My Media Week: Owen Jenkinson, Freeview

Jenkinson: 'I've always considered myself staunchly old media'
Jenkinson: 'I've always considered myself staunchly old media'

Long lunches are off the menu this week for Owen Jenkinson, marketing director at Freeview, as he runs a three-way pitch for the TV platform's media account.

I’ve always considered myself to be staunchly and resolutely old media.  Frankly I’d have a typewriter and a fax machine on my desk if my office admin staff let me.  But in doing this My Media Week diary, it became obvious that I am in fact a slightly overaged millennial replete with avocado on toast, cycling to work and other lazy clichés.  And my seemingly old media habits have become strangely prescient, particularly my beloved old record player.  Anyway, here goes.


Hurried breakfast while listening to BBC 6 Music. Bags packed and off on my daily commute, Amazon Fire in hand ready to digest more of Paul Feldwick’s excellent The Anatomy of Humbug – a cracking round-up of all the main theories of advertising.  

Personally I think effective advertising sits somewhere between PT Barnum school of thought (razzle dazzle) and Robert Heath’s theory of subconscious seduction.  It’s funny how your mind wanders on the way to work. 

My working week is completely dominated by the media pitch I’m running with little time for distractions like lunches or the proverbial coffee ‘n’ catch up.  After a back-to-back day, the commute home needs something lighter, so I opt for a podcast of my favourite comedian and master of whimsy, Daniel Kitson. 


Nemone sits in for the regular guy on BBC 6 Music.  Coincidently, her husband is the account lead at our current media agency.  It’s a small world.  

Today’s commute includes a flick through City AM, my preferred freebie printed media.  I take in an interesting opinion piece suggesting that Ofcom has failed to make it easy enough for consumers to switch between TV and telecoms services.  I feel myself nodding in my own little echo chamber. 

As well as putting the finishing touches to the media pitch briefing, I have a lengthy meeting with an interesting consultancy we’ve been working with, Verbalisation.  They use psychological principles – think behavioural economics meets Robert Caldini – to craft how we can better express our brand in words.  Proper brain food for a Tuesday.  And consequently the commute home and evening media consumption is relatively bubble gum – the London Evening Standard and comedy on BBC iPlayer.  


This podcast thing is going to catch on.  Today it’s "Marketing over coffee".  Billed for those "only relying on traditional marketing and not new media marketing", it teaches me nothing I don’t already know. 

My working day includes a check in with shareholders.  Being a marketing organisation in the media world, they’re like-minded folk and excellent sounding boards – Rufus Radcliffe (ITV group marketing and research director) and Justin Bairamian (director at BBC Creative).  We mull over a new approach to our current TV campaign.  

The evening comprises the post-children’s bedtime routine of Netflix and chill, with the final episode of the spectacular Better Call Saul season 2. 

With a few notable highlights, it always seems odd to me that Netflix has become such a success story with such a long tail of sub-par content.  Still, Netflix is Freeview’s friend in our collective battle with traditional pay TV services.


Today I am briefing the three pitching agencies for our media account – in strictly alphabetical order, Blue 449, Goodstuff, Rocket.  So during this morning’s commute in, I’m mainly reading through my overly elaborate pitch presentation and learning my lines. 

The pitch briefing comprises an hour-long presentation from me to all the agencies in the same room, followed by individual break out sessions with each agency.  They’re all bringing their big guns, so clearly see some exciting opportunities to drive growth of Freeview – and their bottom lines.  

At home in the evening, I watch a movie on Amazon Prime with the kids.  I forget which one. 


My boss, managing director Guy North, is about to head off on his summer holiday, leaving me to steer the good ship Freeview.  A day of catching up and handing over, coupled with recruiting a new head of brand strategy and insight.  Thank Crunchie it’s Friday. 

At home in the evening, I try and fail to cast content from a range of different devices to my sparkly new Freeview Play LG TV.  I feel terribly of the moment, despite the technology not working. 

So instead, as it is Friday evening, the old Marantx record player gets switched on and John Grant serenades me into the weekend. 


Age: 45
Favourite media: record player
My biggest inspiration: geeky psychology books
Dream job: Running a record shop about 30 years ago 
Not a lot of people know this about me: In my youth, I modelled for a well-known jeans brand

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