Fly him out to watch Brazil play in the Maracana stadium, soak up
the sun on Ipanema beach, knock back a few caipirinhas and carnival ’til
dawn. Even if you couldn’t talk Enyi Nwosu into a deal after that, you’d
have had a damn good time. The trip would combine Nwosu’s two great
passions - music (latin, jazz, R&B and rap) and football.
’I’ve travelled a lot and spent time in Africa because of my Nigerian
roots, but to watch a game in Rio at Carnival time would be a dream come
true,’ he says enthusiastically.
At 29, Nwosu is one of Optimedia’s youngest directors. The South
Londoner kicked off his career at The Media Shop, followed by a six-year
stint at Lowe Howard Spink’s media arm (now Western International
Last year he was poached by Optimedia. He is one of 80 or so working
under managing director Simon Mathews, who took an axe to the agency on
his arrival four years ago.
Staff were shed in a bid to carve out a younger and more dynamic
Nwosu looks after a host of premium brands including L’Oreal Parfums et
Beaute, owner of Lancome and Helena Rubinstein; Prestige and Collections
- which markets fragrances for Giorgio Armani, Cacharel and Ralph Lauren
- NBA Basketball and Allied Domecq.
He describes himself as ’laid-back and approachable’. But sales reps who
talk insincerely of ’forming partnerships’ but take the money and run
will not be tolerated. ’They say ’we’re not just here for the money’ but
in reality they don’t have a clue about your clients or what your
objectives are,’ says Nwosu. ’It’s irritating.’
He likes those who dream up ideas over and above selling space.
’Building relationships is what the business is all about now,’ he
explains. ’Sales people have to be more creative. Being young myself,
I’ve got no issue with age. If a 20-year-old comes up with a great idea,
then that’s fine with me.’
The tricky part is tracking him down. ’ ’How to sell to?’’ mocks
’It should be called ’How to catch him at his desk.’’
Ideas that go ’above and beyond’ the straight sell
Reps who understand his clients
Cold-calling reps who ask what accounts he handles
Owners who promise a ’partnership’ but take the money and run.