ITV to lose the ‘nasty horrible face’ of Gary Digby

Today’s news that ITV’s
sales boss Gary Digby is be replaced at the broadcaster by Channel 5’s
Kelly Williams
, courtesy of Maisie McCabe, has ensured 2011 gets off to a

The new
look ITV, led by chief executive Adam Crozier and chairman Archie Norman, but
still housing Peter Fincham, is starting to take an exciting new shape.

Digby joined ITV Sales as sales director when it was being run by Graham
Duff in December 2003. Prior to joining the broadcaster he had been managing
director of what was then Carlton Sales.

By the time he was made head of ITV advertising sales in 2005, Digby
reputation’s as the company rottweiler was already firmly in place.

“I’m the nasty horrible face of ITV that will go and beat all of our
customers up and hold a gun to their head and make them spend money,” he
jokingly told the Guardian at the time, but for some agencies it was
close to the bone.

Both ITV and Digby have been round the block a few times since then, but most
agencies will still attest the sales leader is as ferocious and astute an
operator as ever.

Andy Jones, chief executive
of UM London,
who has known Digby for most of both their working lives, is sure he will move
on to his next challenge.

“Gary is never
capable of mellowing. He is as professional and uncompromising today as he’s
always been,” he says.

“ITV has always had plenty of figureheads and ambassadors, but Digby’s never
been one of them. His job has been to get the work done, and at doing that he’s
been one of the very best.

“He’ll be missed, but it’s a great opportunity for Williams.”