In a multimedia world, marketing managers often struggle to know which is the best place to spend their ‘advertising dollar’. Big television campaigns may no longer represent the best use of resources – it may be better to advertise on the side of a taxi, on one of hundreds of satellite-television channels, or on the internet. Mediacom North advises its clients on the best way to allocate their marketing budget. It will also broker sponsorship deals, such as the one that was struck between Taylor’s Yorkshire Tea and ITV’s Heartbeat programme. Set up in 1996 by Declan McKenna, Paul Wheeler and Andy Bartholomew, the company won its first big contract with United Utilities. This was followed by contracts with the Manchester Evening News, JD Sports and the Co-op. Mediacom North was initially 50%-owned by the international media buyer Mediacom, but the three partners bought 31% from the parent company in October 2000 in order to gain a majority holding. Sales of the Manchester company have grown 69% a year from £3.5m in 1997 to £16.9m in 2000, when it employed 15 people.
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