It is with huge sadness that OPMA has learned of the death of Desmond Sowerby at the age of 71.
Desmond, to all who knew him was the archetypal salesman. Urbane, witty, charming and great company to be with. With his twinkling eyes and mellifluous voice the career of advertising salesman was really his destiny.
He found his first berth at IPC Magazines where he quickly made a name for himself and learnt his “trade”. However the world of domestic media was to be denied the pleasure of Desmond’s professionalism as he made the bold decision to migrate to the then heady and relatively unchartered waters of international media. Handelsblatt, Germany’s renowned financial paper was Desmond’s first foray into global media and he proved to be an adept and flexible operator, garnering many friends and admirers during his time there.
He then took up an opportunity that arose to represent The Toronto Globe and Mail. He quickly immersed himself in the world of Canadian Media and was recognised here in the UK as being the “go to” individual for advice and guidance for strategic planning and buying in that territory.
Desmond’s last post and the one with which he was synonymous was leading the international advertising sales effort for The Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday. These prestigious and well known titles were just the stage that Desmond thrived on. His frequent overseas trips introduced a host of overseas companies to Associated Newspapers. Desmond’s widely acknowledged skill and expertise were put to great use and he was able to secure substantial advertising revenue. He organised regular business visits to Japan and his proficiency and detailed understanding of local etiquette made him a highly prized media ambassador. He was very much in the mould of “senior statesman” within our community.
Desmond was a keen golfer and he took great delight in organising golf days – especially OPMA’s annual golf day. He was at his happiest tallying scores at the end of the day surrounded by industry colleagues with a glass of wine to hand!
His wonderful sense of humour and his kindness to people new to the world of media made him a very special person indeed.
He will be sadly missed by his many friends within the international and UK media marketplace.
Our sincere condolences to his family at this difficult time.
For those wishing to attend the funeral;
Day/Date: Wednesday 29 November
Time: 10.45 am
The Sat Nav locator code is HP7 0QF
After the cremation, the wake/reception will be at Maidenhead Golf Club.