My Media Week: Jenny Biggam
This week, Jenny Biggam, the co-founder of independent media agency the7stars, has office-moving issues, feels her age keeping up with the youth magazine market, and loses a tenner on The Sun on Sunday.
Jenny Biggam: co-founder of the7stars
I realise that reading about other people's office moves is marginally less interesting than looking at their baby photos, but I'm afraid we are one week away from an office move and it has dominated my week.
In better news, the week has been designated "prank week" – which means my partner Mark Jarvis is on holiday and without him there to keep us in line, anything could happen.
My first meeting of the week is looking at paint. Not just any paint, but "idea" paint – a glossy wall covering that means you can literally scribble all over your meeting room walls. Idea paint is expensive though, so I take Rhiannon Murphy along for back up.
Rhiannon is our head of TV, but has transformed herself into the project manager/interior designer for the new office. She seems to be coping incredibly well – it must be all those 'Grand Designs' programmes she buys her airtime in. We decide we like the paint.
Lunch is with Kinetic's James Copley. Coppers and I gossip (97%) and talk about the outdoor market (3%). It's a good ratio.
I leave lunch early to have a meeting about a new household-cleaning concept – the bottle for life. It's a refillable household-cleaning product, which is beautifully packaged as well as being environmentally friendly. I like it and I try and convince them that all it needs is a £10m TV investment. Not sure they are convinced.
I manage to attend two client status meetings before inevitably I'm called to go to the new office and talk building work again.
On my way out, I am collared by our finance team who ask me to sign some cheques. My FD told me off once for not reading what I'm signing so I make sure I read the cheques. I see that I'm signing a cheque for Crack Magazine. I should say here that we love our music clients very much at the7stars – but Crack Magazine, really? I feel old.
Lunch is at the Dean Street Townhouse with Alex Sullivan, who is one of my all-time favourite people. Alex works at UM although I have no idea what he does there. We talk about dogs – he is planning a fourth – I think that's a bit extreme. We agree dogs are the new drugs.
After lunch, I have to look at toilet plans and meet the new landlord. So much for "prank week" – this is getting really dull.
On Wednesdays we have our company meeting – an opportunity to chat about campaigns, pitches, and general agency stuff. Zoe in our digital team scoops the regular "idea of the week" slot for her suggestion of using Pinterest to collate our ideas.
At 10am, some Absolute Radio folk come to present In-Stream, online radio for logged-in listeners with clear data benefits for advertisers. They are armed with breakfast – they get a good turnout.
We have a working lunch. This is the time of year when we write our annual business plan, so the senior team gets together every week to work through the different elements. Today we chat about team structures and marketing.
Wednesday evening is one of those impromptu after-work drinks that go on a bit longer than planned. I blame my partners-in-crime Nick Maddison, Anuschka Clarke and Liam Mullins. They blame me.
I meet Richard Davies from Crayon in the morning and then head down to the new office for yet more conversations with builders. Lunch is much-needed Nando's with Rhiannon, who is ranting about builders. I share her pain, but I'm not sure I'm helping much.
In the afternoon, I sit down with the Signet client account team as we need to review a big planning presentation that they are presenting tomorrow. I am seriously impressed by their creativity and ideas. Slightly less impressed that the presentation isn't quite ready, but I guess you can't have everything in life.
In the evening I go to see 'Midnight Tango' with my best mate and our two mums. The evening inevitably ends in a late night gossip-fest in Joe Allen’s.
The new business team at the7stars is codenamed Project Baps. The Baps team meets every Friday morning and this week we are working on our strategy for next year. We always include some future-gazing in this meeting. This week, the trend we are discussing is consumer appetite for solitude. It's an interesting trend, and we are not yet sure what the media implication is.
After Baps, I meet a client who briefs me on some exciting pharmaceutical launches. One of his projects has the potential to make even a hardened media buyer blush, but we get through the meeting with no sniggering.
I have a swift half at the Grafton Arms with Carat's Steve Hobbs and Keith Rattray from digital recruitment company dot-gap. We talk about jollies and the Olympics. We are fans of both.
Then I meet the marketing director of Robert Dyas with Mark Reardon from their creative agency, Splash. Dyas has had a good Christmas, so we are all in good spirits. On the way there, I read that [Rupert] Murdoch has announced the Sunday Sun plans.
This is terrible news for me, as I bet a tenner against this happening with our head of press (the aforementioned Mullins) only about two hours previously. Note to self – stop betting against people who know what they're talking about.
The week ends at crazy o’clock in Soho House with some friends and some D-list 'EastEnders' celebs. I go home and dream about building plans.
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk
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