Analysis: How To Sell To ... Pete Robins - You’ll need to run fast to keep up with the Media 21 founder

Take up triathlons. No, seriously. They call the Media 21 founder Trialthlete Pete - so stop boozing, get up at 4am and cycle for 25 miles before work, go to work, jog home and be in bed by 10pm.

Take up triathlons. No, seriously. They call the Media 21 founder

Trialthlete Pete - so stop boozing, get up at 4am and cycle for 25 miles

before work, go to work, jog home and be in bed by 10pm.



OK, here’s a more realistic piece of advice. If you want to impress

Robins, don’t storm in there blagging about how great your spanking new

internet start-up is. The online advertising industry is, despite all

the hype, still something of a cosy cartel, and the chances are Robins

knows a hell of a lot more about your hot internet venture than you

do.



He’s probably had a drink (orange juice, if in training) with your boss,

advised him on distribution deals and planned and bought the space - so

the last thing he wants is someone who doesn’t know his banners from his

backside.



Media 21 has just won the online planning and buying contract for the

web auction house QXL.com, which is one of the biggest spenders on

online advertising. It also works for BOL.com, Funmail, UpMyStreet, VNU,

BSkyB and Express Newspapers, and dabbles in interactive television and

WAP (wireless application protocol).



Robins, formerly of the creative online advertising agency Modem Media

Poppe Tyson, set up Media 21 with Nick Suckley, who was handling

strategic planning for Express Newspapers, and Rick Sareen, a former

Lowe Howard-Spink director. Sareen is the only employee over the age of

30.



’I was fed up with getting the Sunday blues and with people crying in

the toilets,’ says the 28-year-old Robins. ’I thought, ’it doesn’t have

to be like this’.’



It isn’t. At Media 21 no-one has a job title (’I’m the leader, not the

boss’), a TV screen plays music videos, employees thrash out games of

table football and sometimes everyone clocks off at Friday lunchtime to

go to the cinema.



They also meet every week to vote on their favourite salesperson. Those

who come up with dazzling ideas get a Media 21 mug for their

trouble.



A past recipient of the Mug of the Week prize includes Peter Cobley,

account manager at Carlton Online. There’s also a Twat of the Week prize

but the less said about that, the better.



LIKES

Triathlon

Arsenal FC

Receiving updates on your site

DISLIKES

Hierarchical agency structures

Media folk who give it ’the big I am’

The hard sell



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