Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Secrets of My Success; Lindsay Pattison Global Chief Executive, Media Agency Maxus Global

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Secrets of My Success; Lindsay Pattison Global Chief Executive, Media Agency Maxus Global

Article excerpt

What do you do? I run the worldwide operations of Maxus, which is a media investment management agency. That means our 2700 staff plan and buy advertising space for our clients and measure its success for them. We work across all media, from news brands to TV ads, billboards, social media and web search. I'm based in London but travel about three weeks in four to our offices around the world. (I'm in a hotel room in Sydney now, having just been to New Zealand and Las Vegas). I try to divide my time into thirds: a third on creating and communicating the company's strategic priorities for our staff; a third on external activities like speaking at conferences to build the profile of Maxus; and a third with clients.

What do you like most about your job? Everything! The travel is really fun and media is a brilliant industry to work in. I love the fact that advertising is so tangible, it's something everyone uses all the time. I like the way digital media now means we can be sure about how much our clients get back from their ad spend. A digital ad will often now lead directly to the customer clicking through to buy. That's not like the bad old days when there used to be a saying: "Half of my advertising works, but I don't know which half."

What challenges do you face? As an industry, we're facing the problem of criminals generating fake traffic to ads through algorithms and bots. It's a form of cybercrime, basically. Also, we have to work out a way to serve the public better by not targeting them with the same advertisements when they move between devices and platforms like Facebook, Google or Safari. Nobody wants to get bombarded with the same ad every time they move from their smartphone to their laptop. On a personal level, prioritising is a constant challenge. Our 55 offices from Sri Lanka to Finland would all love me to visit but I can't do them all. I have to target the places where I can make the most difference.

What was your biggest break? …

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