What do you do?
I am responsible for media planning and buying for direct response
campaigns for the growing range of Reader’s Digest products, from books
to music and video although excluding the magazine. Our main aim is to
recruit new names to the Digest as cost efficiently as we can.
How did you get to where you are today?
I joined the company eight years ago from Meridien Computers (aka United
Leasing) where I was UK manager for its marketing intelligence
I came up through the music product group, where I was responsible for
media planning. I switched roles when the market development department
was set up 18 months ago.
Who (or what) are you competing against?
Outdated perceptions of the Digest brand. We are trying to move our
customer profile down in age and are working to ensure consumers see us
as a company with an awful lot of products to offer people - it’s not
just about one magazine.
Name your best campaign?
A healthy eating campaign for the Foods that Harm and Foods that Heal
book. I’m also proud of my first ad for Know Your Rights. I scripted and
What gives you greatest job satisfaction?
At the moment, working in DRTV. We were one of the earliest into the
market and it still offers significant creative scope. I’ve made four
commercials in the past year and am working on another three.
What’s the biggest pain about your job?
Things can be chaotic - but it’s a challenge. Being 100 per cent right
is the Reader’s Digest way.
What do you read?
The Independent (I’m still getting used to the new design) and the
marketing press. I take a different Sunday paper each week for the sake
Have you ever responded to a direct response ad?
Only in connection with comparative tracking.
Which agencies do you work with on a regular basis?
For TV buying, OgilvyOne; for press buying, Prager & Partners; for press
creative, Broadway; for creative and planning for inserts, Colleagues;
for TV production, Space City; and for radio buying, Upward Jamie
Who (or what) do you most admire?
I’m impressed by what Tesco has achieved in recent years, turning itself
from a downmarket brand into one that’s modern and customer-focused.
What’s next for your department?
To increase our coverage of different products and work towards ever
greater integration in our approach.
If you could have any job, what would it be?
A TV producer. Or Steven Spielberg’s job.
Occupation deputy manager, market development, Reader’s Digest
Lazarus recently won a silver in the direct marketer of the year
category at the UK Direct awards in Jersey for his DRTV work for
Reader’s Digest. His is, he claims, a labour of love