My Media Week: Lucy Banks

This week, Lucy Banks, executive creative director at Bauer, spots actor Gabriel Byrne in the Covent Garden Hotel, rumbles the EMI A&R department, courts Channel 4, and has to deal with an unexpected potty incident.

Lucy Banks: executive creative director at Bauer
Lucy Banks: executive creative director at Bauer


Woken at 5.38am by some heavy breathing. Unfortunately, it's my youngest daughter Violet. Anyway, that's the end of my sleep. Ashamed to say I check Twitter and emails while still in bed, then get sorted and off to work. Do that weird London thing of writing emails on the Tube, ready to send when off.

First up, work. It's quite rare at Bauer to get any time between meetings to actually do anything (!), so I enjoy a couple of hours on a 2012 digital project across our youth brands. Need to prep as we have a client coming in to explore it with us later.

Have an intro session with Julie Wright, the new commercial director just appointed by the lovely Gidon Katz and his team at Box TV, our joint venture with Channel 4.

Am pleased she's joined – she's clearly bright and good fun. Also, she fancies Gabriel Byrne who we spot sitting near us in the Covent Garden Hotel – a lady of taste.

Lunch is for wimps, so back for some creative fun with Lucie Cave (Heat editor), Boyd Hilton (Heat TV editor) and Brent Coulson (creative director, Access), to stretch our juicy Channel 4 pitch idea.

We're through to the final on Friday, so a lot of my week will be sideswiped with this.

Late afternoon I host an Access session with some of our editors and a client whose strategy and aspiration in the area of creating opportunities for young people matches those of our brands (Access is our new approach, team and process designed to give like-minded clients and partners direct access to the editorial and programming creative talent at Bauer).

Am excited and the momentum keeps my spirits up on the squashed Tube ride home.


Get in and check over some last-minute info to send to BBH.

Lillian Betty (head of strategic partnerships), Nicky Holt (publisher of Closer) and I are doing some stuff with them, and we're relishing the opportunity to explore some engaging partnership activity with a man who knows about this more than most – the legendary Kev Brown, director, BBH.

Spend a brain-expanding three hours with a tech expert who's consulting with us on a digital project. We have a radical idea – we now need to work out how on earth to make it happen.

Leg it to EMI for a rumble in the boardroom with their A&R dudes (and I mean "dudes") and our very talented team who run Kiss. Have lunch while EMI play us some new artists' music.

Find it slightly weird listening to lyrics about "hot gurrrls" while sitting around a boardroom table. Feel a bit like Garth in 'Wayne’s World'. We explore interesting stuff for potential collaborations.

Upon leaving their office, my dress blows up completely in the wind. Am thankful for my opaque tights, but still mildly humiliated.

I'm straight back for a meeting with Karen Stacey, who heads up Bauer's Broadcast Sales and the Bauer Access team. After discussing important gossip, we go through a few projects and some Access plans for 2012.

Finish the day going through some client requests for workshops following our Value of Talk insight piece earlier this year.

The piece stirred up a lot of interest in our new editorial consultancy offering, in particular from brands looking to get influential women talking about their products and services.


Get in early to prep for the Q strategy session that morning and then spend the next chunk of the day locked in a room writing the Channel 4 Pitch presentation.

Have a quick meeting at 4.30pm with the Access team and Sam Pinney, editor of, who are all working on some ideas for a retail client project. We collectively prep some stuff for a working session they're having this week.

5.30pm – ginger martini-fuelled meeting in Soho House with the fascinating founders of Peer Index, followed by dinner in the red room with glam Grazia and More editors.

I get excited about spotting Anneka Rice. They are slightly harder to impress. Yesterday, Jane Bruton, Grazia editor-in-chief, went from tea at Buckingham Palace with the Queen (in McQueen, obviously) to the "fashion Oscars" (British Fashion Council Awards). Challenge that!


Wake to the double nightmare of an ill nanny and youngest child's #pottyfail on the kitchen floor. Usual "my day is more important than yours" negotiations with husband lead to a half-day compromise.

I get the morning, as I have some precious time in with Sophie Wybrew-Bond (managing director of Bauer Entertainment) and want to get her expert advice on a project.

After sorting a load of emails and speaking to a few agency people and clients, I meet with another talented woman, Belinda Parmar, the founder and CEO of LadyGeek, whom I love.

We're collaborating on a number of projects, so get together to work out some cunning plans and share developments.

Just have time to meet an interesting radio presenter as recommended by Paul Rees, editor-in-chief of Q, who's keen to work at/with Bauer.

We try and find a room to chat. Walk past Room One, where a group of girls in Zoo-branded bikinis are jumping up and down, while a man shouts at them through a megaphone and another one takes photos. WTF?!

Room Two has a high-fashion meet happening with some Grazia girls. I love that about Bauer.

Have to leg it home to the working coalface of motherhood at lunchtime. Stressful afternoon still fielding calls and emails.

Have to do my afternoon's work when the children are asleep, so don't finish until midnight.


Take my oldest, Betty, to school on my way in. Enjoy her loudly telling me I have yellow and black hair while sat on my knee on a crowded Tube. Probably time to get my roots done.

Have a meeting with Rimi Atwal, the superhuman publisher of Q, FHM and Kerrang!, and Kirsten who publishes our Parenting titles and Yours. Am buoyed by their positive support around our new Access approach.

Speak to Marie Carey, my old chum from Zenith about doing a talk at a luxury L'Oreal session. Try and find a free date for some form of Christmas festivities.

Final rehearsal for the Channel 4 innovation pitch before an hour of emails, then off to pitch at 3.30pm, along with Sophie, Lucie and Brent. I bloody hope we get it as I'm beside myself with excitement at our idea.

Back to work to reply to the afternoon's usual slew of emails. Last until 6pm when I've had enough, and leg it home to see my girls.

When I have finally got them to bed, I head out for a night out with my mates, just locally in Queen's Park and Kensal.

Needless to say, that Friday feeling hoodwinks me into drinking too much booze to behave.

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