The Fishbowl: Jean-Philippe Amos, Mediabridge
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 Jean-Philippe Amos, MD EMEA & global brand partnerships, Mediabridge.
Jean-Philippe Amos has held several sales and leadership roles across several different media companies, and in different coutnries, over his career.
He started at Hearst, and has also worked at rivals CNN and Fox, as well as ad tech company Bleachr before joining startup outdoor tech company Mediabridge earlier this year.
If you didn’t work in outdoor which other media sector could you see yourself working in?
I’ve had the luxury of working across several media sectors so far in my career.
From publishing with Hearst and American Express, Departures and Wallpaper* to TV at CNN, ESPN, FOX Sports and National Geographic; to digital at Turner launching CNN digital across EMEA ; adtech with Bleachr and Gaming with Anzu.
So what about social? That doesn’t appeal to me in the same way.
The world of out of home is going through unprecedented tech and innovation developments so it feels like my job is evolving week in, week out — I love where I am today.
**Peer question** If you could work with any other media owner on a collaborative campaign for an advertiser, who would it be and why?
A sports media owner with a watch client — I have a genuine passion for both watches and sports. They also have a long history working together. Timekeeping is critical to measuring performance.
Our business, with digital out of home and mobile retargeting, offers a fantastic platform to amplify fan engagement at and during sporting events. Luckily for me, we’re currently working on a very exciting brief for 2023 in that vein.
** Question from Dom Williams, chief revenue officer at Mail Metro Media.
What’s the quality that people admire most about you?
I am very often described as a driven and passionate individual. My boss recently told one of our clients that I was a machine. I take that as a compliment!
I love developing people, seeing members of the team grow, unleash their potential. Creating the conditions and environment for people to achieve common goals is one the most exciting and challenging jobs. What I have found most gratifying over the years is to hear from the various team members I have managed and guided that they learnt a lot working with me.
What keeps coming up in conversations with clients at the moment?
In our business, clients are very interested to hear about integration — consumer engagement but also about reporting and post-campaign analysis, accountability. Out of home is a medium that’s historically not known for producing sophisticated PCA. Digitisation and data are allowing us to provide better reporting today.
Innovation and creativity, creative use of out of home, are also aspects often brought up in conversations with clients. We can observe the convergence of several channels: digital out of home, mobile engagement, consumer immersive experiences, what is often referred to as “experiential marketing”. This is extremely fascinating to me. In our sector, clients are looking for creative, bespoke, out of the box solutions.
When did you last change your mind about something?
Professionally, probably last week. At Mediabridge we have a very flat structure favouring collegial decision-making. We challenge pre-conceived ideas and thrive to innovate and move the business forward.
What’s your best advice for someone who wants a job in media sales?
Media sales is a job — while sometimes you can be pulled by a big name, it is business and delivering results is still the essence of the job as it is in any sales role. So, be curious, sharp, focussed and be ready to fight and to hunt.
If you can: choose your boss, like in any other industries your boss is your biggest factor for success.
What was the last movie you saw at the cinema?
That was some time ago. I believe that was Top Gun: Maverick. It had to be seen on a large screen with perfect sound — a fabulous cinema moment.
I was a kid when the original Top Gun came out — it’s unfortunate these days with the intense professional lives we live and, in my case, recomposed families, agendas and weekends are always a challenge. Kids travel back and forth. So I am a big consumer of platforms. I do not feel particularly proud of that though.
**Peer question** What’s your favourite business-related quote?
Well, it is actually both a quote and a rule.
Following a totally unexpected exit in the early stage at Wimbledon in 2013, Roger Federer, when asked by journalists how he was feeling, managing this brutal setback. His answer:
“ You do the 24 hour rule — you don’t panic at this point. You go back to work and come back stronger really — somewhat simple but hard to do sometimes”.
I like this rule, this philosophy. I try to apply it to my life both business and personal.
** Question from Simon Kilby, managing director of Bauer Media Advertising.
Which deal in your career are you proudest of?
It is hard to single one out really but perhaps the first big integrated out of the box deal that was the first of several later in my career.
When working at Hearst in Moscow as ad director of Cosmopolitan Russian Edition — in the 90s when everything was possible, or should I say nothing was impossible. Together with our biggest client, L’Oréal, we launched The Cosmopolitan – L’Oréal Model Contest. A nationwide competition across Russia – in the largest country in the world. We organised regional selection committees with the finale event in Moscow.
This was a fully integrated marketing partnership across the magazine, the amplifier and PR platform, L’Oréal retail partners and other media partner such as an independent radio station running over nine months. This also implied a significant media commitment from the client. It was a fun, creative, successful partnership that ran consecutive years.
What’s been your biggest challenge this year and what are you doing about it?
From a personal perspective, my biggest challenge has been to come on board, adapt and at the same time deliver results and start to build a team across the EMEA region.
From a Mediabridge perspective, roll out our new, disruptive solutions offering across mature markets and simultaneously manage the exponential organic growth of the company.
But this is the thrill of working in a young (startup) company in a fast growing marketplace.
We have and are building the team at every level to manage this rapid growth.
The Fishbowl is a weekly Q&A with the UK’s top commercial media salespeople. Check out recent interviews with Pubmatic, DCM, Meta, and Zee Entertainment.