Face to Face series

Face to Face with Olivia Russell


For September’s Face to Face, we chat with Olivia Russell, Programmatic Sales Manager in the Sydney office. After joining Seven just a month ago in the height of the lockdown, she’s already getting stuck in. Hear Olivia talk about what’s in store in her new position, predictions for future digital trends and what she’ll be doing when out of lockdown!

Q1. What made you want to join Seven?

BVOD is one of the fastest growing areas in digital and Seven is at the forefront. Seven has a phenomenal offering of interactive products, premium data partners such as Flybuys & Mastercard which can be activated across CTV, plus incredible content like the Olympics, The Voice and SAS Australia.

Q2. Tell us a bit about your role as Programmatic Sales Manager?

I’ll be working with the trading desks at a national level to ensure buyers are getting the best results for their clients and capitalising on Seven’s offering.

Q3. What are the similarities that you see between Audio & BVOD?

Both are incredibly fast paced and constantly changing environments. With the market demand growing exponentially YOY, both have had to adapt on the fly.

Q4. Do you have any predictions for future trends in the digital space?

Measurability is key and I believe we’re nearly there in regard to closing the loop between on and offline. Real world insights are paramount to measuring the success of advertising and with data partners such as Flybuys being able to report on the number of people who bought a product in store after seeing the ad on 7plus – we’re getting pretty close!

Q5. Who or what inspires you most?

Bethany Hamilton was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark when she was 13, resulting in losing one of her arms. Bethany courageously got back into the water just 1 month later and she now surfs better than any of us! It’s a great example to never give up on your dreams no matter what life throws at you.

Q6. Finally, what does a day off look like for you (when not in lockdown!)?

Surfing, sunbaking, eating sushi and drinking spicy margs.

Face to Face with Chris Pearce


In this week’s Face to Face, Sales Executive Chris Pearce tells us about his break into the world of Sports sales, challenges within the industry and his ideal fantasy dinner party guests.

Q1. How did you break into Sports advertising?

When I started at Seven it’s fair to say live Sport was certainly a product that greatly interested me. Being an AFL fan, I remember seeing my first client in the broadcast and thought it was amazing that even on a local level we could integrate our clients into something as powerful as the AFL.  Subsequently, being able to become involved in other live, premium sporting broadcasts like cricket and now the Olympics is something pretty special.

Q2. What are you and your team in Perth working on right now?

Tokyo Olympics is at the forefront of all our dealings currently. This represents an exciting challenge on many fronts – the largest sporting event in the world and only once every 4 years.

A part from my day to day servicing of all my clients and agencies I am also responsible for all things Sport in the Perth market. This extends across all local assets. In the sporting category whilst most of our offerings lie in the broadcast / digital space, working closely with print allows me to not only learn about print assets but also provide additional revenue streams for sport in the business.

Sport is a huge driver in the premium space for the team. AFL, cricket and now Olympics provides us the opportunity to drive share and volume.

We have a strong story to tell in this market so from day to day it’s about making sure we are out in front of our agencies and clients talking about the power of our reach through TV, Digital and Print.

Together with our platforms and sporting opportunities, it puts us in a unique and advantageous position. We reach over 91% of West Australians which gives us the ability to truly engage with Western Australia.
Currently the team is in numerous conversations in market over all our assets in all things Olympics and there are exciting times ahead.

Q3. Are there any challenges you’re seeing in the sports industry?

Sports rights in general is an interesting space. There are so many ways consumers can access sport these days. Having the sole rights to the Olympics including digital is an exciting opportunity and hopefully paves the way in the streaming space for us with other sport down the track.

Q4. What’s the most creative campaign that you’ve seen this year and why?

I really love the Bruce creative for Macca’s in the footy .., its clever, simple and funny and features the great man!

Q5. Who would be your ideal fantasy dinner party guests?

Might seem weird coming from a West Aussie AFL man but I love Matty Johns and his shows/podcasts… very funny man. Dave Chappelle for humour again and Steve Waugh to level things up a little.

