she is director of new media at the Arcadia Group,
where she is responsible for the online activities of names ranging from
Debenhams and TopShop to Racing Green and Dorothy Perkins. She is also an
honorary research fellow in consumer psychology at Madrid University, and
has published widely on the topic of online consumer behaviour.
Upside: Vision and determination.
Downside: Is she spreading herself too thinly?
Watch for: Will Arcadia be the first to really crack clothes retailing
NICK PREECE - Head of new media, Bass Brewers
Nick Preece became involved with CarlingNet back in 1995. He is
particularly proud of the way it pioneered the use of microsites - easily
accessible windows that can host secondary brands or sponsors. ”We were
ahead of a lot of the agencies on that one,” he boasts. CarlingNet
(www.fa-carling.com), which serves more than 8.5 million page impressions
a month and is one of the most popular sports sites in the world, has
enabled Bass the advertiser to become Bass the media owner.
Preece has been at Bass for a decade, having also worked as a market
analyst and brand manager. Before Bass it was shelf stacking at Tesco.
Upside: CarlingNet is a big achievement ...
Downside: ... but it needs to do more now to stay ahead.
Watch for: Bass/Carling activity on digital TV.
JEREMY SILVER - Vice-president interactive media, EMI
”The godfather of new media in the music business” is how Silver’s
colleague Danny Van Emden describes Jeremy Silver.
It was Silver who launched Virgin Records’ first web site, but his remit
these days at EMI is much broader. He does not believe all music will
eventually be sold via the net, but he is keen to exploit the commercial
opportunities he does see there.
The Silver CV includes a PhD on the work of Ben Jonson, and a stint as
head of education and publishing at the National Sound Archive (where he
produced a bestselling album featuring British birdsongs).
Upside: Commands respect, good at PR and industry politics.
Downside: Can get some people’s backs up.
Watch for: Advertiser-led programming on interactive TV.
DANNY VAN EMDEN - Creative and multimedia director, Virgin Records
A former journalist, Danny Van Emden worked for titles ranging from Marie
Claire to the Financial Times before ending up as deputy editor at Music
Week. This led to jobs with Virgin Records and Circa Records, whose
signings included Massive Attack and Neneh Cherry. It was after her return
to Virgin that she began to explore new media, eventually establishing a
dedicated department. Things have moved quickly under her leadership and
she claims the internet ”is now fully integrated into the general
marketing of all our artists”. She was also responsible for the
ground-breaking Raft TV interactive programming.
Upside: Creative and prepared to stick her neck out.
Downside: Supports Arsenal.
Watch for: Her to wield some real power in the music industry.
MATTHEW TIMMS - New-media manager, Vauxhall
After a degree in physics and astrophysics, Matthew Timms opted for the
bright lights of marketing, ending up as Vauxhall’s new-media manager 18
months ago. He developed the vauxhall.co.uk presence and the Network Q
site, which achieved a return on investment in three months; managed to
get brand managers to use the web address on TV; and has kept Vauxhall at
the forefront of net sponsorship and advertising. He describes himself as
Upside: One of the pace-setters in online car marketing.
Downside: Everyone’s doing it now
Watch for: More online services.
COLIN WHITTLE - Head of electronic channels, Nationwide
With companies rushing to turn themselves into ISPs, it’s worth
remembering who the real trailblazer was. When Colin Whittle got the
Nationwide to do it back in August, the advantages didn’t seem half so
obvious. It was a brave move for someone who isn’t exactly your
stereotypical new-media innovator. He’s been with Nationwide for 25 years,
and been in financial services since leaving school in 1970. His passions
are chess and fishing, but he also plays the alto sax and is a dedicated
follower of the Ferrari Formula 1 team.
Strengths: Took a brave step.
Weaknesses: So has everyone else now.
Watch Out For: Something that competes with Freeserve?
JAMES ACKERMAN - Chief executive, British Interactive Broadcasting
Ackerman has the tough job of building the interactive services that will
make Sky’s digital TV offering far more than just repackaged
Before taking on the BiB job, he was in charge of Sky’s joint venture
channels, including Nickelodeon, The History Channel, Paramount Comedy
Channel, National Geographic Channel, Granada Sky Broadcasting Channels,
QVC, Sky News Australia and Playboy.
He previously worked for A&E Television and Hearst Entertainment, and
first moved to the UK in 1995 to launch the History Channel, a joint
venture between A&E and BSkyB.
The son of a TV producer and an actress, it’s entirely possible there’s a
media gene somewhere in him. Ackerman is one of the few chief executives
who can claim to be a registered marksman with an M16 rifle, a legacy of
time spent in the US Coast Guard.
Upside: With his track record, he should know what the punters will
Downside: That M16.
Watch for: Television-based e-commerce to really take off once BiB’s
Open-branded services start to hit the screens.
