Scottish Sales Team of the Year 2003

By The Drum | Administrator

May 26, 2003 | 8 min read

Maralyn Boyle of the Mail on Sunday's classified as department accepts this year's Scottish Sales team of the Year accolade.

Perhaps it’s a sign of the tough economical times, which put the emphasis on selling classified advertising space, that this year’s sales team of the year is the classified team at the Mail on Sunday. Dave Hunter assesses all of this year’s Scottish media sales supremos.

This year the Scottish Sales Team of the Year is classified.

Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that readers of The Drum will need high-level security clearance to view the results. Instead, it means that the unprecedented has suddenly become, well, precendented. Because after an exhaustive research process involving Scotland’s media buying community the title of Scottish Media Sales Team of the Year 2003 has gone to the Mail On Sunday’s classified team.

It seems that, as above-the-line budgets remain low up and down the country, the Mail on Sunday has stepped up to the challenge, delivering consistently high scores across all criteria in this year’s review. They’re not alone either. The last twelve months have seen strong performances from a number of classified teams, reflected in strong scores across the National Press Classified table.

Elsewhere, 2003 has seen a number of changes in the sales team rankings, with almost every table welcoming a new winner.

The winners aren’t the only changes to have been implemented to the Sales Team of the Year this year either. In the ongoing mission to make the review as comprehensive as possible The Drum decided to make some small changes to this year’s research. The criteria on which teams are rated was changed this time round, with the Professionalism and Overall Opinion categories being dropped in favour of new Understanding (what a buyer wants) and Negotiation Skills categories.

Apart from this change the research was carried out as in previous years. Media agencies sent The Drum lists of their buyers, who were in turn contacted and questioned by George Street Research on the sales teams they deal with on a regular basis. This year over sixty Scottish media buyers were involved in the Sales Team research.


Last year’s Sales Team of the Year, Viacom Outdoor, is this year pushed down the outdoor table as JC Decaux Airport, last year the runner-up in second place, takes the top spot. JC Decaux Airport, in only its second Sales Team of the Year appearance, performed consistently across all criteria this year, particularly impressing buyers with their helpfulness and speed of response. Close behind in second place is sister team JCD Decaux Ltd, who lagged marginally behind despite an especially impressive score in Understanding Client Needs.

In third place is an Outdoor new arrival: Posterplus. Having newly set up their Scottish office in the last 12 months, the company seems to have impressed the buying fraternity north of the border.

National Press Display

The Financial Times has moved steadily up the National Press Display rankings to sit at the head of the table. The FT performed particularly well in the Negotiation and Helpfulness categories, though a low score in Innovation could cause problems for next year’s review. Second and third place both go to Media Link teams, this year ranked separately for the Scottish Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday titles. The Scottish Daily Mail team just pipped their colleagues to second place, performing strongly in Helpfulness, while the Mail on Sunday contingent fought back with higher Innovation and Understanding scores.

National Press Classified

The Mail on Sunday kicked some proverbial ass in this year’s Sales Team review. A fantastic score in Helpfulness and speed of response as well as a very strong ability to understand what buyers are after secured their crown as this Sales Team of the Year, and also ensured there was a clear gap between first and second place.

Second and third places, however, were closely fought, with the Guardian and Observer team narrowly clawing its way into second place with an impressively high Helpfulness score. Close behind in joint third place are the sister teams of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail and the Daily Mail. All three teams performed steadily across most criteria, but the Daily Record and Sunday Mail teams could move further up the table next year if they increased their innovation.

Regional Press

Last year The Drum remarked on how many times Scottish and Universal Newspapers has won the Regional Press Sales Team award. We asked the question “Can anybody depose them?” The answer, it seems, is no they can’t. Six years in a row S&UN has snatched the Regional Press Sales Team of the Year title and run off before anybody could tell what was going on. This year, as in previous years, the team has consistently outperformed every other team on the table, with clear strengths being in their helpfulness to clients and understanding their clients’ needs.

A new entrant to the review takes second place on the Regional Press table, Archant Central Scotland, while the Aberdeen-based Evening Express keeps its distance in third place.

National Magazine Sales Houses

Unsurprisingly for a table completely dominated by Media Representation Company sales teams, the National Magazine Sales House award goes to a Media Representation Company sales team. Clearly the envy of their agency colleagues, the British Airways Magazines team has distanced itself from the rest of the table by impressing Scottish buyers with their Helpfulness, Understanding and Negotiation Skills.

Scottish Magazines

A dramatic rise in ranking from last year has seen International Magazines leap into first place from the bottom of the table. With high scores in everything other than Negotiation, the International Magazines team has clearly spent the last 12 months making a huge impact with Scottish agencies.

Firm Magazine jumps up a place from 2002 to second position with very high scores in Innovation, Helpfulness and Understanding. An improvement in their Negotiation score could see the magazine title within their grasp in 2004. Also moving up a position this year is The List. A steady performance across the board hasn’t been quite enough to tackle the top two on the table, but nonetheless The List appears to have its sights set on the top spot in the future.


Granada Enterprise again retains a firm grasp on the Television Sales Team title. Clearly ahead of Television Sales Scotland in second place, the Granada team has managed the highest score on the Television table across every criterion.

There is another marked gap between second and third place, with Television Sales Scotland pulling ahead, primarily due to an impressive Helpfulness score. If Channel 4 could make a marked increase in either Innovation or Negotiation for next year then a higher position could be within their sights.


The radio table marks another change from 2002, with relative newcomers Real and Emap taking first and second places respectively. Real clearly vowed to shake up the Scottish radio scene when it launched less than two years ago and certainly seems to have succeeded. Nevertheless, the company’s Negotiation score is under threat from Emap, who climbed up two places this year and might just keep going.

Beat 106, last year’s Radio Sales Team of the year is still hanging on for dear life in third place, only narrowly missing out on Emap’s second place position and firmly refusing to be knocked further down the table by the new kids.


This is now the third year that there has been a cinema category in the Sales Team review and, yet again, Pearl and Dean has swept home with the trophy.

The hat trick success of Pearl & Dean speaks well for a team that has impressed buyers with both its helpfulness and understanding of their needs. Media Link’s Carlton Screen team, however, has been spending the last 12 months closing the gap. In the Negotiation category it has succeeded, scoring higher than the defending champions. An increased score in just one more category next year could see Pearl & Dean finally toppled.

Media Sales Personality

Every year the buyers of Scotland are asked to name one individual sales person who has, to them, stood head and shoulders above any other that they have dealt with.

This year, by a very clear margin, Kevin McAuley of Real Radio was named as the Scottish Media Sales Personality of the Year.

McAuley joined Real Radio in 2001 after leaving the Capital-owned Century Radio in Manchester.

Prior to that he worked at Century in the North East, joining from an agency named Creative Marketing in Darlington.

McAuley attributes the Real Radio team’s success in this year’s review to their ability to look at the bigger picture, being proactive in their relationships with agencies and clients and not being afraid of new ideas.


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