Celebrating Our Long-Serving Employees
Over the past couple of months we have seen some real landmarks in the Mediabrands family! Five people from across the business have celebrated a big anniversary – check out some of our longest serving employees below:
Gary Birtles – 30 Years
Gary Birtles serves as Global General Manager for IPG Mediabrands’ Data & Technology Team. In this role, Gary focuses on global operations as well as international market expansion for both Cadreon as well as the Data & Tech organisation.
A 30-year veteran with the network, Gary started at IPG in 1989 as a media planner for the then full service agency, Lowe Howard-Spink to work on the Vauxhall account. He had some knowledge and experience of cars as he had previously been a car mechanic – his first job after leaving school!
Gary joined the industry just as the first media independents were being created. In 1986, Lowe’s media department was spun out into Western Media and Gary was made Joint Managing Director of the new company. Subsequently, Western Media merged with Initiative in the UK and Gary went on to lead the business as UK CEO between 2008 and 2011 and before moving across to Mediabrands in 2011. Following this, Gary served as one of the key architects in the global launch of Cadreon – a project implemented in partnership with Arun Kumar, IPG’s Chief Data & Marketing Technology Officer.
Chris Marjoram – 20 Years
Chris is MD of Rapport UK an Out of Home Media Planning & Buying Agency and part of IPG Mediabrands.
He is responsible for Rapport’s growth and development in a sector that is undergoing significant and rapid change. Chris became Managing Director of ipm in 2010 and re branded to Rapport in 2012 with a brand proposition of Reward Connections. Rapport have direct client appointments to Sky TV, 20th Century Fox & Suzuki as well as working for clients within Mediabrands. In 2016 Rapport set up District 326 for local clients and agencies including MAG & AdGen.
Chris started life in Account Management at Grey Advertising before moving into media. He was Sales and Marketing Director at JC Decaux Airports in the UK & USA before starting up an international planning and buying agency for IPM (subsequently Rapport) with clients including Sun Microsystems, MasterCard, Samsung Electronics, JTI (Japan Tobacco) & Boeing.
Dickie Oliver – 25 Years
Dickie is the custodian of our clients’ media investments, ensuring maximum value through a combination of market leading negotiations and top class media implementation. Whether seeking new deals with UK or global media owners, creating innovative partnerships or working with other IPG companies, Dickie always has his clients’ interests’ front of mind.
For Dickie, success is an easy metric to define. It is finding the right deal for a client and delivering on it. He is most proud of never having missed a buying commitment.
Most of Dickie’s time in media has been at IPG, with a brief stint at ITV for good measure. The different roles, in different IPG companies across a wide range of clients all add to the experience that Dickie brings to his Mediabrands role today.
Outside of work he likes to spend his time ferrying his children from one sporting event to another, and squeezing in the odd run for himself.
Alex Vale – 10 Years
Alex Vale is the Head of J3 for Northern Europe, a bespoke agency unit set up to handle the business of Johnson & Johnson, UMs largest global client.
He is responsible for the delivery and output of J3 across the Northern Europe cluster, including UK, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark. Having worked on J3 since UM won the business in 2016 Alex started as Business Director on the OTC portfolio (Nicorette, Calpol, Imodium, Benylin, Sudafed) before taking on CHC (Listerine & Regaine) in 2018 being promoted to Group Business Director. Since working on J&J Alex has been involved in a number of award winning campaigns, including Nicorette (One Breath), Cannes Silver Lion, and more recently Calpol (Using Econometrics to Predict the Future) winning Media Week Gold in 2018 and Drum Marketing Awards 2019.
Alex began his career after graduating from the University of Leeds with a 1st class degree in Marketing starting shortly after at MediaVest Leeds working on low cost airline Jet2.com. After a stint traveling Alex returned to the UK and started at UM London in 2009 as part of the publishing team planning and buying press campaigns. Within his first year Alex moved into the Comms Planning team and prior to working on J&J worked across clients including, MasterCard, H&M, General Mills, Comedy Central & Fuller’s.