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A view from the bottom

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It is 6.30am, and a continuous buzzing awakes me. Should I hit snooze, or bite the ice-cold bullet that was the reason that I set my alarm in the first place and go running?

As I battle the urge to stay horizontal, I remember it is the new year and we are kicking things off with a lunch with Talon’s investment team today, so I roll out of bed to face yet another dark and frosty morning.

After a quick shower, I’m back into the cold on my scooter, braving the rush-hour traffic and the pothole minefield that is central London.

When I ask people how they got into out-of-home, they often say they knew they wanted to work in media but didn’t know which area. For me, however, OOH is where I wanted to take my career. I have always had a passion for advertising design and posters are my favourite medium.

Ensuring clients know the stature and quality of our products while also immersing myself with the brands that support our business are the fundamentals of my job. The last point holds true and often excuses some of the excesses in my life, namely drinking Peroni whenever it’s on offer and watching back-to-back episodes of Storage Wars on History. I can only hope that as I progress through to the higher realms of senior management, I will be driving a Porsche and flying Virgin Upper Class…

The past 18 months at Outdoor Plus have been exciting and we have developed eight iconic digital screens with four more going live this month, changing the billboard landscape as we know it. One benefit is that it allows me to get involved in other areas of the business, although a constant joke among the sales team has meant this week alone I have already been referred to as "operations Josh", "marketing Josh" and "development Josh".

Despite the term "out-of-home", it astounds me how often this media is planned from a desk using Google Street View. I am a true believer that the best way to sell a product is to experience it. A car salesman does not sell you a car from a picture, he does it on a test drive where you can smell the leather interior, feel the power of the engine and experience the stature of the car.

Taking clients out on the road is one of my favourite parts of the job, and I always encourage my clients to come on a site tour and see how the public consume our medium – although I understand time constraints can often mean discussing business over a more practical lunch or a couple of pints (coincidently, this is also fine by me).

Finding an entertaining, tasty and affordable restaurant always proves a daily challenge for the sales team. I hope, as my view from the bottom starts to level out and I begin to discuss business with the higher echelons of our industry, I will not be bound by the constraints of price and can dine at the likes of Nobu and The Ivy.

I can’t complain, though, I’m off to watch the NBA at the O2 tonight.

Josh Saffer is an account director at Outdoor Plus

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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