Q6. How do you switch off from work?

Go in to a closed sound proof office and crank Metallica..
No, I love running, clears the head for me.. I try and get out as often as I can

Q7. Lastly, gym or gin?

My work mates will sledge if I say gym… so gin.

Face to Face with Rachael Everett


In this weeks Face to Face, Rachael Everett tells us about her career to date, TV shows she’s bingeing on and how she became a cheerleader for the Sapphires.

Q1. Tell us about your journey into the media industry…

My journey into the media industry started when I was studying my Bachelor of Entertainment Industries at QUT back in Brissie. During my time there I got the chance to intern at Queensland Rugby League, presenting and producing a small show called ‘Living League’ with segments being posted onto their website and social media, and worked at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games as a Floor Manager for the Gymnastics event.

After graduating in 2018, it took me a while to land my first job in the industry however Seven decided to take a chance on me and I moved down to Sydney in April 2019 to start my first role as a Sales Coordinator. I’ll be coming onto two years on 29th April and I can definitely say it’s been a wild ride thus far.

Q2. What do you enjoy most about working at Seven?

What I most enjoy about working at Seven would be learning about all the behind the scenes action that takes place. From the programming to the client integrations, there is so much that goes on that doesn’t usually gets shown when bringing everything to life and witnessing that has been the best part about working here.

Q3. What’s the most exciting project you’ve worked on during your time here?

I would say the most exciting project I got to work on thus far was selling the AFL Grand Final back in 2019 when the GWS Giants were making their first appearance in the big dance. The sales floor was absolutely buzzing with deals to get as many clients possible to be a part of the action and we had the GWS Giants theme song playing to shout out any wins we had during the lead up.

I’m very much looking forward to the Olympics this year. To feel that excitement again this time on a much larger scale, cheering on our Aussies to get as many Gold medals as they can and get as many clients a part of the action as possible.

Q4. Are there any ad campaigns (any format) you’ve seen recently that have particularly stood out to you and why?

The MLA Summer Lamb Ad for this year I thought was very clever. Now that hopefully all the border closure wars are behind us, we can finally start looking back and laughing about what we had to go through during COVID last year. After all, the best medicine is laughter don’t you think!

Q5. A little birdy told us that you’re a cheerleader. How did that come about? Tell us more!

I grew up dancing from the age of three. Fun fact, I actually got the top mark in the state of Queensland back in 2016 for my Grade 8 CSTD Theatrical & Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) Exam and I also currently hold a Teacher’s Certificate in CSTD Jazz.

When I was 14, I took part in the Broncos Junior Cheer Squad (when they had one) and absolutely loved it. So, when I moved to Sydney, I was looking for something I could do to keep me fit and not cost a lot of money doing it. That’s when I thought about joining another NRL Cheer Squad to do just that, plus I get a free game of NRL nearly every week. I’m an avid NRL fan so to get the chance to be near the game in this capacity is the best experience you could ask for.

I auditioned for the Sapphires (Cheerleaders for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs) back in January 2020, right before the world went mad and after four hours and running well into the night, I got in! I’m currently in my 2nd year now and am considered a veteran and loving every minute of it. I managed to get on TV very briefly back in round two of this year when they were showing the Doggies run out (my starring moment if I say so myself).

Q6. What TV show are you currently binging on?

I’m currently re-watching ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ for the 10th time but I did love Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime. I sat and watched all two seasons in a weekend.

My other binge worthy shows include ‘The Office (US)’ and ‘Friends’ as well as watching ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’ weekly ‘cause yes, I love my musicals.

Q7. Finally, what does a day off look like for you?

When I can, I like to go home to Brisbane and catch up with my friends and family up there.

If I don’t have the time (or budget) to fly home I’ll either usually use the day to catch up on my adulting jobs like cleaning and food prepping with a bit of couch relaxation time or I’ll use the opportunity to go out and about with friends and continue to explore Sydney and make the most of living here!

