It’s not often that you meet an agency director who has also been a
client, but Mike Robinson has been there and done that.
The North Yorkshireman (Redcar born and bred) spent nine years at Carat
International, heading its high-tech planning and buying unit, which put
together schedules for the likes of Computer Associates, Digital
Equipment and Seagate Technology.
One day, Robinson jumped the fence and joined Gateway, the US PC
manufacturer, as media manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
There he experienced how tough life is on the client side. Now he’s back
with an agency.
David Wood & Associates is no Carat - it is run by five staff from an
office in Blackheath, south London. But in just six weeks they are
moving to a spanking new office in Holborn, and managing director David
Wood is hiring planner/buyers and account managers like there’s no
Robinson’s main clients are storage hardware company Brocade, e-commerce
software company Aspect, software outfit Danware and network solutions
provider Prime Business Solutions.
Last month, DWA added Informix - the world’s sixth largest software
company - to the client list, and Robinson has been jetting around
Europe haggling with Danish, German and French poster contractors to
squeeze the most out of his pounds 7 million media budget ever
For those wishing to grab a piece of it, here are a few pointers. Don’t
call Robinson at the crack of dawn unless you want your head bitten off
or to hear a few monosyllabic grunts. This media director hates early
Instead, take him to Stamford Bridge to see his beloved Chelsea, or turn
up with your clubs one afternoon and whisk him off to Blackheath’s golf
If he still neglects to put you on the schedule, your secret weapon is
On an IDG ski trip three years ago he necked so much of the black stuff
that he woke up the next day to find himself in bed with a five-foot cow
he’d managed to pick up in the bar.
Apparently, the papier-mache bovine had the trademark black-and-white
markings used by Gateway, and Robinson took a fancy to it. So guard your
company mascots with vigilance.
Early mornings (very grumpy)
Computers, especially Powerpoint
Pushy sales people.
This article was first published on Campaign