MEDIA BUYING & PLANNING GUIDE;BUILDING A CAREER, CARVING A NICHE SCHECK'S SKILL IS CREATING INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS

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In early 1990, when Eric Scheck was a junior account executive with BBDO here, he was cautiously exploring the potential in international media.

He volunteered for an exchange program in Costa Rica-a move that changed his life. Today, at 33, he is VP-international media for BBDO Worldwide, and is carving out a niche as a packager of international programming.

He's become adept at spotting the potential for putting international marketers together with international channels to create programming partnerships.

In Eastern Europe, he helped World Vision Enterprises clear programming in 17 countries for Aaron Spelling Productions, working with titles such as "Melrose Place" and "Beverly Hills 90210." Sponsors include Pepsi, Wrigley and local advertisers.

AN*INTERNATIONAL*COUP

Now he is putting together a similar syndication deal for Mars Inc. in Western Europe-a deal that some see as an international coup. He has worked with Mars for several years, and was on the team that got BBDO on Mars' roster after the candy marketer fired Bates Worldwide last year in anger over its holding company's ousting of Maurice Saatchi.

Mr. Scheck also recently closed a three-year, $10 million deal involving Pepsi and MTV worldwide. "It was probably one of the most complex deals [I've handled] because it involved five international divisions of MTV and regional offices of Pepsi in Europe, Asia and Latin America."

The executive, who has spent his entire professional life at BBDO, says the greatest lesson he's learned is: "You have to be flexible. Each country has a different culture, and its business flows at a different pace than in the U.S."

He devotes most of his attention to Europe, where he concentrates on programming, syndication and licensing deals for TV. The rest of the time he helps to support multinationals in Europe, including blue-chip clients such as Gillette Co. and Delta Air Lines.

Mr. Scheck credits Les Margulis, senior VP, international media director at BBDO, with helping direct his career. Mr. Margulis noted the mark Mr. Scheck is making. "He's creative. In international, there are no rules. Everytime you do something, you carve your own path through the forest."

Christopher Foley, director of international advertising sales at NBC-TV, concurred. "If there are holes in NBC's international distribution, he's able to help us fill them in international barter syndication deals. He's in the forefront of that business."

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