Face to Face with Jessica Britten and Sally Welsh


With Mother’s Day approaching Sunday, we’re keen to shine the light on amazing working mums! In this weeks’ Face to Face, we chat with Jessica Britten and Sally Welsh who job share the role of Group Sales Manager in the Melbourne office.

Q1. How did you both get into the advertising industry and specifically Sales?

JESS: My first job in advertising was at Seven in 2007 as a Sales Coordinator and I have worked in media sales ever since. This is my second stint at Seven after 6 years in the UK but what I love about sales is that no two days are the same and there’s never a dull moment!

SALLY:  I recently joined Seven from 12 years at a media agency, and I’m enjoying the new challenge that sales brings. I have worked with the team at Seven across my career and it’s exciting to be part of the business during this period of change and growth.

Q2. Tell us a about you how the job share opportunity came about and how do you make it a seamless transition when handing over?

JESS: I feel very fortunate to have been giving the job share opportunity by Seven when I returned to Australia 3 years ago.  The best part is that it has enabled me to continue my career whilst still spending time with my young family.  I’ve now job shared on and off for 3 years, in between having my second child.  The most important thing when sharing a role, I’ve found is communication is key, given the nature of our jobs we’re constantly handover so finding ways to do this quickly and efficiently is important.

SALLY: I’m a huge advocate of job-sharing for working parents, it’s a win/win for employee and the employer who gain 20+ years media industry experience from Jess & I.

Jess and I share a morning in the office each week where we do a handover, schedule key client meetings and team WIPS. We’ve found constantly updating Trello (an online shared To-Do list) as a useful tool. The success of a job-share comes down to solid communication as we are both committed to our clients having a positive job- share experience.

Q3. What is your favourite part of the job and why?

JESS: I love the diversity of the role and the great group of people I’m lucky enough to work with, the team nature of Seven is really important to me.  In addition, the ever evolving nature of the industry we work in that keeps the role fresh and interesting but also exciting! Working on big Sporting events and new programs for clients that provide integrated marketing solutions that help solves business challenges is also very satisfying.

SALLY: I thrive off helping clients achieve business and marketing objectives through effective media campaigns. I have seen in my time at an agency the significant positive impact FTA TV can have on brand metrics and hearing this feedback is satisfying.

Q4. What is the most important piece of advice you have for mothers who are pursuing a career?

JESS: To be super organised, flexible and accept that you’re not superhuman.  

SALLY:  Be present, leave the guilt at the door. When I’m at work I try to be as present as I can be with my team, my clients. And I commit to the same focus when at home with my 2 boys.

Q5. Anything that you’ve learnt along the way that you hope to pass on to your children?

JESS:  Be kind and respectful to everyone you meet and treat them the way you want to be treated.  Manners are super important from the moment you can talk and for the rest of your life.

SALLY: That’s a big question – They are still young so at the moment so at the moment I am starting small and instilling into them the importance of ‘Be Safe, Be Kind’.

Q6. Lastly, what are you doing to celebrate Mother’s Day this year?

JESS:  I was pleasantly surprised that my 4-year-old knew it was Mother’s Day this weekend so I’m looking forward to afternoon tea at his kinder and then I’ll probably see my mother-in-law and have my mum over for dinner at our house! Basically, a big family day, that will be exhausting but lovely 😊

SALLY: Nothing crazy, hopefully breakfast in bed and a day off making decisions! I’ll be down the coast celebrating the day with my mum as well as my own family. Mother’s Day is also ‘Nannas Day’ in our family and it’s a perfect opportunity to thank my mum for everything she does for me, including picking my son up from school so I can work! Working mums needs all the help they can!

Face to Face with Joshua Tanner


In this weeks’ Face to Face, Joshua Tanner from the Melbourne office opens up about juggling family life during lockdown, how viewer behaviour is changing in the way sports content is consumed and what he’s most excited for in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

Q1. How did you venture into the world of Sport sales?

