The Fishbowl: Duncan Chater, Bloomberg Media
The Media Leader’s interview series asks the media industry’s top salespeople 10 revealing questions, drawn from our fishbowl. The questions will be drawn at random and contain some tricky posers set by the commercial chiefs themselves.
This week is Duncan Chater, managing director at Bloomberg Media.
Duncan Chater has been at Bloomberg Media since 2020, moving from head of sales in Europe to managing director commercial for Europe.
Prior to Bloomberg, he held various sales and management roles at Hearst UK over more than 18 years, from advertising manager for Esquire to chief brand officer for Hearst UK.
What are clients talking about this year that they weren’t last year?
Growing brand awareness and familiarity has seen a huge increase in focus over the last year, with the majority of our clients highlighting Brand Trust and a strong brand reputation as their key priorities. Many of our clients have been talking to us about how they can build a deeper relationship with their customers.
We’ve had numerous discussions with CMOs on how they are constructing their budgets. With brand trust and reputation as their priority and the current economic climate in full view, getting the balance between brand and performance right has never been more important for short term survival and long-term growth.
We’ve also seen a continued focus on ESG, with clients looking to maintain their commitment to their ESG goals and communicate this effectively. Post COP26 and following the regulations introduced around Green Washing, ESG is front and centre for every marketeer. It’s moved beyond simply telling a nice story to being authentic and working with the wider business to achieve their goals.
What’s been your biggest challenge this year and what are you doing about it?
This year we launched Bloomberg UK, our first country-specific offering outside of the US – which has certainly presented some challenges. The scale alone has meant that the Media team has been kept very busy! It has been a great success so far and continues to present unique opportunities for us to extend our audience and grow awareness of the services that we offer in the UK.
We’ve made a number of brilliant hires from Allegra Stratton, who is writing a daily newsletter called The Readout, to political scoop-getter Alex Wickham who consistently bags Bloomberg exclusives from the heart of government. Elsewhere, Emma Barnett is hosting a new Emma Barrett Meets… interview series on Bloomberg Quicktake, and most recently personal investment guru John Stepek has joined and will soon launch a daily investment focused newsletter.
We are committed to servicing UK business leaders and opening up the unique data and insights that Bloomberg can provide to the media industry.
From a commercial perspective we launched a monthly report – offering detailed insight into one of six key audiences each month such as High Net Worth Individuals, Tech Decision Makers and, Luxury Consumers.
The cultural impact of the last couple of years has also presented a continued challenge. From returning to the office, to making sure all our teams are comfortable and energized, we took several steps to help colleagues work with our partners in the most effective ways. Mental Health is also top of mind. Ultimately, we want to make sure all our employees enjoy their work each day and that we all create a culture of collaboration, support and ambition so they can develop their careers successfully at Bloomberg.
If you could work with any other media owner on a collaborative campaign for an advertiser, who would it be and why?
Bloomberg has a history of collaborating with other media businesses, our OTT/streaming platform Quicktake was originally launched in partnership with Twitter, and the partnership that we have with EBONY on Bloomberg Equality, continues to showcase the breadth of Bloomberg’s reach.
However, as we are already on nearly every platform — Linear TV, CTV, Streaming, Digital, Experiential, Print, Radio and Podcasts. I would love to see us collaborate with one of the big outdoor owners.
If you could learn any new skill from scratch, what would it be?
Languages without a doubt. Something that I drum into my kids daily!
Name all the streaming platforms you subscribe (pay money) to.
As a big music and sports fan… far too many, Apple Music, Spotify, Mixcloud, Sky, BT Sport, Amazon, Disney+, Netflix, Apple TV, The Athletic, and from my Hearst days, I’m still a subscriber to Esquire and Men’s Health. Of course, if I didn’t already work here, Bloomberg UK would also be at the top of my list.
What’s the quality that people admire most about you?
With the support of the team, I’ve managed to successfully balance performance and culture at Bloomberg to deliver strong financial results and increase our staff engagement scores at the same time.
What’s the bravest thing you have ever done?
I’m not sure about the bravest but I’ve always enjoyed putting my neck on the line to launch new brands and products. As I’ve mentioned above, this year’s Bloomberg UK launch has been a huge project involving so many divisions across Bloomberg and it’s been a great success.
What’s your favourite ad of all time?
For pure marketing creativity the 1984 Apple ad has to be my favourite. A personal highlight was at Cannes Lions this year as we hosted Lee Klow (the creative genius behind the ad) at Bloomberg’s ESG House and it was so inspiring to hear the story of how he built his relationship with Steve Jobs and have him replay the events of him and the team creating the ad. So inspiring and a great reminder of the power of creativity, it’s incredible how relevant the ad still is today.
**Peer question** Would you recommend your son, daughter, or another young person in your life to get a job in media and why?
Yes, of course. Media is a brilliant industry full of creative, interesting and energetic people that I’ve been fortunate to learn so much from during my career. I feel privileged to have worked on all the brands that I’ve represented in my career and have loved every moment. I’ve been part of so many brilliant teams and met so many amazing people that have had a lasting impact on me.
Media continues to deliver so many incredible experiences that I struggle to imagine I would have been able to enjoy in other industries. I’ve been able to work on some of the biggest campaigns for the most influential companies in the world, meet with government officials, attend fashion shows all over the world, and meet with people at the top of their industry across business, sport and entertainment. Media throws something new at you every day so it’s a brilliant industry to be part of.
Question by Clare Turner, Pearl & Dean sales director.
When did you last change your mind about something?
When I re-read these questions!