The Fishbowl: Katie Bowden, Global

The Fishbowl: Katie Bowden, Global

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 Katie Bowden, director of commercial audio at Global.

Katie Bowden has been at Global for more than 11 years, first joining as a content solutions manager and working her way up to director of commercial audio.

She leads a 200-strong team who work with brands to deliver creative audio advertising campaigns to audiences at scale across the UK on radio, podcasts and online.

Which deal in your career are you proudest of?

What a question! To be honest – the work the team do far outshines some of my deals across my career! My favourite example recently was the incredibly simple, yet powerful idea where we stopped live radio and our own podcasts for the British Heart Foundation. Commercial ads were unexpectedly ‘stopped’ throughout the day with the sound of a beeping heart monitor that eventually flatlined. Not easy to pull off — but the team made it happen alongside PHD and I hope it will be an award-winner.

Outside your own company, which sales team is doing really well?

That’s a hard question! I’ll feel like I’m cheating. I’ve always been impressed with the work Channel 4 champions around diversity and they are regular competitors in the creative solutions space.

**Peer question** Who was your first media lunch with and where did you go?

This was quite random for me. I started my media career in Australia and my first ever lunch was at a restaurant called North Bondi with PHD; we got to swim after the main courses! I’ve never experienced a lunch like that since moving back to London — the Thames doesn’t quite match up for a quick dip.

Question by Emma Callaghan, Reach sales and invention director.

Which advertiser would you love to work with (but don’t already) and how would you sell Global specifically to them?

Given our scale across Outdoor and Audio, we’re fortunate to have a huge range of clients. If I had to pick a category, it’s been exciting to work more closely with brands who haven’t traditionally engaged with our audio business and show them the power of pulling our portfolio together to deliver multi-platform solutions. Particularly in the Entertainment and Luxury categories.

What are clients talking about this year that they weren’t last year?

The cost-of-living crisis has been a big topic this Autumn; both how they adapt as a business and the human impact.

Has selling media become easier or harder?

Neither, just different! It’s been fascinating to see the changing skill sets required in our industry over the past decade. As a creative at heart who also loves analysis, I’ve always been passionate about both the science and the art of media planning. It’s a craft and always has been, and that craft has evolved. For some agencies, I’ve seen an over reliance on data-led stories — while a vital part of any media planning process, the creative execution is what makes a campaign memorable and it’s important we don’t forget that.

If you could change one thing about the industry right now, what would it be?

I’ve never been a fan of media lingo (you know what I’m talking about!). I was taught early on in my career that the most knowledgeable person in the room is often the one that explains it in a way that anyone can understand. Learning how to simplify how we communicate complicated concepts is a skill we should all focus on. Challenge yourself to get rid of the acronyms and lingo, your audience will appreciate it.

What was the last movie you saw at the cinema?

Top Gun: Maverick. Obviously. You’ve got to see that one in the cinema.

What is one non-work related goal that you would like to achieve in the next five years?

Getting to the quarterfinals of the Crossfit Open for my age category. If you know, you know.

What is part of your daily routine that you look forward to every day?

Waking up my dog in the morning! She is a big bundle of energy and it’s the best greeting you could get first thing.


Adwanted UK are the audio experts operating at the centre of audio trading, distribution and analytic processing. Contact us for more information on J-ET, Audiotrack or our RAJAR data engine. To access our audio industry directory, visit audioscape.info and to find your new job in audio visit The Media Leader Jobs, a dedicated marketplace for media, advertising and adtech roles.

Media Jobs