Sport has always been my passion and this led me to a Sports Marketing course at Uni.  When I finished the course, I was lucky to have a family friend who was EA to the Melbourne Sales Director now Head of 7SPORT (nepotism at its best). It was a case of right place, right time and Adam Elliott who was running sport at the time needed some support and signed me up to book spots and billboards into the old NTS system back in May of 2005. Here I am, 16 years later and still loving it.

Q2. Tell us a about a typical working day for you.

A tricky one to answer as there is a lot of variety to my role, which is why I enjoy it so much.

The week usually kicks off listening to Tim Hunter talk at volume about how good or bad the Saints were on the weekend, then we delve into a lot of analysis of weekend sport ratings, inventory analysis and reporting for the purpose of developing sales strategies and market comms to our sponsors/clients.

There is typically a handful of presentations to clients which at the moment is a mixture of AFL integration pitches, Tokyo Olympics opportunities and soon to be Ashes Cricket & Winters Sponsors opportunities.

A lot of time is spent workshopping solutions with the Sport Sales team, Production team and 7Red Campaign Team.  The constant dance of finding an angle whether it be via inventory or in-program idea to make our partners feel like they are valued and to ultimately build their brand and sell their product.

I also regularly work on building relationships with our sporting body partners at the AFL and Racing who we collaborate with on co-partner and are important to our success.  Often this happens at a major sporting event or two which is a nice part of the job.

Q3. If you could give your 20 year old self a piece of advice, what would it be?

Buy Bitcoin early.

More importantly though, respect every person you deal with and be authentic in your approach.

Q4. You experienced one of the lengthiest lockdowns in Australia being based in Melbourne, what was the biggest challenge and how did you stay motivated?

Biggest challenge was finding ways to manage the high workload that came with an ever-changing AFL season with trying to support my amazing wife who was attempting to run a primary school and kindergarten in our living room for our 4 young kids.  I became a part-time PE Teacher! Some interesting times indeed, but I also have very fond memories. During this time, I witnessed and learnt more about my kids than ever. They were my motivation pushing me to dominate my Seven duties so I could be present with them when they needed me.

Q5. Are there any trends you’re noticing with audience behaviour or different viewing habits in the way that they consume live sport or sports content?

Covid 19 expedited the growth and scale of audiences streaming sport and seeking out more social/sport doco style content. Fans were desperate to delve deeper with their passions and feel connected to sport which gave them a taste of normal.  Whilst Seven has some rights limitations with some of our sports in the streaming space it also bodes well for future growth into the areas we do like Supercars, Horse Racing, AFLW and the Olympics. Also, the opportunity to develop a new flavour with new social shows and content allows us to engage our sport fans in different ways with new opportunities for brands.

Q6. We’ve heard your quite the AFL fan, who is your team?

I’m a proud North Melb Kangaroos member (There aren’t many of us). The whole family are Roos as my Dad was fortunate enough to be a premiership player with the Kangas back in 1977. North are a long way last at the moment, however I did enjoy a successful era in the 90’s when I was lucky enough to be at the MCG to witness two premierships.

Q7. What sport are you most excited to watch in the upcoming Olympics?

I love watching the High Jump and Javelin as they were events I loved to do back in High School.  Other than this the BMX is a great watch as its fast and physical.  Favourite team to watch will be the Matildas led by Sam Kerr who is an absolute jet. Curious to catch Speed Climbing as well as it looks very cool.  I’ll be watching it all!!

Face to Face with Paul Birt


In this weeks’ Face to Face, we interview Paul Birt, Group Sales Manager in the Adelaide office. We dive into personal challenges, his tips for staying motivated working from home and what TV show he’d love to make a comeback.

Q1. Tell us a bit about your role as Group Sales Manager in Adelaide?

Adelaide is an amazing town to be involved in media. We have some great people in all corners of the Advertising and Marketing landscape here, and they do amazing work. My role is to try connect our team with these people, then develop solutions for them using the best of all the assets we have at Seven West Media.

Q2. Where did your passion for sales come from?

I learnt early on about attaining fulfillment through seeing others grow. That’s what drives me.

