The Damian Blackden of five years ago would have relished shouting
his mouth off about clubs, music and what really hacks him off about
Now, however, at a mature 33 ’and a half’, Blackden’s ’arrogant, ’I work
for an agency’ phase’’ is over and he’s choosing his words with
He fears coming across ’like a wanker’, or alienating his new-media
So here’s what he wants you to know. He joined Zenith as a 21- year-old
graduate after a particularly unfulfilling job at a bank.
He is now the managing partner of Zenith Interactive Solutions, the
new-media arm of Zenith, which opened its doors for business in
Blackden reports to Chris Ketley, the managing director of Zenith
Interactive and former marketing director of Amazon. He has a team of
nine, including three internet strategists: Jason Carter, Marco Bertozzi
and the fantastically named Swati Lad (with a surname like that she was
surely born to work in sales).
Blackden is also hiring like crazy, so don’t be surprised if the Zenith
Interactive team has doubled in size by the arrival of the Christmas
Zenith Interactive’s main clients are Lloyds TSB, Littlewoods’ Bet 24/7,
BMW, Halifax, the PC company Viglen and the Association of Investment
Ninety per cent of Blackden’s time is spent planning and buying online
campaigns and negotiating third-party content agreements.
The remainder is devoted to interactive TV - expect some announcements
soon - and WAP, although Blackden is sceptical that mobile phones are an
ad medium to be reckoned with, yet.
Outside work? It’s a bit like getting blood out of a stone, but Blackden
is definitely not your Arsenal supporting, golfing type.
He doesn’t go out on the razz any more - ’the recovery time is too long’
- but the Fulham-dweller is partial to a drink. Quaffing takes place
either after work at Zenith’s shifty-looking local The Dudley Arms or on
a Saturday night in Clapham or Brixton with his mates and his missus -
an account planner at Lowe Direct.
Blackden adds that he likes ’trying new things’, a comment he
tantalisingly refuses to elaborate upon. That’s all I’m getting so I
guess I must be grateful.
- His wife’s flat stomach
- Short, concise proposals
- Being lazy
- Time wasters