It’s 9.30am on Monday and Spencer Stratford is bleary-eyed. He’s
recovering from a drunken reunion of the Courcheval snowboarders and is
struggling slightly with WWAV Rapp Collins’ clattering canteen and
glass-walled, sun-filled offices.
The senior planner/buyer jacked in the nine to five last December for a
six month ’sabbatical’ in the French Alps. Memories of days spent
perfecting the 180-degree turn and nights behind famous Latin American
Alpine bar El Gringo bring a smile to his lips.
’I’d like to do it again but I’d miss Hammersmith too much,’ he
The 26-year-old has been working at WWAV’s riverside HQ for three years
and now handles Legal & General - one of the media agency’s biggest
clients, which is headed by media director Pete Mitchell. Legal &
General’s spend goes largely on national newspapers with a few financial
publications and radio stations thrown in.
All ads are direct-response driven so Stratford is more concerned about
logging call rates than obsessively monitoring circulation figures.
’Whether I like or don’t like a publication is irrelevant,’ he explains.
’It’s all about getting a good response at a certain cost.’
The good news is that he’s been on the sales side of the fence. ’If I
had a pound for every time I was told to fuck off I’d be a rich man by
now,’ he sniggers, recalling the days he flogged space for Centaur’s
Architect, Builder, Contractor & Developer. ’I’ve been there,’ he
He dislikes the ’rigid structures’ which sales staff, especially on
national newspapers, now have to adhere to as it means decisions cannot
be made quickly. ’You can tell when you are speaking to sales executives
that the decision is not in their hands. Everything is more accountable
and serious now, which is a shame.’
What does he like to hear from sales people? ’That the rate is
exceptionally cheap,’ of course.
Out of hours, Stratford can be spotted donning the ’ridiculously tight
shorts’ required for Aussie Rules football. But if we’re talking
fantasies, boarding in the States would be the ultimate high. ’That
would be cool,’ he says. ’I can think of loads of other stuff I’d love
to do, but it’s probably unprintable.’
Exceptionally cheap rates