CLOSE-UP: CLIENT OF THE WEEK; Whirlwind lifts Bravo’s image

Karen Yates gets a couple of minutes with Flextech’s energetic marketing head

Karen Yates gets a couple of minutes with Flextech’s energetic marketing


‘I shouldn’t be saying this in print,’ Jane Norris confides, in between

hurried meetings and with a cab waiting at the door, ‘but I do like

pressure. I love being given something that’s nearly impossible and

making it happen.’

Quite what that says for Flextech, where Norris is the head of marketing

for Bravo, TCC and the Parliamentary Channel, isn’t clear. But the

whirlwind otherwise known as Norris loves working for the US-owned cable


She says the tone was set right from day one, when she was hired to

launch the women’s lifestyle channel, UK Living, in only six weeks. With

mainly retail buying and marketing experience behind her, Norris said

‘what the hell’ and dived in.

‘It was the most enjoyable job I ever had,’ she recalls, wistful for

those madcap days when a station had to be positioned, marketed and

launched all at the same time.

What is happening to her new ‘baby’, Bravo, she says, is less daunting.

Norris has sorted out its new direction (more edgy and bizarre, she

calls it), and last week appointed WCRS to help take the new Bravo out

to the British public (Campaign, 22 November).

Norris’s introduction to marketing was through Boots, the high street

chain she joined as a trainee buyer, fresh from a childhood and

education in Northern Ireland. Despite starting at the bottom, it was

not long before she became the first woman at the company to be

responsible for brown goods, or video and audio equipment.

Talk to Norris about her seven years at Boots and she will recall with

glee of how things were constantly changing. Her most enjoyable time, in

fact, was a project to launch the retailer’s standalone photocentres.

So when the Nottingham-based chemist shut its London offices, Norris

decided that rather than move to the East Midlands, she would try her

hand at marketing consultancy.

However, consultancy had its own frustrations, particularly that she

could never roll up her sleeves and get stuck in, an experience she

never lacks at Bravo.

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