John Rooke has been there, done that. He launched Weebles (’Weebles
wobble but they don’t fall down’) at Gray; drilled a hole in the floor
and played office golf at the full-service agency Mallerman Summerfield
James; did loop-the-loops in a helicopter with his boss at the now
defunct London Media and told Kylie Minogue he loved her. And that’s
just a taster.
Rooke has had more jobs than hot dinners since he started out in 1976 at
the age of 19. But ’for some unknown reason’, he has always managed to
work on a beer account.
In June, the East Londoner landed the role of media director at 10
Media, a subsidiary formed to handle planning and buying for the clients
of marketing services company 10 Group. 10 Media, whose clients include
Chubb Insurance, Barratt Homes and Deloitte & Touche, is a joint venture
with Expert Media and is headed by Expert’s affable managing director
Rooke is housed in Expert’s offices which allows him to use the agency’s
photocopier, nick a few staff when necessary and discuss what GMTV
newsreader Penny Smith was wearing that morning.
10 Media has billings of between pounds 6 million and pounds 7 million
but Rooke thinks the division will soon outgrow Expert’s Carnaby Street
He wants to win more fmcg, tourism and music accounts and negotiate as
many sponsorship deals with West Ham as possible.
Rooke sealed West Ham’s first ever sponsorship deal years ago. ’No-one
has ever heard of the client,’ he says sheepishly. ’But I did get to
meet all the players and sit in the directors’ box.’
The Greenwich-based director steers clear of work beers from Wednesday
to Sunday when he looks after his sons: 11-year-old Ben and
nine-year-old Jake. The time is spent driving the boys from one sporting
activity to the next or battling it out on the PlayStation.
Rooke is sneakily practising PlayStation’s Spyro before wrapping it up
for his sons for Christmas. The idea is to impress the boys with his
gaming prowess. After all, he’s got an image to maintain, having been
voted ’coolest dad’ at Ben’s and Jake’s school.
’I’ve got a reputation for being hard-nosed,’ he says. ’But I’m not
really, once you get to know me.’
GMTV’s Penny Smith
Reps who don’t know their ratecard
Getting beaten at PlayStation.