Magazine article Marketing

Profile: Peter Pan of Rock - Richard Mintz, Marketing Director, Xfm

Magazine article Marketing

Profile: Peter Pan of Rock - Richard Mintz, Marketing Director, Xfm

Article excerpt

Beer, flicks, toys and now one the of the 'coolest' brands in media - according to September's Coolbrands survey, at least; Richard Mintz's journey up the greasy pole reads like a career wish list for every eternal man-child.

But as the Xfm marketing director himself makes immediately obvious, he is painfully aware that he will turn 40 next year - 'and I'm still single', he bleats.

Given the number of cool young things running around GCap Media's Leicester Square offices, it is understandable if Mintz is a little self-conscious about his impending middle age. But his colleagues doubt whether reaching this demographic landmark will make any difference to his demeanour.

A fast-talking - if a little long-winded - marketing man, Mintz is dressed the part of understated media cool, from his unironed linen shirt to his scruffy jeans. As he reveals the graffiti scrawled in childish hand on the Xfm 'brandroom' walls by bands who have appeared on the station (Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs), his pride in reaching the marketing director's job is palpable.

Mixing with the bands of the moment must seem a far cry from the start of his career. A Brummie, Mintz left college armed with a politics degree from Birmingham Poly and an MSc in marketing from the University of Manchester. He then landed a job at Bass Brewers on the graduate trainee scheme. A tour of duty flogging beer to the North-West's working men's clubs followed, where he admits that he had some of the more pretentious edges knocked off him.

Beer led to alcopops, film, television, toys and now GCap Media, where he is notable as one of the few members of the Capital management team to have survived what was ostensibly a merger, but ended up as a takeover by GWR.

GCap's subsequent problems with integrating the business as well as maintaining audiences and ad revenue are well-documented, and after an enforced period of marketing purdah as a result of budget cutbacks, Mintz has finally got some money to spend.

The fruits of this labour are an ad campaign, through Mother, and a series of competitions that encourage grass-roots talent, promoting Xfm's positioning as the home of new music.

The ad campaign is timely; according to the latest Rajar figures, Xfm's share fell from 2. …

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