’Back in the TMD Carat days, I was known in the industry as the
gorilla with the calculator,’ confesses Mark Jarvis, the 38-year-old
powerhouse who sits at the helm of Carat’s broadcast department. ’The
expression came about because I had developed a reputation for being
something of an aggressive buyer. However, I’ve calmed down a lot since
Even so, Jarvis admits his style of conducting business still veers
towards the disarming. So it’s advisable to be well prepared before
knocking on his door.
’I’m a commercial buyer through and through. By that, I mean I’m
interested in making money, and lots of it. You can keep your media
glamour and golf courses, it’s the thrill of the chase that keeps me
where I am.’
Indeed, Jarvis has stayed at Carat for almost his entire career. He
started in TV sales in the early 80s and moved to Carat almost 15 years
ago as a buyer. A decade later, he jumped into Dave King’s shoes as
broadcast director and has headed an army of 67 planners and buyers
As the number two media agency in the UK, with an annual client spend
totalling pounds 300 million across TV, radio and cinema, it’s not
surprising that Jarvis adopts a hard-nosed approach to business.
He’s personally in command of the Central Office of Information account
and News International, both big spenders with the agency. Most of his
time is eaten up by balancing the needs of staff, clients and media
He also warns that he doesn’t succumb to bribery, although it’s worth
knowing that his favourite eatery is the Neal Street Restaurant, in case
he changes his mind.
Outside work, Jarvis is a fanatical rugby player, while on the soccer
front he supports Chelsea. He’s also a big family man who never goes on
holiday without his wife and three children. In fact, the Jarvis family
are off to Lanzarote next week for a quiet break.
After getting bruised on the rugby pitch, he spends the remainder of his
time ferrying the children to and from various sports clubs, dancing
classes and friends’ houses.
’You see,’ says Jarvis, ’I’m not just a tough lad. I might be a hardened
drinker and smoker, but I do have a sensitive side. I’m just a very
private person and keep my work and home life totally separate.’