Posted: April 6th, 2008
Brian Allt, MGN’s Media Research Supremo, died on 6th April 2008 in Bury St Edmunds Hospital, aged 80 years, after several months in and out of hospital.
Tribute by Derek Rogers (former MGN Group Advertising Controller and Circulation Sales Director).
There will many better qualified to comment on the passing of Brian Allt than me, but I knew and worked closely with him for a number of years. I welcome the privilege of adding my respects to the many that will come from the advertising and newspaper businesses. I remember him as a private sort of man; he rarely discussed matters outside his work but when he did he held clear and decisive views. He seemed very much family orientated, concerned about the effect television was having on the population as a whole and young people in particular. He once told me that he no longer possessed a TV set and rarely watched it elsewhere.
He served on a number of Newspaper and Advertising Industry Research Bodies over the years and contributed enormously to the development of the ‘Press versus Television’ argument. He was an indispensable member of all our major business planning sessions and often wrote papers on the research needed to assist the sales teams. He never failed to respond to requests for assistance with a problem, and would travel wherever he was needed to form part of a sales or research presentation. He was outspoken and left you in no doubt of his views on any given subject.
He was well known, respected and liked by many outside Mirror Group Newspapers. Advertising Agents and their clients regarded him as an authority on the readership and usage of newspapers and magazines and often sought his opinions on a wide variety of media matters. He was deeply involved with all media research sponsored by the Industry, often contributing suggestions on the methodology to be used and writing critiques on a wide range of industry related subjects. I am sure the effects of his work are still felt in the Newspaper Business to this day. Mirror Group Newspapers would have found his retirement created a gap that was difficult to fill.
From a personal point of view, I liked and respected Brian both as a professional and a person, I enjoyed his dry sense of humour and relied on his judgement and advice in many areas of my responsibilities. I found him to be one of the few “Figures” men that understood that in the real world of advertising sales and competition, research was a tool, not just an academic study.
He would always listen to an idea no matter how outlandish and never failed to come up with a suggestion that made sense, even to an industry that seemed to revere and believe the images they had themselves created.
I know I can speak for all those who worked in the Marketing Department and who ever had the benefit of contact with Brian when I say that we are sad to hear of his passing. He was a fine man and one who made a difference! We all honour his memory and extend our deepest sympathy to his family.
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