MEDIA HEADLINER: The straight-talker behind the first Scottish new-media shop. David Crawley talks to Anna Griffiths about how he plans to cut a swathe at Quantum

Speaking from the balmy terrace of his hotel in Tenerife, David Crawley sounds relaxed as he contemplates his career change from being the media controller of Scottish Courage to setting up Booth Lockett Makin's new-media brand, Quantum, in Scotland.

Speaking from the balmy terrace of his hotel in Tenerife, David Crawley sounds relaxed as he contemplates his career change from being the media controller of Scottish Courage to setting up Booth Lockett Makin's new-media brand, Quantum, in Scotland.

He may be seeking a brief respite from the cold highland winds, but he is evidently more than happy to stay in Edinburgh and enjoy a few more fine malts. But his new incarnation may surprise some - he is not prone to eulogising about new media and, industry observers say, he likes to be in charge. One notes: 'He likes to be seen as important - he likes people to be aware that he's got some power. He might miss that if he is a mere supplier.'

Crawley admits that he may not be an anorak, but he has the skills for showing clients how they should be using a medium where people are still finding their way. 'One of my roles is to lead clients through a new offering and build on that understanding, creating programmes that suit marketers.'

Paul Longhurst, the managing director of Quantum in London, to whom Crawley will report alongside BLM's managing partner Steve Booth, explains: 'For new media to come of age, it needs professionals who understand marketing and advertising. Look at the big media owners. As they move into this area, it's their experienced sales people from traditional areas who are taking these managing roles.'

Crawley feels his client experience will be extremely useful. 'I've been on the end of so many sales pitches that you quickly work out what's good and what the best approach is. It's all about integrity and honesty. Having been on the client side, you're not going to come in with bullshit because you can see straight through that.'

Looking at Crawley's CV, it's apparent that he has a breadth of experience. Having started out as a TV buyer for Dorlands in 1987 (where Booth was one of his bosses), he worked his way through CIA and WM Media and the auditor Fairbrother Media, before moving on to Scottish Courage. Crawley says that he deliberately takes on roles that he feels will build on his experience. That's why he went to night school to do the Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma before moving to Scottish Courage, to 'understand the dynamics and language of marketing'.

Booth draws on Crawley's stint at Fairbrother Media and his established presence in Scotland as important attributes for his new role. 'He did consulting for Fairbrother where he ultimately became an equity partner, so he has in-depth experience of running a business. He's part of the fabric of the advertising community in Scotland.' One industry head agrees that this latter point will be an important USP: 'There will be many clients, certainly in the first instance, who will say: ''Here is a guy who understands the issues. He's a very good catch for BLM.''

The opportunity to set up Quantum came along and bit him on the nose, Crawley claims. 'I wasn't looking for it, it was one of those opportunities that came out of the blue.' He hastens to add, how-ever, that he was involved in developing the new-media remit at Scottish Courage. 'From branded websites through to developing the potential exploitation of interactive media. We never got through the technical problems, but we've been through the planning process.'

Crawley won't rule out that, at some point, Scottish Courage could become a client of his Scottish outpost. One of Quantum London's clients, Halifax's internet brand Intelligent Finance, will also be run through the new Edinburgh office. Laying out his stall for the first year, Crawley says he's seeking 'clients from both established brand names and some of the new companies within the Scottish commercial infrastructure'. Longhurst says that Crawley will build a team of six in the first six months with more joining as the business grows.

BLM boasts it will be the first agency to open its doors in Scotland as a new-media specialist, but the trend is catching on, with CIA's digital arm, Outsider, also recently announcing that it will be establishing a presence in Scotland. Crawley had better start buttering up those clients before others try and steal his turf.



Topics