HOW TO SELL TO ... Kirsti Wilson - Outrider’s interactive chief loves to live life in the fast lane, reveals Mark Tungate

Just because Kirsti Wilson is 26 and looks younger doesn’t give you the right to patronise her.

Just because Kirsti Wilson is 26 and looks younger doesn’t give you

the right to patronise her.

Internetland favours youth, which helps explain why Wilson is second in

command and head of interactive media at Outrider - Tempus Group’s

interactive arm. Her position gives her control of an annual spend of

around pounds 20 million, taking care of clients as diverse as

Nationwide, Ladbrokes, Direct Line and DHL.

She absolutely hates it when people talk down to her. ’The last thing I

want is to listen to some generic ’this is the internet’ presentation.

Cut to the chase and tell me how you can help my clients,’ she


Wilson is a bright, kinetic bundle of energy, who gets irritated by

’slow people’ (’on the Tube, at work, anywhere’). In her spare time, she

exorcises her frustrations by clobbering the hell out of squash balls.

She’s recently taken up the more sedate pastime of golf - although,

perhaps typically, she learned to play the game on a four-day intensive


Wilson doesn’t do lunch, except with people she genuinely likes. She

prefers to knock back a few beers with the team after work.

But do not assume she personifies the term ’work ethic’ - she freely

admits that come the weekend she has to stop herself from collapsing

like a wind-up toy whose spring has uncoiled.

Wilson started her career in programme research. When she was at TSMS

research division Paradigm, she wrote a scathing critique of deadly dull

Cornish detective series Wycliffe, explaining why it was losing


’I sent it to the production company and they actually changed the

programme,’ she says with a grin.

When Wilson joined CIA Mediavision in April 1998, the interactive

department consisted of just two staff. The agency that evolved out of

it has flourished and employs around 30 people.

In common with many of her agency peers, Wilson bemoans the lack of

experience and efficient service on the sales side. ’Many sales people

are too young, too green and overworked,’ she explains.

Any other advice? ’Yes - don’t come up with a good idea and then waste

it by e-mailing it to all of your agency contacts. We appreciate the

personal approach.’ You have been warned.


- Sport

- Drinking

- Lively, passionate people


- Being patronised

- Boring lunches

- Dull, plodding people.