AMS broadcast manager Steve Jenkins is a man of few words. This
could be because he commutes from rural Cambridgeshire every day,
because his baby is sapping his energy or, more likely, because he is
thinking about the next Grand Prix.
Jenkins, 31, fell into media accidentally. He left school at 16 with no
career plans. At a loss, he began a YTS scheme at Colchester arts
His tasks ranged from hanging paintings to sweeping floors, interspersed
with ’a great deal of under-age drinking’.
Jenkins got his break after babysitting Geoff Cole’s son Stuart (who now
works at Rathbone Media). At the time, Cole was media director at Acme
Media - part of Saatchi & Saatchi - and he offered Jenkins a job.
The 17-year-old jumped at the chance and was pleased to discover on his
first day that the media industry offered yet more opportunities for
’Geoff Cole took me and the chairman of Saatchis to the pub where I had
nine pints - and this was in the days when pubs shut in the
I resisted the temptation of the strip club and staggered back to work,’
It was at Acme that Jenkins met Frank Lyons, who would end up being his
boss at AMS.
In 1994, Jenkins left Acme for CIA, where he progressed to group
By then, Lyons had moved to AMS as media director and in 1997 he offered
Jenkins a job at the agency.
Jenkins says he is ’very happy’ at AMS, although he could be lured away
if Eddie Jordan offered him the job as commercial manager of his Formula
For an unassuming type, Jenkins is passionate about media. He heads
planning and buying for Red Bull, Bernard Matthews, Hardy’s Wine and
Tabasco. He has an annual budget of pounds 10 million and he plans and
buys TV, radio and cinema. Unsurprisingly, Jenkins is looking forward to
hiring an executive to assist him.
He admits that Red Bull takes up most of his time at work and does not
take kindly to sales people who suggest sponsorship ideas for the
After all, he’s already told them it isn’t interested.
Oh yeah, and don’t backchat him by saying Red Bull sponsors the
Sauber-Petronas Formula 1 team. It doesn’t - it owns it. And if anyone
knows, Jenkins does.
- Sponsorship ideas for Red Bull