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Interview: Alan Musa

By Laura Thomas  //  Tue 18th November 2014

What was your first job?

Helping out my chef Dad in various kitchens – even at an early age it taught me the importance of teamwork and the value and enjoyment of a good day’s work.

How did you get into the industry?

Sales Exec at the Observer Newspaper in 1987 – the first Ad I sold was to a client selling a private property, and cost a whopping £10. It was incredibly hard work, but there was a great training programme that has kept with me until this day.

What is your favourite campaign / brand to date?

The brand has to be Adidas; it’s been a constant throughout my life – especially Forest Hills, of which I’m still searching for versions to this very day. In terms of campaigns, the Guinness campaign that featured Rutger Hauer was a fave – it became something of a TV event when a new piece of Guinness  creative first appeared on the telly and that feeling has pretty much carried on right through to the latest Ad that features Jonny Wilkinson.

Who is your role model?

Both my Mum and my Dad – for the work ethic they demonstrated that later became instilled in my approach to life and work.

What’s involved in getting the right partners on board for Nickelodeon and ensuring a good fit?

Apart from audience matching it's really about identifying partner brands that will benefit greatly from the Nickelodeon environment - be it our linear channels or digital touch points. A healthy amount of brand research is also essential, rather than making assumptions about a client’s brand and business.

What, if any, changes have you seen since the ASA regulations on advertising to children were brought in?

A lot more brands that target mums see the value of using the Nickelodeon family of channels as part of their media mix but there is still a healthy quantity of kids-focused advertising in the market.

What is the best lesson you’ve ever learnt?

Have an opinion, and be vocal about it.

Best bit of career advice you’ve ever been given?

Give telly a go

What piece of technology can’t you live without?

I was going to go with telly, but the reality is it’s probably a decent smartphone – currently the IPhone 5S.

What do you feel the future holds for marketing/advertising to young children and their parents/carers?

A broader selection of touch points that have to be considered as they plan their media mix


Favourite pub or bar?

The Everyman Bistro circa 1984, but today it’s probably the Piano Bar at the Ivy Club - how easily I’ve betrayed my working class roots!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Professional Footballer for Liverpool FC

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

I don’t have to shave - A quirk of having a Malaysian dad and a Scouse mum – their combined genetics must have resulted in an X-men type mutant who’s superhuman powers are the ability to avoid razors with one giant leap.

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