How Pete Davis got ahead

“My favourite brand is Yorkie because it was my first brand role and I loved what it was all about. It is in one of the best positions a cheeky laddish brand in a womans market! I hope it gets some large marketing spend soon.”

Name: Pete Davis


Job title: Managing director

What made you want to get into brands/advertising/media/marketing?

It’s the most exciting industry in the world. Creative, dynamic and you get the chance to stand out and make a difference.

How did you get into the industry (including relevant qualifications and professional training)?

I originally started my commercial career at Nestlé as a graduate trainee in sales and marketing. They have an excellent training and development set-up for graduates. By chance, the media controller’s role became available. This was a specialised role, acting as an in-house media consultant, but it gave me access to a great network of people within clients, agencies and media owners who have really helped my career.

What was good and bad about your first job?

My first job was as a butcher’s boy at 14. The blokes I worked with were good fun; the bad thing was the hard work involved with lugging meat from the fridge into the shop. It was also pretty difficult getting just £7.50 for a full day!

List your jobs to date:


Assistant brand manager, Yorkie (Nestlé)


National account manager, Nestlé


Media controller, Nestlé


Brand manager, Yorkie


Sponsorship & licensing manager, Nestlé

2006 – present

Managing director,

What were the best and worst, and why?

The best was the media controller role I was in for 5 years. Through the job and the events I attended I met some fantastic people and experienced some once in a lifetime opportunities including going to Lapland, Verona and the odd movie premiere.

I haven’t really had a bad job. If anything the national account manager as I was travelling up and down the country 5 days a week.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

One of my old bosses, Graham Jackson. Not only was he a great line manager, he was an excellent motivator and had total focus on achieving success at work (he was a top Nestlé account manager) whilst balancing a great family and social life.

Who in the industry do you most admire?

I admire great planners and genuine people in the industry. Two people that automatically spring to mind from my time in the industry are Nick Ashley at Mindshare and Mike Parker at Channel 4.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

Setting up We’ve just reached our first anniversary and now work with over 230 major companies. Until recently, there had just been three of us at a kitchen table, so to receive support from so many major advertisers, agencies, associative bodies and media owners is a good feeling.

On what do you base your success so far?

Believing in what I work on, having a laugh and trying to be helpful and honest to people.

What are your ambitions?

To have a great time whilst setting up my business. To establish in the market and then to look at future overseas development. Personally, to have a family one day, but for now it is to continue to enjoy life.

Change one thing about your job:

I need more staff and quick!

Change one thing about your industry:

I think it would be great if the media owners and the agency staff took time out to understand the daily demands of a brand manager. If they could truly understand their needs, they’d get a lot more business.

Change one thing about the world:

I wish that the world would sort out its environmental policies and get to cleaning up its act (as opposed to talking about it!).

What is your favourite brand?

Yorkie because it was my first brand role and I loved what it was all about. It is in one of the best positions – a cheeky laddish brand in a woman’s market! I hope it gets some large marketing spend soon.

What is the next big brand in your view?

Innocent is a great brand for its niche position. I also think it has the power and brand positioning to make the leap to a diverse umbrella brand whilst staying true to its ethical roots. I think the nature and ethic of this business is a lesson for any new start up.

List your “media diet”:

I start the day with GMTV – it’s a bit silly at times, but rarely depressing. I drive to work and listen to 5 Live to get my sports intake, whilst checking out as many outdoor ads as I can. At work we have Radio 1 on and I keep the Yahoo! homepage on my laptop. Press-wise I read The Mirror (good sport) and FHM is my main magazine. I’m forced by my girlfriend to watch the latest reality show on TV and I usually make a trip to the cinema once a week.

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