My Media Week: Justin Davison

Justin Davison, CNBC's regional sales director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, treats us to a week where he wakes up to the sounds of church bells, pops in to Mindshare's offices at Central St Giles and winds up with an impression of Yoda.

Justin Davison: regional sales director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, CNBC
Justin Davison: regional sales director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, CNBC


My media week starts as it does every day, at 5:45am with the church bell chimes on my iPad.  Living in Harrow-on-the-Hill my slumbering brain mistakes the bells for those of St Mary's tricking me into thinking it's Sunday.

Must change that chime - although it's the only alarm that manages to wake me, but not our one year old... won't be changing the chime after all.

With BBC Breakfast and our own Squawk Box on the TV, cup of tea and blackberry in hand, I check overnight emails from our offices in Singapore and the US while breakfasting on TV news.

The first meeting of the week is an interview for a role with our creative solutions team. The candidate has done their research and know as much about CNBC as they do about me.

10am arrive at Fishburn Hedges for a meeting with MediaCom and Shell to discuss a global campaign we're about to kick off. We're creating three brainstorm events and planning an on-air campaign for the year ahead. 

We’ll have to trump the incredible event at the top of the Gherkin, as part of our Energy Opportunities series last year.


Start the day with a meeting with our key account director, Martyn Bentley to talk through options for sales representation in Scandinavia. I'm considering a rep, but thinking about managing the region out of London.

The market's a varied one, where combining TV and internet provides the best offer for unlocking budgets. We're targeting the auto, energy, banking and finance sectors and potential for inward investment advertising. 

It's a new business effort as there are few pan-regional advertisers in the region.

Great news comes in before lunch as the Government of Azerbaijan confirm a spot campaign through Universal McCann.

A frontier market working to become a front of mind market, as they promote Baku as host city for the 2020 Olympics.

London 2012 is only four months away and having been lucky enough to succeed in the lottery, I'm wondering where those tickets have got to?


8:00am at the office and David Bloom, Global Head of Foreign Exchange Strategy at HSBC is an on-air guest on Squawk Box. 

I capture the interview and send it to Sam Selleck at Mindshare in advance of a meeting we’re having with HSBC.

Sam's appetite for information on his clients is veracious and he burns every calorie of insight gained, re-enforcing his understanding of their business.

My inbox is now slowed by the weight of the video file just sent. I open a message from NBCUniversal’s director of learning that I’ll be joining the mentoring programme for 2012.

Ian Foster, MD UPIE will be mentoring me for 2012. Ian’s well respected and I’m keen to join the programme.

Reminded of my interview candidate on Monday, I go straight to the web in search more information on my soon-to-be mentor, and inevitably link him in.

Before the programme can start I have to complete the obligatory Myers Briggs Indicator test – am I an introvert or extravert?

The day ends with a booking from Paris, which I celebrate by calling and emailing all involved to congratulate, before also celebrating with an impromptu can-can... extravert perhaps?


A day of holiday. It's 19°C and the sun is out.  My wife and I visit friends – a wife and husband team who are opening a Montessori school in North West London.

Arrive at the construction site expecting to see a modest development... we are blown away by what we see. A generous building that when complete will have a waiting list that could fill its half-acre plot 10 times over.

It's relevant as I’m fascinated that they exclusively promoted the school online and have filled the school in advance of its opening, without any site visits.


Kicks off, as every Friday does, with an 8:30am video conference call.

London, Singapore, Paris and Frankfurt dial in for a weekly walk through of campaign status and a planning session for the week ahead.

This week's headlines are strong performance for the quarter in Europe as we beat targets, and an encouraging list of campaigns ripe for sign off, including more than seven high potential branded content partnerships.

Content firmly remains king, context is queen, together they rule!

At 10am leave in a cab for Mindshare's new offices at Central St Giles, now also home to our parent company, NBCUniversal that has taken the remaining floors. It's an inspiring space, with panoramic views of town. I remind myself to take a picture on my BlackBerry. One to be included in my "Secret Views of London" book (must find publisher).

We are hosted by Mindshare who put on lunch – yes Mindshare lay on lunch, for a client meeting, because an important client is joining us. 

In the Waugh room we work through plans for an integrated campaign we're launching together on CNBC that’s looking like it will be a highlight of 2012.

Content is again king at the centre of this campaign targeting our core audience.

Leave the meeting thinking that we're blessed to be working with an agency and client who understand content, and value CNBC's expertise in creating media that will connect with their target.

The day ends with my last deal of the week, involving a party planner at Topsy Turvy World. I agreed on an extortionate price for a party for 25 kids, but popularity has its price.

Perfect planning and chemistry, this time outside of media, for a fifth birthday party to remember for my little lad, or Jedi (as he likes to be called), Jai.

As the quote by Yoda on the gift bags made by my wife read, "Thankful Am I" to be working in the most exciting and varied industry in the known galaxy...

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