Magazine article Marketing

TV Challenge. (Profile)

Magazine article Marketing

TV Challenge. (Profile)

Article excerpt

The channel whose chief executive once famously described its output as "More than 11 films, fucking, football," has hired a marketing director who seems at first to fit this positioning perfectly. Channel 5's new marketing chief David Pullan is a Leeds United fan whose CV says he is interested in film. As we speak, he obligingly strikes a Christine Keeler-style pose for our photographer. "Do you want me naked?" he jokes.

Pullan's sense of humour, evident despite about of flu, will serve him well in a role which his predecessor Jim Hytner made synonymous with ballsy, irreverent marketing and guerrilla tactics. However, one suspects it is his track record in marketing to youth audiences that made CS so eager to reel him in -- the process from first interview to hiring took just three weeks.

Pullan, 33, describes his CV as bizarre, but the adjective that springs to mind is impressive. After gaining a first class degree in philosophy and theology from Oxford, his first job was as a business analyst for McKinsey, where he worked on Granada's franchise renewal. Following an MBA at Harvard, Pullan's passion for music lured him to BMG Entertainment. As marketing director for Deconstruction Records, he planned and implemented marketing strategies for albums by Beth Orton and Kylie Minogue.

He is most proud of his work for band Republica. "I spent a lot of time on the project, ensuring it was taken to radio in the right way and building a really strong team around it," he says. "It was great working with something from idea to topten."

The record industry was no always so rewarding, however. "The environment is one-dimensional and there are a lot of different pressures," says Pullan. "The more senior you become, the less interesting it gets. You spend your time trying to get everyone to agree when they all have divergent opinions. While that's true of everything, inrecord companies it'sreally extreme."

Headhunted by MTV two-and-a-half years ago, he joined at a challenging time for the company, which faced increased pressure from EMAP's portfolio of music TV channels, led by The Box. One of his first tasks was to build the marketing role within MT V, which he grew from a team of three to a team of 17. At the same time, he was faced with launching four new channels, taking MTV'S channel portfolio from two to six.

According to Chrysalis marketing director Stephen Parkinson, who worked with Pullan on joint MT V/Galaxy partnerships, the smoothness with which MTV expanded was down in large measure to Pullan. "He has this fantastic ability to have a lot of plates in the air at the same time and to keep them spinning," he says.

The powers at MTV recognised this and last year handed him responsibility for the operational management of its digital channels MTV Extra, MTV Base a d MTV2. …

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