MARCUS BICKNELL - President, CMG Information Services Europe
CMG is a major investor in some of the biggest online names including
Lycos, Geocities, ADSmart, Planet Direct and Engage/Accipiter. Bicknell’s
job involves setting up strategic relationships and helping to get CMG
businesses off the ground in Europe.
He has spent 27 years in consumer marketing, in industries including
satellite, music, TV and new-media. His 15 years in the record industry
were spent first managing Genesis and then with CBS Records and A&M
Bicknell was the first managing director of the Premiere film channel, the
Children’s Channel and Music Box, and was a founder of Societe Europeenne
des Satellites, the company that launched Astra and brought home satellite
TV to Europe.
Upside: Heavy-hitting business experience.
Downside: Is he to blame for Phil Collins?
Watch for: Planet Direct’s UK debut.
DAVID EDMONDS - Oftel regulator
A few choice pronouncements from David Edmonds, who was made telecoms
regulator last year, could have an enormous influence on the growth of the
internet in this country. He is under pressure from BT to change the rules
that made it economic for Dixons to offer free internet access, for
Oftel, he says, will have consumer protection as its main objective, but
he is keen to see the sector remain competitive.
His career has been anything but technological: the 90s were spent looking
after NatWest’s property portfolio; the 80s on Housing Association
initiatives; and the 70s at the DoE.
Upside: Says all the right things.
Downside: He might not be able to reconcile them all.
Watch for: His decision on the ’interconnect charge’.
NIALL FITZGERALD - Chief executive/ joint chairman, Unilever
Fitzgerald is not everyone’s idea of a new-media revolutionary. He has
spent almost his entire career since the mid-1960s either in Unilever or
its subsidiaries, mostly in financial posts. His CV reads a bit like that
of the archetypal Corporate Man.
But as joint chairman (with Morris Tabaksblad) of one of the world’s
biggest consumer packaged goods groups, he is potentially one of the
new-media industry’s most important clients. And he is keen on interactive
marketing, to the point that he has on several occasions savaged the
traditional advertising industry for not embracing it quickly enough.
Unilever and its subsidiaries already have more than 50 brands active on
the web, including Mentadent, Peperami, Lipton and Ragu. And there have
also been several interactive TV trials.
Last year he announced the biggest commitment to date to new media by an
fmcg company, with a deal worth tens of millions of pounds with Microsoft,
AOL and NetGrocer, aimed at developing new methods of interactive
Upside: Open to ideas, devotes time to new media.
Downside: But how much time can he have?
Watch for: A big commitment to interactive TV.
ANDREW CURRY - Controller, Interactive Television, Cable and Wireless
Andrew Curry’s job was created following the merger between Mercury,
Nynex, Bell Cablemedia and Videotron in 1997. At Videotron, he launched
the UK’s first interactive television channel, in February 1993. At its
peak it delivered 35 hours a week of interactive programming to more than
100,000 homes across London. It ran a large-scale interactive advertising
trial with JWT and Kellogg’s. Before Videotron, Curry worked as a producer
on various financial and current affairs programmes at the BBC, ITN,
Channel 4 and in the independent production sector. He is the co-author,
with Steven Barnett, of The Battle for the BBC (Aurum Press, 1994). Much
of his spare time is spent following the mixed fortunes of Sunderland
Upside: As much experience of interactive TV as anyone in the UK.
Downside: Has yet to get a full commercial service up and running.
Watch for: The most interactive of the digital TV services.
RICHARD FOAN - Managing director, ABC//electronic
Richard Foan is one of those people who seem to attract praise and anger
in equal measure, mainly because he’s the one at the centre of the debate
over web site audience measurement standards. Foan joined ABC from a firm
of chartered accountants in 1984 as an inspector and rose up the ranks to
become deputy chief executive. He started ABC//electronic ”from scratch”
in 1996 and it is well on its way to establishing itself as the online
equivalent of the original ABC. Indeed, he boasts that online media ”is
already more measurable” than its traditional counterpart.
Foan is also chairman of the International Federation of ABCs. He has done
as much as anyone to bring the industry together on common, workable
measurement standards, despite a few scuffles along the way, and is
admired by leading media owners in the Internet Advertising Bureau for his
determination and energy.
Upside: Tenacious professional.
Downside: He is an auditor, after all.
Watch for: ABC to help get the message about web accountability over to ad
ANNE JAMIESON - Director, pricejamieson recruitment consultants
A lot of people in the new-media industry owe their jobs to Ann Jamieson,
and woe betide anyone underestimating her influence. Studied law at LSE
with the intention of becoming a barrister, but apparently preferred
arguing in the coffee bar more than working in the library. After a
debt-laden year off, she got a job in The Evening Standard’s ad
department, and thence to Campaign, which she says she thought was a
magazine for the homeless.
Her eight years at Haymarket culminated as ad manager for Computing, where
she lost her fear of computers.
She started pricejamieson in 1982, and the agency now has 60 consultants
and researchers, 10 of them specialising in new media.
