Never bank on a sale, advises Desmond Sowerby, international sales
director at Associated Newspapers
A well-known media director scuppered Desmond Sowerby’s best ever sale.
But surprisingly, the two are still the best of friends.
’I was working for Handelsblatt, the German equivalent of the Financial
Times, and it was producing an ’Invest in Britain’ supplement. I was
absolutely delighted when I lined up one of the top German banks to
advertise in it. Once I had it on board, I knew all the other big
players would follow suit. It was a real coup.
’Next Richard Dann, the then media director of what became Travis
Sennett Sully Ross, called me. He gave me chapter and verse on why his
client - the bank - couldn’t advertise.
’I kept telling him the client wanted the deal almost as much as I did,
but he wouldn’t have it. Budget constraints, strategy ... he basically
shot the deal down in flames. I can usually talk my way out of a corner,
but he met all my objections, albeit in a very charming way. Finally, I
had no option but to give up.
’Strangely enough, we went on to become really good mates. And believe
me, I made sure I got plenty of business out of him later on.’