EDITOR'S COMMENT: Metro's move confirms role of seller/planners

Metro is causing quite a ruckus with its rates hike and its plans to sell London's new freesheet as a premium moving poster site.

Metro is causing quite a ruckus with its rates hike and its plans

to sell London's new freesheet as a premium moving poster site.

While deputy managing director Mike Anderson has succeeded in dragging

some buyers 'down The Drain' at Waterloo and converting them to his new

religion, others refuse to be convinced, feeling that the paper is

getting ideas above its station.

But for the media sales industry, the most important element of all this

is Anderson's plan to turn the Metro sales team into an all-singing,

all-dancing seller/planner unit. Many in the industry consider the

planner/buyers to be the axis around which the whole communication

process now revolves and, as media fragments, the planner/seller looks

likely to become a more familiar role.

Of course, to some extent planner/sellers already exist. In the first

'Rant' to appear on our back page, a sales manager complained that she

was often asked to do much of the planning and creative work for the

buyers who were interested in using her magazine. Although sales people

rarely get involved in originating ads - the Dove ad in Now being an

exception (see p9) - they are already responsible for thinking about

which ads fit into which products, and they are constantly trying to

think of innovative ways and places to use the creative.

Most senior sales people could give buyers a very comprehensive rundown

on the best way of reaching a target audience. The seller/planner is

already here, it's just that they have never been recognised as


If Anderson's gamble works, and he is able to raise rates, partly by

having a more sophisticated sales-force, other media owners may consider

giving salespeople titles and job descriptions that recognise their

broad range of skills and planning abilities.

It's called adding value and it's hard to believe no-one's tried it




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