THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Top media buyers

1. Mark Jarvis, the TV buying director of Carat.

You might think it's easy having all that billings leverage to play with

- and it's true that Mark doesn't look like the sort of geezer you'd

mess with, know what I mean? But, in actual fact, keeping all of the

group's clients sweet and all of its deals on track is a potential

nightmare. "It's a fiendishly complex jigsaw and making it all fit

together at the end of the year is no small task," one media owner

points out.

2. Tim Kirkman, Carat's press buying director, is the other half of the

dynamic duo.

Kirkman looks the slightly more intellectual of the two, but actually,

he's the one who spends his spare time practising with his shooter.

These Carat people demand, and usually get, respect.

3. Mick Perry, the chairman of Magna Global UK, Interpublic Group's

central negotiation unit.

The big theme this year is consolidation and who better to illustrate

the concept than Mick, who's as consolidated as they come? He's

statesmanlike and eminently reasonable. But then, who needs to bang

tables when you have IPG billings behind you?

4. Nick Theakstone, the head of investment at MindShare.

Nick has just slipped into the hot seat at MindShare, where his job will

be to manage the agency's deals - under the watchful eye of the managing

director, Simon Rees, the master of TV deal management.

5. Andy Roberts, the executive buying director of Starcom Motive.

Andy is another vastly experienced player who has come into his own in

the emerging world of consolidated negotiations. Popular and amiable, he

always manages to get the best out of media owners.

6. Chris Amor, the head of press at OMD.

There should be more colourful characters such as Chris in the business.

As one media owner puts it: "He's a brilliant buyer. And he's a

throwback to how things used to be - brilliant, but shit at admin. He

regularly puts both feet in. But everybody loves him."

7. Nigel Allmond, the founder of The Allmond Partnership.

Small, but perfectly formed. Mark's agency, that is. Not so small, come

to think of it, though it has only has one client, BT. Having just one

client has its own pros as well as cons, but Allmond makes it work

beautifully. Renowned as an extremely astute operator.

8. Paul Parashar, the broadcast director of PHD.

Paul is the leading light of the more thoughtful school of TV trading.

Sure, the day-to-day trading is very important and is properly buttoned

down, but Paul uses his personal vision of the bigger picture to seek

longer-term and more strategic relationships with media owners. He has

also successfully extended his department's remit to cover all of the

digital media.

9. John McGeough, a director of Manning Gottlieb Media.

The big negotiations are handled centrally at OMD, but the TV people

within individual units still have plenty of scope to spread their

wings. McGeough is said to be typical of a new generation of media

buyers - they're more interested in forging win-win relationships with

the media owners than in macho swaggering and brinkmanship.

10. Chris Hayward, of Zenith Media.

Some TV sales people don't really know what to make of Chris. "He's a

real Scouse Scally with an education. Oxbridge, the lot. How did that

happen?" one media owner asks. It's rather like the rare combination of

qualities he brings to the Zenith job, which is one of the most complex

in the business. "You need tenacity and integrity in that role," another

source adds . "Chris has bags of both."


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