Seven West Media’s suite of Broadcast, Digital and Print assets connect strongly with Australians. Enabling our clients to connect to, and then intrigue potential consumers with their story brings them growth… and for me a sense of achievement.

Q3. What’s been the biggest challenge for you this year? 

Change Management. Our clients, our agency partners and ourselves are all knees-deep in an accelerating change in Advertising and Marketing, sped up by the pandemic. In our business, a new agility is required to get the gist of our client’s needs. Also, a stronger focus on the role of data and activating on our digital assets is required. These new focus points are fundamental to our clients’ and SWM’s success going forward. 

Q4. What main commercial trends have you noticed over the past twelve months?

It has been an unbelievable 12 Months. We have seen some industry segments suffer with some segments still not clear. Not long after April 2020, we did start to see a strong move of customers back to the Home Improvement sector. And that has just kept sailing strongly. South Australian’s spend a lot of money on Overseas Travel annually. A lot of that money is being redirected into creating an oasis at home, or at the holiday home.

And we have all seen the move many businesses to up their online shopping game as traffic to bricks and mortar slowed / stopped. We have seen clients coming to TV with a need to grab attention and online traffic as physical foot traffic was in decline. I believe this has had a big role in the strong demand the TV Industry is seeing at present.

Q5. What’s one tip that you’ve used to motivate yourself and your team while working from home?

I have to say that we are very lucky here in SA to have made it through COVID Lockdowns much easier than many interstate colleagues and clients, so I am not sure we are the most qualified in this area. I do know that eating fresh and getting exercise through the day was super energising. I live across the road from a beautiful park so it was easy to get some sun and exercise and make the most of a break.

Q6. Dancing with the Stars has made a triumphant comeback. If you could pick one show from the past to be rebooted, what would you pick?

I have long believed I can pick a banging song from a mile out, but I know that I have no idea on how programmers go about finding a hot show. So clearly this is coming from a rank amateur programmers’ standpoint… 90’s Grunge Variety Show – The Big Gig. I loved its irreverent comedy, alt music, stupid camera angles and bizarre moments. What do you think Angus? Maybe not!

Face to Face with Stephanie Kirkman


In this weeks’ Face to Face feature, we talk to Steph Kirkman from the 7Sport team based in Melbourne. We chat about this year’s biggest sporting event, of course it’s the much anticipated Olympic Games. As well as other exciting content coming up in the sporting calendar.

Q1. Tell us about yourself and your career to date.

I always knew that I wanted to have a career in media and have always had a passion for sport.

Although I completed my university degree in Journalism, I was always intrigued by the commercial/advertising side of the media industry and started my career as a Sales Coordinator nine years ago.

My last six years have been at the Seven Network, and I am currently lucky enough to be part of the 7SPORT team; working with clients and brands to be part of huge sporting events such as the AFL, Cricket, Supercars and Olympics.

Q2. What’s your favourite part of the job and why?

My favourite part of my job is working with clients and brands that are just as passionate about sports as we are at 7. Being able to partner with brands across our sports and work with them to create strong campaigns and content is so rewarding, especially when you see it all come to life across our broadcast and digital channels!

Q3. What motivates you and what would you say has been the key to your success? 

Having such a strong support team around me that I work with daily has been a key factor – there’s so much I’ve learnt over the years from great people across the Network in various roles. Seeing the success and passion that people have at Seven has really motivated me to really push myself outside of my comfort zone and have a go at everything to the best of my ability, but also inspire others to do the same.

Q4. The Olympics is set to be the most streamed programme in the world. How do you think it will compare to previous years without a physical audience presence?

The Tokyo Games will be the first global event post-COVID that will really bring the world together.

While the Olympic stadiums may be empty in July, there will be ways to ensure that the viewing experience for fans is enhanced (e.g we saw the introduction of crowd noises across 2020 in the AFL during COVID with empty stands).

Although fans may not be able to unite in the stands, there is no doubt people will be huddled around the screen to cheer their country on – making it the biggest multi-screen event we see in a long time.

