MEDIA HEADLINER: The ladette with brand plans in mind for new joint venture - After her success at M&B, Louise Jones forges on at MSc, Anna Griffiths writes

Louise Jones, the silent weapon at Michaelides & Bednash, has decided it’s time to enter the media spotlight as founding managing director of MSc, the media planning joint venture between New PHD, and the creative agency, Partners BDDH.

Louise Jones, the silent weapon at Michaelides & Bednash, has

decided it’s time to enter the media spotlight as founding managing

director of MSc, the media planning joint venture between New PHD, and

the creative agency, Partners BDDH.



Jones, who is a media strategy business partner at M&B, declares: ’I

have come out from underneath this bushel. I feel like I have been

rehearsing for a year, and now I’ve had the dress rehearsal, it’s for

real.’



Jonathan Durden, a partner at New PHD, who has dangled various jobs in

front of her for the past three years, is both triumphant and relieved

that she’s finally succumbed. ’I feel like I know her incredibly well,

but I don’t know her at all. My life with her has been in interviews

about various jobs, but it’s felt more like chats,’ he gushes.



Aged 33 and a bit of a ladette, it appears that Jones’s only drawback is

that she’s an Arsenal supporter. Everyone who knows her describes her as

’a people person’, but as Jones correctly points out, she’s not Mother

Teresa. She’s certainly not one to hold back from speaking her mind.

Marc Sands, marketing director of Granada TV, who worked with Jones at

Still Price Lintas, says: ’She can be quite spiky, but not

inappropriately so.



She takes no bullshit, but she’s not one of these madly aggressive

women.’



The only hiccup in her career was a brief stint at the Daily Telegraph

selling space, which she hated, shortly after leaving polytechnic. She

became the ’trendy trainee’ at Media Audits, where she gained a grasp of

media planning and buying, before joining Yershon Media as a

researcher/planner.



It was there that she decided to become a media planner, working at the

front end of the advertising process, and went on to consolidate this

new skill set at Still Price Lintas. ’I had never worked for a

full-service agency before. I thought that I had arrived - they had a

bar there!’



Jones has earned praise for her efforts on Cable & Wireless and Channel

5, and is recognised as a key operator at M&B. At a time when media

strategy was dismissed as ’airy fairy’, she stuck by her decision to

become a founding member of a media strategy-only outfit. ’When I said

to people that I was leaving Still Price to work on media strategy at a

start-up, they were saying I was bonkers and would never get a job

again. I think that it’s fitting that I leave when M&B wins Campaign’s

Media Agency of the Year gong.’



An avid fan of EastEnders, Coronation Street and Brookside, Jones likes

to travel the world when she can, hauling a backpack on to her tiny

frame and finding her way around a new culture. She describes herself as

’quite controlled, but I don’t like to do traditional things’. John

Storey, joint managing director of Media Audits, took Jones on as his

first trainee and claims: ’I was terrified of her because I had

responsibility for this bundle of energy and intuition. I learned how

not to manage someone bright.’ He adds that to head a new operation is a

great opportunity for someone who ’was unjustifiably overshadowed by

George Michaelides and Graham Bednash.



As much as they were good operators, she was of the same class.’



Michaelides, whom Jones describes as her mentor, accepts she has come of

age, although he says he is sorry to see her go. ’There comes a time

when you want to leave home and don’t want to live in the attic any

more.



She’s developed massively over the past few years. We always saw her on

a par with us here.’



Jones relishes the day when she will find herself on a pitch-list

alongside M&B and Unity, and is keen to make her mark on MSc, which

already has three clients and around pounds 27 million worth of business

with Mercedes, Wesleyan Financial Services and the Co-operative

Wholesale Society. ’I’ve got this blank sheet with a huge resource. We

don’t just want to work with BDDH clients. I want to build the brand of

MSc.’ She says she envisages starting off with a team of about three,

adding more staff as she chalks up the new-business wins.



Jones’s ambitions are clear-cut. ’In ten years’ time I want to be

running a successful company.’ She flashes me a winning smile, which

almost makes up for the fact that I am by the door to the loos in

Patisserie Valerie, overcome by the smell of Domestos every time someone

passes through. Jones continues: ’I always try to find the silver lining

in everything. I really believe that we are really lucky to have the

things we have.’ You may say, ’pass me the tambourine and the prayer

book’, but Jones gets away with such declarations, because she’s so damn

nice and she really does mean it.



THE JONES FILE



1987: Media Audits, account executive



1989: Yershon Media Group, media planner



1991: Still Price Lintas, communications planning manager



1993: Michaelides & Bednash, partner



1998: MSc, managing director.



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