She launched Europe’s first recruitment web site in 1994, and has remained
passionate about new media ever since. Renowned as an expert shopper, a
recent trip to India is credited with having significantly improved its
Upside: Sponsors Net Night, useful person to know, whether looking for a
job or a bargain.
Downside: Nickname (AnnJam); she wields enormous power.
Watch for: Your next job.
HERMANN HAUSER - Hermann Hauser is the man who spawned a million
When he invented the Acorn Microcomputer in 1980, and secured the contract
to produce a computer for the BBC a year later, he got more kids into
computers than anyone else, in the UK at any rate. He has been involved in
more than a dozen new-media and high-tech companies, including Electronic
Share Information, Net Products and NetChannel.
He launched the high-tech and new-media venture capital company Amadeus
Capital Partners in 1997.
A lot of the other people in this list wouldn’t have the jobs they do were
it not for him.
Strengths: Probably the most impressive pedigree in the industry.
Weaknesses: And yet very few non-techies know who he is.
Watch Out For: More new companies.
PETER MANDELSON - Trade & Industry Secretary
Mandelson has said that the Government wants to make the UK ”Europe’s
digital pathfinder” by introducing measures that will ”liberate”
electronic commerce and make internet trading safer. Among the proposed
initiatives are legislation to give legal status to digital signatures,
regulate cryptography and the use of ”trusted third parties”.
Ironically, Mandelson probably has more power to cripple e-commerce and
the new-media industry at the outset if he puts a foot wrong than to help
Some of his plans, especially to do with cryptography, have come in for
vehement criticism from both the industry and privacy advocates. And most
of the grand ambition has yet to be backed up by detail. Such potential
pitfalls aside, there’s no doubt that Mandelson is generally making the
right new-media friendly noises (after all, anything that has the word
’new’ in it has got to be OK with the man who invented New Labour). But
his new-media mettle has yet to be tested.
Upside: Genuinely keen to advance Britain’s digital interests.
Downside: Control freakism could hamper e-commerce rather than help
Watch for: Big Brother.
JOHN SWINGEWOOD - Director of BT’s Internet & Multimedia Services
Swingewood has 25 years’ experience in the telecoms, broadcast and
multimedia industries. His #500m BT division employs more than 1,000
He is also a director of British Interactive Broadcasting, a joint venture
between BSkyB, BT, Midland Bank and Matsushita, and of LineOne, a BT joint
venture with News International and United News & Media.
During the late 1980s he established BT’s systems integration division in
the UK, specialising in credit card authorising systems and airline cargo
In 1991, he joined the BT’s Broadcast Services division, where he was
operations manager and later general manager, and was instrumental in
turning it into a #250 million global business. Broadcast Services is
currently a major player in the launch of digital terrestrial television
in the UK.
When not working, he spends time restoring a 1973 Porsche 911 and
He took part in BT’s Global Challenge Round the World yacht race.
Upside: One of the industry’s true heavyweights.
Watch for: Payphones with net access.
BENJY THE BIKER DOG - New media’s top dog, runs the show at digital agency
Benjy the Biker Dog ended up at Lateral as a result of a corporate raid
following its work for the Battersea Dogs Home.
In keeping with what appears to be something of a fashion in the new-media
industry, Benjy likes fast motorbikes - except that he has a chauffeur
named David (Hart), to whom he also seems to have given a job of some kind
Benjy concentrates on keeping his priorities firmly in sight. To quote
from his web site (www.lateral.net/benjy/): ”Since I was found at the dogs
home, I have chosen a life of ride, bike, bark, bark, bark, eat, sleep ...
nice.” Upside: Friendly, loves life.
Downside: Hard taskmaster.
Watch for: His bite.
MARTIN SORRELL - Chief executive, WPP
While most of the titans of the advertising industry spent the early 1990s
ignoring the opportunities (and threats) that new media posed to their
empires, WPP chief executive Martin Sorrell was studying, reading, talking
and exploring the world of new media.
It didn’t take long for him to be convinced that here was something that
WPP, one of the world’s top three marketing services groups, had to get
into. This combination of strategic thinking, a razor-sharp brain and
intellectual curiosity - notwithstanding a mischievous love of industry
gossip - has always been one of Sorrell’s distinguishing
It explains why WPP has a wider portfolio of new-media interests than any
of its peers, with minority stakes in Hotwired, Broadvision, Peapod,
Hyperparallel, Media Technology Ventures and Syzygy.
Their purpose is to allow WPP to see at first hand the ways in which new
media mght be developing and to feed that information back to group
clients like Ford, IBM, American Express, Kellogg, Kodak and Shell.
Upside: Vision and a grasp of the big picture. And a big wallet.
Downside: By his own admission, his personal consumption of new media is
Watch for: WPP as new media owner or content provider. Sorrell is
fascinated by media ownership - out of bounds for an advertising-led group
- but new media is one area where the distinctions blur.