Q5. I’ve heard you’re quite the sports fan. Tell us more.

Yes, I’m a huge sports fan – I love the footy (all codes), tennis, soccer and follow the F1 religiously around the world (if you haven’t watched “Drive to Survive” on Netflix – I highly recommend it!)

I love everything about sport – from the elite skills displayed by the athletes, to the passion of the fans in the stadiums – nothing beats the atmosphere and adrenaline rush you get when watching live sport!

Q6. How do you keep on track with current trends in the market and update your knowledge on the industry?

There is so much good content out there these days from podcasts, virtual events to industry sites – one of my favourites is the Ministry of Sport website – which gives good insights on trends, partnerships and exclusive interviews with key commercial leaders in the sporting industry.

Q7. What’s in the content pipeline this year that you’re personally excited about?

Outside of the Olympics – it is going to be a huge year for 7SPORT. I’m looking forward to seeing the AFL Grand Final back at the G, 7’s first Ashes Series on Aussie shores in November, and the Bathurst 1000 being back on our screens in October.

Sport aside – I’m looking forward to seeing The Voice on 7 and the return of SAS Australia – definitely one of my favourite shows of 2020.

Q8. With Easter coming up, what have you got planned? Are there any Easter traditions in your family and what’s on the menu?

No huge plans for Easter yet. My Mum’s side are Japanese and Easter isn’t a huge tradition over there, however I do plan to enjoy relaxing over the long weekend, have a hit of tennis and watching some Easter weekend Footy!

Face to Face with Joseph Cilia


Introducing ‘Face to Face’, a new regular feature for Inside Seven. Get to know the people at Seven, what makes them tick and their opinions on current trending topics in the industry.

First up is Joseph Cilia, a brand and client strategist in the 7RED team.

Q1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got to where you are now.

I’ve spent the last 8 years in the media industry, with the last 4 at the Seven Network.   

Today I enjoy working as a client strategist collaborating with teams and clients around the country, and brand strategist on Seven’s suite of programs (Big Brother & SAS Australia to name a few).

Focus and hard work are two parts of the formula that has helped me get to where I am. Great mentors, asking questions, not being afraid to give it a go, and having fun have been equally important too.

Outside of the world of media, you might catch me writing mystery fiction, running up the Sydney Centrepoint, or challenging my twin to another competition (that I’ll win no doubt).

Q2. It’s been almost a year since Covid 19 first changed the world as we knew. What have been your biggest learnings over the last 12 months?

1 / Our speed to adapt is quicker than the speed the world can change. It’s amazing how in a short 12 months we’ve pivoted most of our past routines into new ones… that just make more sense.

2 / All the best personal and work outcomes I’ve enjoyed in 2020 came from accepting change and moving forward.

3 / We all have time for a check in with our mates and family. We really aren’t too busy to listen to how those closest to us are going.

Q3. 2020 was the year of self-development. Was there a book/podcast/course that inspired you that you can recommend to others? 

Always Add Lemon by Danielle Alvarez. 

Q4. What’s been your favourite project to work on recently and why?

I don’t have to think twice about this one – Big Brother 2020 and 2021. I am unashamedly Big Brother’s biggest fan since 2001, so working on the all-new format was something I couldn’t wait to my teeth into. 

I enjoyed working through brand and client strategy bringing to market a 20-year-old format, reimagined for today’s audience (and yes, the irony of focusing so heavily on a program where housemates are locked in a house, within a year that we too were also stuck at home doesn’t evade me).

Q5. Which brand do you think is winning when it comes to their advertising?

Westpac’s newest campaign. Real, relatable, powerful.

Q6. What series had you hooked this year and why?

Schitt’s Creek – the light-hearted escape from reality (tip: don’t give up during Season 1, and then you’ll binge Seasons 2-6)

Q7. Lastly, a silly one! Last meal on earth, what would you pick?

A burger, any burger – with just the right amount of sauce, and all the salads on the side.


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