Every day starts pretty much the same as every other day, and has done for the last two years. Baby cries, cats miaow, I wake up and reach for the BlackBerry or iPhone to check what my US colleagues have been emailing about through the night, or to see how late people have been out and posting messages from all corners of Soho Land.
From that point in though, every day is very different. Which is a good thing, as variety is one of the things I enjoy most about working at the VivaKi Nerve Center.
I start today by catching up with Publicis’ global Google lead Simon Birkenhead to discuss what’s going on across the business. In fact, today is a day of meetings with our global partners, as I later met up with our new global lead from Microsoft, Nicole. It’s a tough gig understanding such a complex business and I wish her luck.
An afternoon of calls and a couple of quick meetings, then it’s off for my weekly punishment in the form of a personal training session.
I am down to present at an IAA event on the ‘Future of Media’. I expected it to be a relatively small affair, but it turns out to be a big event in a grand venue at Bloomberg (I make a mental note to thank my head of communications, Claire, for the heads-up.)
I think it goes OK, although I might have alienated all of the women in the audience when I described women as waste in the context of a specific audience targeting example – I was misunderstood!
Jump on my scooter to have a catch-up with Steve King, worldwide chief executive of ZenithOptimedia, which always turns out to be an interesting and entertaining discussion.
After about a year of organising, I finally managed to have a quick lunch with Chris Mellish of Razorfish. As well as working with ZenithOptimedia and Starcom MediaVest Group, the Nerve Center works closely with Razorfish and Digitas, and it’s always good to hear what they are up to.
Later on, I also catch up with Olivia Yabsley who runs content for Digitas, to round out the group in a day.
With a couple of client sessions fast approaching on the world of exchanges and some prep for our regular EMEA AOD (our proprietary addressable media capability) call, I sit quietly at my desk and nail some work before home time.
A sickeningly early start – I’m up and out of the house by 4.30am to go to Madrid with my boss Curt Hecht, global chief executive of the VivaKi Nerve Center.
We have a full day of meetings with the management of VivaKi, ZenithOptimedia, Performics and Starcom MediaVest Group, to go through the VivaKi plans. The Spanish guys are always open and enthusiastic and a pleasure to work with, they also lay on a great lunch in the office. It makes our spread look pretty shoddy.
We’re close to launching the results from the UK rollout of The Pool, a global research project to identify the industry’s optimal online advertising model, and I share progress with everyone. The results are in line with the other markets, which is hugely encouraging.
So six hours later, we run for the airport and get back on the plane. I have done a lot of travel over the last two years and it is still enjoyable, but I guess one day it will drag. I never enjoy being away from my wife and child too much though.
A morning thrashing Greg Grimmer at squash. Sorry, I should say getting a thrashing from Greg Grimmer. This week, however, I have bought a new racket and trainers – so his days are numbered.
Later today, the UK leads for AOD Activation, Geoff Smith, and AOD Product, Paul Silver, and I have our monthly catch-up with the ZenithOptimedia and SMG trading guys. It is usually part presentation, part piss-take of each other. Mauricio Leon and John Baylon are not wallflowers, so you have to give as good as you get!
We’re celebrating today as AOD has achieved an incredible milestone and delivered 100 billion impressions. And that’s just in the US and UK. No mean feat given it didn’t exist at the beginning of 2008.
In the evening I head to the leaving do of my good friend Phil Christer, who has recently moved to Google. Phil has kept me sane on many occasions and I know he’ll do great things in his new job.
Today does not start brilliantly. I am pulled over by two police motorbike riders who have been tailing me for the last mile. Shame I hadn’t noticed them in my mirrors sooner because I realise I’ve just performed some of my most reckless scooter-riding of the last few years.
Mounting a pavement, running a very close amber/red, doing 40mph on Tottenham Court Road, with some weaving thrown in, all mean I am up the creek.
After immense contrition from me and puppy-dog eyes, they unbelievably let me off. I get into work pretty happy and thankfully things pick up after that.
I have a good catch-up with Iain Jacob of Starcom MediaVest Group around the VivaKi Nerve Center and SMG progresses across the wider EMEA region. It’s important to make sure that we are lined up with the senior agency regional and global leads as we expand in terms of products and scale.
Lunch is with our tech partner on Audience On Demand video (AODv) and another expansion discussion as AODv rolls out into more European countries. Creating publisher uptake of this new way of buying video is top of the agenda.
It’s a great lunch, but I’m glad to leave – the downstairs of Navarros always smells of bleach. A productive afternoon of clearing emails and a bit of Twitter banter and my week ends with a very cautious scooter ride home. I’m determined not to get pulled over by the police again – well, at least for a couple of days.