Alex Czajkowaski, the marketing director at the online auction site
QXL, describes himself as an ’evangelical cyber-marketer’ - one who is
’technically savvy and market astute’. He expects nothing less from his
Czajkowaski is the man behind QXL’s appointment of Leo Burnett to its
pounds 5 million advertising account (Campaign, last week), and he will
be making some steep demands of the agency over the next 12 months.
’There is no part of the business I’m not interested in hearing Leo
Burnett’s opinion on,’ he says. ’I don’t want the agency to look round
at the end of it all and say ’well, we did good advertising but you
failed because of this, this and this’. My attitude is, if there is a
weak spot, tell me about it and we’ll fix it.’
Driving new visitors to the site and getting the brand name famous are
two obvious priorities but, Czajkowaski believes Burnetts’ real
challenge will be ’going beyond the dotcom online auction thing’.
The agency will also have the responsibility of taking the brand on to
national TV for the first time in this country.
QXL’s reach for February this year was 5.7 per cent, which amounts to
more than half a million individual visitors to the site for that
But Czajkowaski wants Burnetts to help take the reach to a figure
similar to that of the internet search engine Yahoo! (it has six million
After spearheading the company’s acquisition of a majority stake in the
Swedish net auctioneer Bidlet and an exclusive partnership with TescoNet
(the supermarket’s internet service provider), Czajkowaski is keen to
move QXL into other sectors.
Interactive TV, wireless application protocol and telephone-based
communications, as well as other offline partnerships, are all areas
where the QXL brand might be exploited now that Burnetts is on
Czajkowaski describes Burnetts as ’massively proactive’ and says that he
was concerned whether the agency would be as good, once appointed, as it
appeared to be in the pitch. After 17 years in marketing and
communications, he’s developed an ability to spot bullshit when he hears
’Burnetts’ selling process prior to the pitch was great and I had to ask
whether that would persist once they had the business.’
He’s convinced that it will. When asked for his opinion of Nick Brien,
the agency chief executive, and Nick Bell, the joint creative director,
who formed part of the pitch team, Czajkowaski says: ’I hired them - is
there a better compliment?’
Canadian-born Czajkowaski has spent the past two years at QXL . His
background is a mixture of technical development and advertising. He
worked at several big software development companies across the US,
including PowerCerv and Software Directions, and for some smaller
advertising and design companies.
He also ran his own advertising and marketing communications agency,
Alex Organisation, for three years before selling out to a larger
At QXL he seems to have found his true home - one where he can satisfy
his ’insatiable curiosity’ for e-commerce.