The Fishbowl: Jo Mazenko, Metro
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 Jo Mazenko, commercial director at Metro.
Jo Mazenko has worked at Metro for 17 years, beginning as a creative planning and media collaborations manager and rising to become commercial director across all of Metro‘s platforms.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Mazenko will lead the new Metro 360 team, which provides a new advertising solution for advertisers looking to deliver multi-platform campaigns for Metro audiences.
Before joining Metro, she worked for two years as an account executive at Clear Channel.
How did you end up working in media?
I dreamt of selling media space since I was a little girl. That’s actually not true. My first role in media was a temping role at Media Icon, who had the phone box advertising contract back in the early 2000s. So, I kind of got into media by accident, really. I loved working in out-of-home (OOH) so went on to work at Clear Channel for a couple of years, before joining dmg media where I’ve been since 2006.
If you could have any job in the world (other than what you do now), what would you do?
I think I’d quite enjoy being Fred from The First Dates Restaurant, but in the First Dates Hotel, which is filmed just outside Naples. You’d get to meet some really interesting people, work in a stunning setting, in the sun, eating delicious food.
What’s your favourite ad of all time?
Accrington Stanley, Who Are They? By the Milk Marketing Board in the ’80s: it got us all drinking more milk as kids! It still makes me laugh now. Incidentally I’m now married to a Scouser.
If you could change one thing about the industry right now, what would it be?
Coming from a print background, it would be to remind clients not to disregard traditional media, such as print. It can be just as creative as digital, plus it can deliver formats that drive as much attention and viewability.
**Peer question** You’re in charge of the lineup for Glastonbury. Choosing any artist dead or alive, who are your headliners for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night?
Pet Shop Boys on the Friday, Fatboy Slim set on the Saturday and Fleetwood Mac on the Sunday — I feel like these questions are making me sound really old!
Question from James Cornish, VP of international sales at Vevo.
What are the three most important skills that a media salesperson needs in 2023?
The ability to listen (to what customers want so we can go back with bespoke solutions), curiosity (knowing what else is out there in order to provide best-in-class solutions) and resilience (we all know times have been tough over the last few years!).
**Peer question** Who was your first media industry idol and what influence have they had on you?
Sophie Robinson, who is now Stylist Group’s MD. I reported into Sophie for a number of years and she’s a phenomenal leader, creative genius and all round fabulous human being. I loved working with her. Sophie taught me to be curious, creative and most of all be kind to my peers.
I’m now really excited to work with Deborah Arthurs, Metro’s new editor-in-chief who reminds me a lot of Sophie, another inspirational female leader who has a clear vision for our brand.
Question from Duncan Chater, managing director at Bloomberg Media.
What keeps coming up in conversations with clients at the moment?
Diversity and inclusion, sustainability, and cost-of-living. Also, innovation – we have some brilliant Metro ‘firsts’ up our sleeves, just waiting to execute!
**Peer question** What superpower would you choose?
The ability to fly. As a working mum of three little ones, maximising time is really important to me so I’d love to be able to get around quickly and get home to my family faster at the end of the day.
Question from Emma Elford, commercial content director at The Independent.
What’s the quality that people admire most about you?
Probably my energy. I have a lot of positive energy which I think is important both at work and at home. I always try and keep optimistic and am respectful of others. I have good work ethic, I work hard. I used to play hard but I’m usually in bed asleep by 9pm now.