Maverick media man John Billett joins L’Oreal media pitch auditor ID Comms

Those agencies working on the L’Oreal UK media pitch (worth £135m it seems) might not be wholly pleased to find that media auditor ID Comms, which is working on the pitch for L’Oreal, has taken on veteran media buyer and consultant John Billett as a consultancy partner.

Billett (left), who has taken a five per cent stake in ID Comms, knows pretty much everything about media but is anything but shy about letting people know it. If he gets involved in the pitch the media agencies concerned will have another reason to lose their hair.

Billett was one of the gang of full-service agency media directors who quit to set up media independents in the 1980s. Billett & Company (as I think it was called) had a rather different, more celebral approach than some of the others who favoured the time-honoured tactic of beating up media owners on price and deals and then soothing their pain with ten or 12 pints in the pub.

He sold the agency to Carat when the big boys moved into the sector and some years later set up Billetts, a media auditing operation. This he sold in 2008 to Ebiquity, a combo of media auditor and marketing consultant that aims to rival market leader Accenture. Ebiquity is now headed by former Gold Greenlees Trott and TBWA top exec Mike Greenlees.

ID Comms was set up by Tom Denford and David Indo in 2009. It now has offices in London and Singapore and is aiming to open one in Latin America, in time for the World Cup and Olympics no doubt.

David Indo says: “Those who know John well will know he has an incredible drive, a restless energy and a highly active and innovative mind. John is one of the most recognized names in global media and will be an incredible asset to ID Comms.”

Billett says: “I’ve been very impressed with the ID Comms people and operations. They have that rare combination of history and proven expertise with an innovative, creative approach to traditional media effectiveness issues in the rapidly changing media economy. I’m very excited to be joining the team.”

No doubt he’ll have even more to say in the future.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.