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10 Questions Media

10 questions with... Steve King, chief executive of Publicis Media


By Stephen Lepitak, -

October 15, 2018 | 4 min read

The Drum speaks to people across the global media and marketing sector who are bringing something a little different to the industry and talks to them about what insights they can offer the rest of us. This week Publicis Media's chief executive Steve King takes on The Drum's 10 Questions.

Steve King, Publicis Media CEO

Steve King, Publicis Media's chief executive takes on The Drum's 10 questions

What was your first ever job?

I sold doughnuts in the south of France.

I now work for a French company. I am the only person on the board who is not French and does not speak French. The only words I can say in French are ‘doughnuts, only two francs’ and ‘earrings, only 10 francs’ because I branched out with my then-girlfriend and we started selling earrings on the beach.

Which industry buzzword would you ban?

Disruption – I hate phrases that are overly used.

Who would you like to have a coffee with?

Mauricio Pochettino. I am a huge Tottenham fan – I have supported them for 40-odd years – and he seems to be a decent guy. He is obviously super talented and he has made that quiet transformation at Tottenham.

What is your career highlight so far?

The first time I was given a company car to take home. It was the 1980s, I had just become regional sales executive for HTV, and the car was a Ford Granada. I could not believe it. It was a milestone that I still remember.

What piece of tech can you not live without?

Sadly, it would obviously be my phone. It’s the company car of the 21st century.

Who or what did you have a poster of on your wall as a teenager?

David Cassidy… I shared a room with my sister for a while and she was a Cassidy fan.

Which city in the world makes you happiest and why?

My favorite city is Rome, it is the most beautiful city in the world.

I absolutely love New York too. It is the greatest and most exciting city to live in in the world. I have an apartment there, my twins were born there, and I have friends who live there so I know it really well.

But my favorite place is Donegal, Ireland. It has the worst weather in the entire British Isles and it is wild and wet. There’s a place called Portnoo which has one of the greatest beaches.

I bought a little house there with my brother-in-law and between us we have 10 kids. We split this house – he has one floor and I have the other. The house has terrible telecommunications and it is the antithesis of the hurley, burley world I deal with every day.

What is the greatest film/album or book ever?

The Godfather Part II. It is a very good apocryphal story for the advertising business.

What question do you never want to be asked?

What would you do differently if you had your time again?

What’s the best advice you have ever been given?

The number one thing you need to do is listen well. So many people go into meetings thinking that they have to speak and be the smartest person in the room. But it’s a really good thing to listen.

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