Having a heavyweight client like United Biscuits (McVitie’s, KP,
Young’s, Linda McCartney, San Marco Pizzas) means Michelle Steggles sees
her fair share of media owners, all gagging for a bite of the pounds 30
million budget she wields for UB - as well as her much smaller client,
The bulk of UB’s money is spent on TV, although the fmcg giant is
exploring posters and women’s magazines and will continue to do so next
Steggles spent six years at Abbott Mead Vickers, then joined Leo
Burnett’s media department -which rebranded as Starcom in July - in
1996. She works a four-day week, having her hands full with Noah, her
one-year-old son, for the remainder.
Time, therefore, is precious. ’Working just four days means I don’t have
time to piss about,’ she says bluntly. ’I like people to be very
While appreciating that campaigns need to be backed by ’sound strategic
thought’, Steggles prefers to see creative presentations, including
mock-ups of creative buying ideas and case studies, rather than reams of
statistics and numbers. It’s what she presents to clients and what she
expects to see from owners.
Her second piece of advice is to tailor your presentation to the brand
(Digestive eaters are a different breed to Jaffa scoffers) and talk up
your media (eg press) before storming in with your magazine. Finally,
think up ’out of the box’ ideas rather than rehashing the same old stuff
done by thousands of advertisers before.
’Any fool can place a page in a magazine,’ adds Steggles. ’I want to
take it further.’
If all that fails, take Steggles out for an Indian, Italian,
in fact, any kind of food will do. Which is probably why another way of
wooing her would be to pack her off to a health farm for the
’I love being pampered,’ she confesses. ’I try to get as many massages
She also likes to fiesta with the best of them. ’Michelle is tough but
can also be the life and soul of the party,’ says Starcom’s joint
managing director Richard Beaven. ’She likes a drink and a good laugh.
Actually, she’s a bit of a ladette.’
Case studies of previous campaigns and ’mock ups’ of your ideas
Reps who don’t tailor their ideas to suit individual brands
Reps who assume you must advertise in their magazine.