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A tribute to Tim Wootton 1948 – 2020

Tim Wootton, who sadly passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday 21st November, was a larger than life character in the television advertising business throughout the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s.  His strength of personality and purpose was matched by a sharp acumen and a universal interest in people, earning him respect and loyalty throughout the industry. 
He joined Anglia TV as a local sales rep and worked his way up to become Sales Director; he was responsible for leading a very successful and highly regarded sales operation that consistently outperformed larger and better resourced competitors.

In the late ‘80s he saw change ahead; the landscape of TV advertising was going to be transformed as a consequence of the new auction system for awarding TV company franchises, along with the introduction of increased national competition. As a result, he led the charge in embracing change by setting up the first independent TV sales house, TSMS, in partnership with his great friend and colleague, Dick Emery.  TSMS was the catalyst to a model eventually adopted by the whole of the TV sales business which underpinned the ultimate creation of ITV as a single operating company.

His honesty and integrity enabled him to overcome strong opposition - from both advertisers and many agencies - against any consolidation, and in turn to go on to develop TSMS into a successful business in its own right, representing seven of the fifteen regional ITV companies.

He retired from TSMS in 1997 which was itself acquired in a further round of consolidation in 2000. Tim went on to be the Executive Chair of Zenith Media Europe and Chair of Robinson Lambie Nairn, the leading corporate brand design agency.  Outside his business life, he devoted his considerable energies to charitable work turning his skills to engage and promote a number of good causes held dear to him, in particular the Red Cross. Tim was also able to spend more time in South Africa and watching rugby, both of which he loved.  He is survived by his loving wife, Estie and his children, Maranda and Guy.

Tim will be remembered with great affection and admiration across the whole advertising industry; we are all grateful for his life and the contribution he made.  Rest in peace, Tim.

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